Tools, Tools, Tools

Posted on February 15, 2012. Filed under: Business, Relationship Management, Technology | Tags: , , , , |

 

Why do we love our cell phones so much?

It isn’t because of our love of calling people.  It’s because anything you need, your cell phone does.  Your cell phone functions as a phone, radio, computer, camera, notepad, phonebook, GPS, newspaper, weatherman, clock, and the list goes on.  It’s your one stop shop for all your needs.  Functioning like a convenience store in your pocket, your cell phone takes care of all your whims.

Businesses need many of those tasks as well.  Yet they have more needs also.  And although no one needs a phone that plays music and checks email and offers directions, no one needs a CRM system that organizes and reminds and schedules.  But just like all those other tools, they sure are nice to have.

CRM systems help identify and target potential clients.  It involves selecting the right customers and showing them how to contribute to your business so both you and them receive value.  The idea of CRM offers the idea of managing customer interactions at the right time, in the right place, and in the right way.  CRM is a tool whose objective is tied to money, either making more of it through sales or saving it through greater efficiency.  It will not solve a menagerie of unrelated issues but what it does do, it does well.

Keeping the customer in CRM

There is a reason CRM is being re-branded as Customer Experience.   Focusing on the customer has not been the priority where it should be. Customer engagement is a process, not an event.

If you have a computer you are already set up for a CRM system.  And if you have a client base you already have relationships that need managing.

Think about your closet.  You have thirty pairs of shoes tossed in haphazardly.  It is faster getting them in there then if you were to neatly organize them.  What about when you want your black boots?  You start digging, pushing shoes out of your way, and you’ve found one!  It’s a start.  So you go back to digging out the second.  By the time you have both boots in your hand (or on your feet) all of your shoes have made their way out of your closet and you have to get them back in.  The time you save by tossing them in instead of organizing is lost by digging through sixty shoes and re-shoving them every which way but where they belong.

The moral of the story is: it’s a lot easy to find things when they are put away.  It might be harder but in the end, it’s worth it.  

I don’t think there is even any question about whether it’s easy to handle customers when you have all their information in one system as opposed to a file in the cabinet, a page in your phonebook, and project notes in estimating.

There is a difference between what is easy and what is going to make your life easy.  Tossing your shoes in is easy.  Keeping the same system is easy.  Organizing will make your life easy.

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4 Responses to “Tools, Tools, Tools”

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I’m fascinated by tools. Sometimes we give them TOO much respect (for example, when a company bases its entire strategic plan on a single tool such as Twitter or photocopiers, and then has to re-invent itself when the tool changes or is no longer available, or when society changes). But, as you note, there are other times when we ignore them, and the benefits that they can provide when used properly.

A tool is only as good as the person using it, but if you know what you’re doing there’s nothing you can’t do.

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