Managing a business means having to make tough decisions. And it also means that if you have a way of doing things that has proved successful, sometimes you still need to bring about change. And that change becomes necessary because doing the same things would result in stagnation, which can result in getting left behind. That is the reason why even successful ecommerce operations need CRM as part of how they are doing business. Here are five reasons why CRM software is so crucial to the successful running and growth of your ecommerce operation.
The whole idea behind CRM is in the name: Customer Relationship Management. The software is designed to make it a lot easier for companies to manage their relationships with customers. If your company is based in ecommerce it means that you are relying on customers who will choose your online store over others to buy products or services. And it means that you will want to pay a lot of attention to how customers are being assisted.
For instance, if a customer contacts your customer service department, they expect good service. If your service reps do not have the necessary data in front of them, it would take them ages to help the customer, and they would not do a very professional or personalized job. But with CRM, everything is so much easier.
CRM includes an interface that employees can use when they are interacting with customers. Let us say someone calls in and their number is in the system because it is linked to a recent order. The person answering the phone would immediately get a page on their screen that highlights the entire history of this customer with the company. Every order, chat, previous phone call or other interaction is included. This makes it easier to assist the customer with any issue they may be facing and personalizes the interaction, which customers love.
The beauty of CRM is that it means every bit of data that is running through the system, or through your company’s network, is being collected on a real-time basis. CRM is not only based on when customers are contacting the company because the system is running when people are visiting your website, interacting on social media, buying items online, or when your employees are communicating with each other. And all of the data that is being generated every second is being collected. With a properly configured CRM, all this data is available for analysis in real time.
The third reason why we always encourage online retailers to adopt CRM is because there is no better tool to incorporate into the company’s network for data analysis. We have already spoken about how CRM collects data at a record-setting pace, but did you know it analyzes data too? The need to spend money on consultants, or to purchase expenses analytics software, is in the past. Now you will have CRM – and this program is more than enough where data analysis is concerned.
CRM analytics operate on a much deeper level than you might expect. For instance, every sales and marketing channel is being monitored, and the data from each channel is assessed to identify patterns or anomalies.
These analysis figures are available for your employees in respective departments to assess and understand. With the data available so easily and at such a rapid pace, your company will have a much easier time seeing what is working, and what is not going according to plan. The sooner you can see this analysis, the sooner your company can work on a new strategy to boost the channels where sales may be falling behind.
One of the key elements where an ecommerce company can fall away is communication. So many companies have fantastic setups with achievable goals. However, the organization becomes fragmented over the years with different offices, departments and teams looking out for themselves. While it is good to have cohesive teams within a company, those teams must also come together to help achieve the company’s overarching goals.
One side of the communication road are newsletters and promotions. The right Constant Contact CRM software will help you build better promotions, for example. By delivering key insights into what customers to target and what to target them with, you’ll be able to improve open rates and click-throughs on each communication that you send.
On the other side is internal communications. With CRM, communication between employees is easier than ever. The built-in chat feature in the CRM software means that it only takes a few clicks and an employee can start talking to someone else, whether they are on the same team or in different countries. Such instant and recorded communication ensures there are never misunderstandings or a lack of guidance from one department to another. If the sales team notices something that could help the marketing or customer service teams, the information is easy to relay.
Doing business in the retail sector means that you must tolerate product returns. There is no way around it. But returns are much higher with ecommerce than traditional brick and mortar stores. Figures suggest that around 30 percent of items bought by customers through online stores companies are returned. While your company cannot run away from returns, there is plenty that can be done to limit those returns.
One of the ways that CRM helps with limiting returns is through its data collection and analysis. In the past, your company would have assumed the return percentage was a problem for all the products you were selling across every sales channel. But your CRM program may tell you another story.
The data may show that there are products from a specific manufacturer that are causing you the most return headaches. This anomaly is something the human eye may not have spotted through all the data, but it is the type of pattern or anomaly that the CRM program is always on the hunt for.
When you have such data available, taking alternative measures is much easier. Perhaps your company could find another manufacturer for those products, or find a way to better describe them to potential buyers so they are fully aware of what they are purchasing. You will never eliminate returns, but you can lower them through CRM.