No matter how incredible your product or service is, if you’re not meeting your customers’ expectations, they will most likely start considering your competitors. When a customer walks away, you not only lose revenue, it will also adversely impact your business reputation. Most of them will not refrain from writing about their bad experience with your company on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Such comments spread out quickly, creating a poor or negative image of your business on the web. Most customers today make their buying decisions online, and so even a single bad review on web can affect your sales, leading to lost in thousands of dollars in revenue.
As a business owner, you know how quickly negative customer experience can impact your business growth. However, if you’re not serious about listening and resolving your customer issues, you will definitely lose repeat customer no matter how established your business is. According to NewVoiceMedia’s 2018 “Serial Switchers” report, businesses lose more than $75 billion a year due to poor customer service. That’s up $13 billion since its last report in 2016.
Why Customers Are Becoming Serial Switchers?
In this competitive business environment, customers are bombarded with more attractive deals based on price, and quality. However, price and quality are not the factors that force customers to switch over to your competitors. One of the main reasons that why customers switch from one company to another is a bad customer experience. Listed hereunder are some common reasons why customers cease to do business with any company:
- They do not feel appreciated
- They are not able to speak to a person who can provide them the solutions exactly they are looking for
- Long waiting time
- Unhelpful and rude customer service representatives
- They are being passed around to multiple people in the process
- Lack of multi-channel support
Therefore, in this digital world, it’s not enough to sell your customers a product or service, you have to sell them convenience as well. Since every customer is unique and has different need, you need to understand what makes them tick. Ask your customer representatives to speak each of your customers in a way that make them feel appreciated. In order to deliver the best customer service experience, you must consider customer relationship management software. Fortunately, there are a variety of CRM systems available today that can help businesses to simplify and enhance their customer service experience.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
CRM software was originally designed and developed to help business owners build and maintain relationship with their customers while providing them excellent support. Over the time, CRM software has evolved from a simple contact management system into a robust tool that helps business owners manage sales, marketing, accounting, and other types of operational data in one place. The icing on the cake is that the CRM systems also help you build data driven business strategy that proves to be beneficial in building long-lasting relationship with your customers.
How to choose the best CRM system for your business?
There are dozens of customer relationship management systems available today, however you should choose one that suits your business needs. What’s good for an eCommerce business isn’t necessarily good for a professional service firm. Nobody knows your business better than you, so you know exactly what you want before selecting a CRM software for your business. However, here are some of the most important features you should consider while selecting a CRM system for your business:
a. Right Functionality
The best CRM for business is one that helps you solve your business challenges without creating undue complexity and cost. Therefore, choosing a CRM system combined with the right set of functionalities is one of the most critical factors in CRM purchase.
Pro Tip: Create a list of functions that you are looking in a CRM software, then make a list of CRM vendors and evaluate them if they can meet your needs.
b. Ease of Use
You should choose a CRM software that is easy to use and implement so that your team could easily adapt to it. Almost every CRM vendor proclaim that CRM system is intuitive and easy to use, but you should practically use them before making a final decision on buying. Investing in a CRM system that is difficult to use and learn is counter-productive.
Pro Tip: There are many vendors who provide free trials and demo versions that allow you to test their software for a set time period, starting from seven days to a month. This is a great way to check the software’s feasibility with your business.
c. Flexible and Scalable
As your business grow or you invest more in marketing activities to increase sale, you may require a lot more from the CRM system. Therefore, you should buy a CRM software that can be easily customized as per your requirements or integrate with apps that you need to manage your customer relationship management process.
Pro Tip: Almost every CRM system come with different plans that cater to different business sizes. So, when your business grows, you can upgrade plans to access more features.
d. Third-Party Integrations
To make your customer relationship process more efficient, you should choose a CRM that can be easily integrated with important applications like Outlook, Gmail, Dropbox, MailChimp, Google Drive or social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter without any hassle.
Pro Tip: There are many CRM systems such as HubSpot CRM, Salesforce and Agile CRM that you can seamlessly integrate with third party applications at Appy Pie Connect.
e. Remote or Mobile Access
Having a CRM system that offers remote or mobile access can add more to your customer relationship management strategy. While mobile apps may seem like a staple in many CRM solutions, there are some which don’t provide full access unless you upgrade to a premium version of its pricing plan. If you use mobile-accessible CRM platforms, you can manage your business while you’re on the go.
Pro Tip: Salesforce, Zoho CRM and HubSpot CRM are available on mobile.
The cost of CRM software in the market varies greatly. These are typically offered in a subscription-based pricing model. Pricing depends on a range of factors, including number of users and the types of features available. However, CRM vendors may promise you of ‘half-price’ or ‘free’ features, 24/7 support and so on. Instead of falling for these traps, you need to find out what benefits you want out of it. Once you’ve decided on features, you need to compare top-rated software and their alternatives that offer similar features.
Pro Tip: You need to compare top-rated software with others that offer similar capabilities.
g. Good support service
Believe it or not, you will face many challenges while implementing your CRM system. When you encounter glitches along the course of implementing a CRM system, you will require an expert who can help you in the process. Some CRM systems are offered with the limited support depending on the pricing plan you’re on. Therefore, you should choose a plan that give you the access to the care and support you need.
Pro Tip: Besides user manuals, there are some vendors who conduct webinars, product demos, and certain programs to learn about their software. Use them as much as you can to learn more about their products.
Now that you have a fair idea on what to look for in a CRM software, let’s take a look at the top 5 CRM software on the market.
Top 5 Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
1. Zoho CRM
Easy to implement and adopt, Zoho CRM is one of the most affordable CRM software options for small businesses. It offers users far more functionality than similarly priced products. It comes with the features you need to keep track of your contacts, leads, and deals, and turn that data into detailed reports. In addition to standard CRM features like contact and lead management, it also offers collaboration tools, custom reporting and third-party integrations. With Zoho CRM, you can easily break down key metrics relating to your sales trends, marketing campaigns, team performance, and more. Even its monthly Standard plan, users will receive email insights, workflow conversion, custom reports and dashboards, and more.
When it comes to managing your relationship with customers, Zoho CRM gives you options to track their social network accounts and check details of past email exchanges. Zoho CRM has a free limited version for 3 users containing CRM essentials like lead generation, documents, and mobile apps, making it an ideal option for small businesses. Zoho CRM also includes tools for managing inventory, integrating with a call center, and more. Furthermore, Zoho CRM seamlessly integrate with any of the other related Zoho products, as well as third party apps at Appy Pie Connect. Overall, if you’re looking for a low-cost or even free CRM software for your business, Zoho CRM is the best CRM on the market.
Salesforce is a full-featured CRM that allows users to track emails and meetings, manage lead opportunities, and accounts, create custom dashboards and reports, and delivers social and email support. It is intuitive, easy to use, and offers advanced tools and capabilities. Although, it is widely used by the larger or fast growing mid-sized businesses across the globe, Salesforce’s essential plan lets you take the advantage of full CRM tool at an affordable price. Salesforce Essentials CRM accommodates sales and customer support for up to 10 users. Its mobile app allows users to manage their projects and task when they are on the go.
With Appy Pie Connect, Salesforce can be your central storage point for all your data even if you use other apps and services to run your business. Appy Pie Connect allows users to connect their Salesforce CRM with other apps they use to manage their business. If you’re looking for a best in class CRM software with quality customer support, Salesforce is worth considering.
3. HubSpot CRM
Hubspot is a completely free CRM software that gives you access to unlimited users, data, and up to 1 million contacts, and free storage without any expiration date. It effectively organizes contacts and sales opportunity information, and effectively tracks customer interaction – whether they’re in an email, across social media, or on a call. HubSpot CRM is easy to navigate and includes exactly what you can expect from a professional CRM system. It has a separate window for communication, including writing notes and emails and making calls, task creation and log activity. One of the best features of HubSpot CRM is the contact filtering and view customization, which allows you to filter all contacts based on custom sets of criteria.
To get most out of your HubSpot CRM, you should integrate it with other applications you use for your business. Using Appy Pie Connect, you can connect your HubSpot CRM with over a hundred other applications, such as Gmail, Facebook Lead Ads, Microsoft Teams, Google Sheets, Gravity Forms, MailChimp, Wufoo, PayPal, Slack and many more, all without writing a single line of code.
4. Agile CRM
Agile CRM is an all-in-one CRM that integrates core functionalities of sales, marketing, service, and web engagement platforms on a single platform. It offers a broad set of features including project management, contact management, scheduling, sales and marketing automation, customer service, email tracking, landing pages, web analytics, two-way emails, and social media marketing. Besides its built-in features, Agile CRM supports a wide range of plugins, widgets, and API-powered integrations to place calls, import emails, and more to make your customer management process more efficient.
Depending on your specific business needs, Agile CRM can simply serve as a contact hub to give you easy access to customer contact information. Agile CRM integrates seamlessly with third party applications. With Appy Pie connect, you can integrate your Agile CRM with email, social, billing and support apps. Overall, if you’re looking for a one-stop-shop for contact management, Agile CRM is worth a try.
A sales-focused customer relationship management tool, Pipedrive enables businesses to streamline every action involved in converting a potential deal into a successful sale. With simple user interface and competitive pricing plans, it is highly suitable for small and mid-sized companies across the globe. By organizing leads, and prospects, it empowers you to take the right action at the right time. With Pipedrive, your business will always have an efficient and user-friendly overview of the sales pipeline. You can also follow the progress of your sales team members as well as deals offered to leads.
When it comes to reporting, Pipedrive has the capacity to store all conversations and relevant information in a centralized database, from where you can export it to other systems for detailed analysis. With Appy Pie Connect, you can create automated workflows between Pipedrive and other apps, such as MailChimp, Slack, Wunderlist, Trello, Twilio and more.
A CRM system is a critical tool for businesses that want to grow and scale. As you can see, there are numerous options to choose from. Ultimately, the CRM software that’s right for you will highly depend on your business’s needs and budget. However, you can increase the efficiency of any CRM tool by connecting it with other third-party apps, thus improving your customer experience strategy.