It doesn’t matter how revolutionary your products or services are, a business won’t get far without customers - engaged, loyal, satisfied customers at that. You can have a useful and innovative product, a slicker-than-your-average website, and present inspiring talks to audiences around the world, but without an efficient, powerful CRM system, your business will forever struggle to retain customers, and in turn, gain new ones.
In 2021, managing interactions with customers has never been so important, and nor has it been so complex. With so many avenues to choose from in terms of communication, it can be jarring at the outset. There are many pre-built CRM systems out there, all claiming to be your company’s only hope at maintaining excellent customer relationships. And of course, some of them will work. Some will even work well. However, if you want your company to flourish, the best option is to have a CRM system built specifically to your company’s needs.
Now, before we get into ‘Why’, let’s start with ‘What’.
What is a CRM system, exactly?
CRM stands for customer relationship management. It refers to the various methods by which companies communicate with customers, whether that be for the purpose of driving sales, marketing, or keeping relations positive. These methods of contact typically use data analysis to spot trends and communicate with large numbers of customers at once, through tactics such as email campaigns. Once upon a time, CRM systems were complex and unwieldy and difficult to learn. As time has gone by, however, they’re growing increasingly potent and are far simpler to master.
By collecting, organising, managing and interpreting all of your customers’ data, a strong CRM system allows you to follow the buyer journey of each customer individually, to assess which parts of your marketing and outreach campaigns are the most successful, and which parts of your strategy need work. All of this can then be used to improve your customers’ experience, as well as the likelihood of them using your company.
What are the benefits of a CRM system built from the ground up?
A CRM system built specifically for your business brings with it many benefits, as well as dodging certain pitfalls that may be associated with more generic, one-size-fits-all CRM systems.
1 - Measure the metrics you want
Every company has wildly different metrics to monitor, and the benefit of a purpose-built CRM is that you can pick and choose precisely which metrics to look at. This can not only save time, but can help to ensure nothing goes under the radar.
2 - Streamline your data
Just as you can set the metrics you do want, with a personalised CRM system you can also choose which metrics you don’t want. With an overload of information, it’s very easy to become overwhelmed and focused on metrics which don’t matter to your vision overall. By selecting solely the information that you need, you can streamline your goals, save precious time, and focus more readily on what really matters: keeping your customers happy.
3 - Lower costs
The retainer costs of using a pre-built CRM system can, in the long run, be far higher than the one-off payment for having your own CRM system custom-made. Plus, if there are any issues with your custom-built system, you’ll be able to train staff up so they can make edits as necessary, rather than being forced to wait for a response from a remote IT team.
4 - Increased flexibility
Many pre-built CRM systems are built within a rigid framework; one your business must exist within. When running your own custom-made CRM system, there is no task too great or too small; any request you have can be put into operation, whether it’s for new metrics and parameters or a decluttered interface. When creating your own CRM system, you’ll work closely with experts to design your ideal tool – one that puts all the information regarding your customers, plus the means of replying to certain numbers of them – all in one place.
5 - Custom Reports
When using a CRM system that wasn’t created specifically for your business, you’ll be using a one-size-fits-all formula when it comes to reporting. It’s common for businesses using pre-built CRM systems to experience difficulties and large costs when attempting to retrieve custom reports. When you have had a say in every step of the way to creating your own CRM system, however, reporting is simple, quick, and can hit every criteria you need with minimal fuss.
Case Study: Vitality Club
Lokava was approached by Vitality Club, a healthcare company based in Sydney. They were already aware of the benefits of having an effective CRM solution for their business, however they’d originally opted for a well-known off-the-shelf option. They listed the downsides of this as it being expensive long term, as well as a lack of flexibility within the tool itself, and an inability to make amendments to reporting options. Alongside the fact that customisation was very limited with their CRM system, it was clear they would benefit from something a little more bespoke, particularly as their company was growing. They engaged Lokava on an exploratory project to deliver a CRM design prototype.
The first part of the process was for Lokava to have a succession of conversations with Vitality Club about their exact needs and visions for their ideal CRM system. Over several months, this helped us get a clear picture of the processes that already existed, as well as ones that it would be beneficial to create and integrate. This was a deep dive into the existing end to end processes at the company and what could potentially be changed to achieve a better outcome.
Once these requirements gathering discussions were completed the Lokava team spent several months creating the CRM design prototype. This was an interactive process where online tools were used to share and seek feedback on designs. Further in-person meetings took place as well to discuss elements of the designs as well as the underlying processes in greater detail. Ultimately Lokava was able to present a fully realised design prototype, one that provided Vitality Club with proof of what a custom CRM could do for their organisation.
The bottom line
A sleek, user-friendly customer relationship management system can save your company thousands of hours, and help you maintain your existing customer base while reaching out to new ones based on existing trends. A custom-built CRM does all this and more: it gives you full control, and a much deeper insight into your customers and how they browse and buy. Furthermore, you will be able to customise your reporting and analytics to an extent that would most likely be cost prohibitive in many cases with an off the shelf CRM.
If you’d like to talk further about what a custom-made customer relationship management system can do for your company, get in touch today, and let’s chat!
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