The Riches of Relevance

crm-logoTargeted marketing communications used to be something of a pipe-dream for many businesses.  Database analysis could establish an all round view of each customer, but the processes of translating this intelligence into targeted, personalised communications was either unwieldy or unaffordable.  However, three things have come to pass over the last two years.  Personalised colour printing has become affordable for all sizes of company, rather than just the large ones.  The ability to create a tailored set of contents for each customer’s envelope has become very sophisticated and in addition to this, businesses have established the initial proof that personalised content on the website improves customer retention, satisfaction, cross-sales, and ultimately profitability. Continue reading “The Riches of Relevance”

Turning a New Leaf on Cross-Channel Communications

ginkgo_leaf1Consumers have become less loyal and much more demanding of the businesses they purchase goods or services from. But it’s not just quality and convenience they want; consumers are ever more interested in the experience provided by organisations and the customer service they are receiving.

Information is expected to be readily accessible online and the boom in comparison sites is testament to this shift in consumer mentality that sees sourcing information and deals as an integral part of the buying cycle.  However, as channels multiply and independent information can be accessed from hundreds of user reviews, websites and blogs, marketers are struggling against their shrinking budgets to secure an authoritative presence for their products and services across the media spectrum. Continue reading “Turning a New Leaf on Cross-Channel Communications”

CRM Investments

crm analystCRM investment is wasted if the intelligence it delivers fails to influence dispatched communications. How can businesses ensure that money spent on CRM analytics actually begins to benefit the messages that are delivered to customers and prospects?

While the importance of getting targeted communications out of the door has achieved mainstream awareness, there is still considerable potential for improved return on investment from CRM systems.

Too often, companies are compromising when it comes to communicating with customers and prospects. The lack of attention to the actual delivery of personalised messages to customers or enquirers is making a nonsense of many companies’ marketing strategies.

Arguably, the need for sophisticated mail has never been greater. Customer retention has become a major issue, with today’s multi-channel environment making it easier than ever for consumers to switch brand allegiance. Consumers are acutely aware that the balance of power has shifted in their favour. It is an accepted mantra that attracting new customers costs more than retaining existing customers, and suppliers operate knowing that bad service, or even perceived bad service, is more likely to be met with defection. Continue reading “CRM Investments”

How Are Salesforce Admins Driving Company Revenue & Reducing Costs?

hire-on-demand-logoI was sent an interested email the other day from a company called Hire On-Demand which is a recruiting firm for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) companies. It was a pretty good bit of information related to admins so I thought it was worth posting here.

Given the current climate, many companies are focused on maximizing their existing resources. Administrators often times play an instrumental role in boosting company productivity and increasing the bottom line. Based upon daily interactions with Salesforce customers over the past few years, below are several tangible ways Admins are making a difference:

1. Sales Efficiency Salesforce Admins often serve as a Business Analyst, interfacing with key business units and understanding their processes. The Admin knows how to translate these processes, particularly as they evolve, into Salesforce. Results can include capturing, routing and tracking all incoming leads and ensuring cross-functional teams interact seamlessly. For example, many companies are currently asking their Customer Support reps to identify new revenue opportunities. An Admin, serving as a liaison between the two groups, ensures all leads identified by Support are properly captured in Salesforce and automatically routed to the appropriate Sales Reps. Lead follow-up and pipeline are tracked in real-time analytics resulting in a closed-loop process. Continue reading “How Are Salesforce Admins Driving Company Revenue & Reducing Costs?”

Call Center Metrics – How do You Measure Them?

If your company sells any sort of product, chances are you have a support team or call center to deal with customers. Some companies outsource to countries like India where labor can be hired for lower costs. Others keep their support team close by and within the same country. Regardless of the structure or location of your call center one thing always stands true. How do you manage and measure incoming call volume, problems resolved, types of issues, etc? It’s important to gather and analyze call center metrics to answer these questions.

Some call center products are bundled with these tools but most are weak or non-existent. This is where a dedicated solution that provides things like individual customer scorecards, detailed support metrics, and other key metrics that give managers needed insight into their call center team. As we learn more about these requirements and business needs, we start to notice companies like pop up to fulfill these business needs.

Being a call center manager, it’s very important to understand overall customer service efficiency so you can improve your internal operations as well as reward your employees based on their performance. Say, for example one of your call center employees does a great job and you’re unaware of this deed. A post call survey for the customer would be able to provide an opportunity to give this feedback, hence later rewarding the employee.

All things set aside, call center metrics are very important and a necessity in all businesses. If you don’t have anything currently in place, I recommend checking out these trial versions and seeing for yourself. I personally haven’t used them yet but based on what I’ve read thus far, they could be a great solution for you.

If you have any other suggestions or comments about general call center metrics and how you currently measure them, please let us know!

AIMpromote – A Lead Management Solution

For those of you who are looking for a CRM product, you’re probably overwhelmed with the number of choices available today. There is a huge range of solutions and most people just don’t know where to start looking. You could pay thousands of dollars and get a top-notch inhouse solution or subscribe to an on-demand solution which is fully hosted and worry-free. The latest player I’ve come across in the crm software game is a company called AIMpromote.

AIMpromote is an on-demand web-based software application to manage the handling of sales leads. It is essentially a CRM, but is focused particularly on handling leads. There is also the ability to sell leads (lead aggregation business). AIMpromote takes a different approach and focuses more on lead management which for some, is plenty. If you check out their crm features, you’ll see most of them are in the sales lead management section which is great when it comes to lead management.

I have yet to sign-up for their trial but when it comes to sales management software, I’d consider evaluating AIMpromote along with other traditional players. Since they are relatively new and they don’t mention the price on their website, I’d first give them a call to find out more details. Based on the screenshots and feature page, it’s hard to decide if it’s worth the investment without knowing more information. Regardless, for a pure lead management solution they might be the exact solution you’re looking for.

Gartner CRM Summit Announced

The Gartner CRM Summit 2008 will be held Sept. 8-10 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, Washington, D.C. Aimed at customer relationship management professionals, the summit will focus on technology’s effects on the customer experience value of marketing, sales and customer service, while increasing profits and customer satisfaction, and lowering operating expenses. Continue reading “Gartner CRM Summit Announced”

Net Promoter Score: Good Tool or Too Simple?

By Sharla Sikes The Net Promoter Score can be a handy tool for businesses to monitor and manage customer relationships. Developed by a team headed by Fred Reichheld, the NPS bases its results on the answer to a single question asked of consumers: “How likely are you to recommend this company to a colleague?” Reichheld claims this is the only loyalty metric companies need to pay attention to in order to grow. Adopted by companies including General Electric, Intuit, T-Mobile, Charles Schwab, and Enterprise, it’s certainly a strong enough tool bouncy castles for sale canada. There’s an argument, however, about NPS’ merits. Continue reading “Net Promoter Score: Good Tool or Too Simple?”

Importance of CRM Drives Job Growth

By Sharla Sikes

Customer relationship management is an

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always-evolving industry, and today’s surge of CRM software options is driving growth in staffing needs, too.

In a tightening economy, customer relations have become ever more important—hence the increase of

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careers based around building, protecting and cultivating relationships with customers for businesses in nearly every sector. Continue reading “Importance of CRM Drives Job Growth”

3 Steps to an Affordable CRM Program

Unfortunately, many companies are keen to start a CRM program, yet woefully underestimate the cost. With IT budgets being slashed in many companies, your business might not be able to implement CRM without very careful planning. By following the three steps below, you can save a tremendous amount of money on your new CRM program.

  1. Audit Your Customer Database – Before you even begin to weigh your CRM software options, you need to organize your customer database. Ensure that every file is located in a central place. Then, you should have an administrative team comb over the details. Customer information should be updated, which may be time consuming. However, it is absolutely necessary for a successful CRM install.
  2. Prepare Your Employees – Again, your new system will fall apart and cost you major money if you aren’t organized. Invest some time in training your employees to gather the proper customer information and file it according to the newly audited system. CRM should be enterprise-wide and not left up to one department. Continue reading “3 Steps to an Affordable CRM Program”