Customer Relationship Management tools, or CRM for short, are vital for the optimal performance of your business. However, many small businesses are reluctant to implement CRM solutions. In fact, research suggests that less than one third of SME’s in the UK utilise a CRM. As such, businesses across all sectors are missing out on the significant benefits of optimised customer relationship management. Still not convinced that CRM is important for small businesses? Here’s why:
Firstly, what exactly does a CRM constitute? In short, customer relationship management allows businesses to keep track of their customer base, and the potential customers that they have interacted with. Those that have purchased tickets or products, booked a session or given you their details over the phone can be tracked via your CRM, which acts as a database for all of your visitor interactions. Businesses can track sales pipelines, create targeted marketing campaigns, gain insight into customer profiles, make data driven decisions, and explore single customer views. With such advanced capabilities, businesses of all scales across all industries can greatly benefit from using a CRM or risk losing valuable and sensitive customer data. But why is CRM important for small businesses in particular?
If you are looking for ways to enhance your nurture opportunities and make the most out of your new bookings and existing customers, CRM systems are essential. After all, the key is in the name – customer relationship management systems help you to gather the appropriate information on you customers and their preferences so you can send them the most applicable updates. This is important for businesses of all sizes, but especially for smaller ones that rely on nurture opportunities for sustainable growth.
How does a CRM do this? By centralising data and making it accessible across your employees, you ensure that your contacts with all prospective and existing customers are logged, which means no duplication or hassling people too often. Employees can also set up nurture email programmes which will automate emails at the appropriate time to prospective visitors, ensuring that contacts are served relevant and timely content. With access to their preferences, needs and requirements, you can create personalised and targeted marketing. For example if you have a group of guests who previously used a promotional code to purchase tickets, you could contact them with any new incentives that may encourage them to re-engage and visit your venue again. In fact, research suggests that businesses can create 40% more revenue with personalised marketing strategies. Additionally, you can designate scores to contacts to rank them on their viability of transforming into to loyal customer.
Did you know that it costs 5 to 25 times more to earn a new customer than retain an existing one? Considering this, it’s important for SME’s to retain visitors that they have on their books to save both time and cost. CRM systems are able to automate processes on behalf of employees, ensuring that your business is always in the forefront of your customers’ minds. The automation aspect of CRM also means that your customers don’t slip through the net and aren’t receiving emails that are irrelevant, duplicated, or laden with spelling errors. You can even set up loyalty programs through your CRM to reward those who visit your attraction or venue repeatedly, which can make your customers feel more valued and encourage them to continue to use your business.
Whether you are operating a small business or an established company, compliance should be at the forefront of your mind. Thankfully, trustworthy CRM systems are able to help you remain compliant when it comes to handling data, specifically contact details and preferences for clients and prospects. A CRM will keep your customer’s data in a safe, secure, password protected database which can only be accessed by those given consent. Good CRM systems will even remind you of data retention periods to remain compliant.
When you’re operating a small business, you may be tight on funds and staff, making their time exceptionally valuable. This is why small businesses can greatly benefit from implementing CRM thanks to its ability to streamline otherwise arduous processes.
CRMs are able to automate tasks that would otherwise take up lots of time. For example, you can create contact lists for those you haven’t spoken to in a set amount of time as part of your nurture strategy in just a few clicks, or segment your data to better understand the characteristics of your customer base. There’s no need to manually crawl through all of your contacts calculating when they last visited– simply select the appropriate filter and let your CRM do the work. Similarly, CRM for small businesses can remove the need for manual data input by having details go straight into your CRM through integrations with your online platforms. This reduces room for error and saves valuable time.
Many CRM’s come with integrated analytics tools which can be very helpful for small businesses in curating projections, visualising the next steps for a business, understanding strengths and weaknesses, increasing visibility across a business and making alterations where needed. They will also provide reporting dashboards that you can use to understand and share results with your teams, making performance tracking and optimisation a breeze. This creates a single point of truth for business decisions based on real, live data. CRM for small businesses is therefore vital for creating marketing, sales and operational strategies with measurable results, allowing you to better distinguish cause and effect for your business’ upticks and pitfalls. CRM quite literally takes the guesswork out of your business decisions.
Smaller businesses are hesitant to invest in technologies such as CRM due to worries that it will be time-consuming to set up and expensive to run. That’s why Cloudline has created a simple ‘Pay as You Go’ plan so that your CRM can grow alongside your business. This is the perfect CRM for small businesses that are looking for all of the key features to accelerate business performance. You can set up your Cloudline platform for free in as little as 10 minutes - build your visitor experience app, create events, sessions and menus – all on the intuitive self-serve platform. Then start using Cloudline’s small business CRM to start optimising your business performance quickly and easily.
Looking for something a little more advanced? Explore our ‘Enterprise’ plan if you’re already familiar with CRM systems and want to benefit from Cloudline’s additional features. From Kitchen Display Systems and advanced reporting tools, to ePOS and interactive maps – better business technology is just a few clicks away with the help of Cloudline. Explore CRM for small businesses here or sign up to a free trial of Cloudline’s visitor experience app here to unlock your business’ potential with our CRM solutions!
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