Shore Blog

What is a CRM and Why is it Important for Small Businesses?

crm for your business, from shore

“Dear Caller, our opening hours are Monday to Friday from 8am - 6pm, beep“

... and you're on hold. More often then not, this is the reality for full time employees who try to book an appointment with their local hairdresser or GP. Work schedules often overlap with opening hours of small service providers. The result? Annoyed (potential) customers, who have the choice between switching to larger competitors, with flexible opening hours, or spending their lunch on the phone. Put in their shoes, which option would you choose?

Most likely, not skipping your well desvered break in the middle of the day, right? Hence, it's not only the customers who have a problem. Time and time again promising leads are fizzled out because no direct contact is available. Today we show you how a CRM can help you tackle these problems once and for all. 

Due to limited time and resources, it´s recommendable to use a CRM-System

What is a CRM?

But first things first: what is a CRM anyhow? CRM is the abbreviation for Customer relationship management software. It provides the ability to manage customer data effectively. The software detects characteristics of your customers systematically. Using the information obtained, customers can be segmented into groups, which help you address specific issues on a personal level. 

 

crm for your business, from shore

The monitored buying behavior of identified customer segments gives you the ability to respond to specific needs. If, for example, a customer needs a haircut every two months the hairdresser can react proactively with customized offers.

 

“You do not have the resources to serve your customer on a personal level?

Don´t worry. CRM systems can use automated processes.”

 

These settings, once put in place, can automatically react to certain pre-defined behaviors of your customers, lifting the workload off your shoulders.

 

Digitalization as an enrichment

Many small businesses still remain sceptical towards digitization.  This reluctance is increased by lower budget and fewer resources of SMEs, compared to larger competitors. As a result small businesses lack both the expertise and the openness towards the use of online communication tools that go beyond a traditional website.

 

 

The problem? Your customers are already there. It´s more and more common that customers inform themselves online about a brand or a product, prior to their purchasing decision. The same applies to the use of online delivery services and reservations for admissions or even restaurant visits. If your business is not online, you will be overlooked or, even worse, perceived as inaccessible. Customers want, at any time of the day, to have the opportunity to learn about your business. The smartphone has this trend accelerated. Companies that do not adapt are guaranteed to miss out on potential customers.

Click to find out more about Shore's CRM integration, including all the features, perfect for your business.

Shore: Customer Management

 

How to implement a CRM effectively

Convinced but no idea how to begin? Worried about your resource management? No time to train your employees on the new software?  At the end of the day there is still the good old paper calendar, which is guaranteed to have no technical failures. However, below are the advantages of making the faithful leap to digital.

 

"A CRM solution can be of great value, also for the smallest enterprises."

 

1. Access to customer data: anytime, anywhere

The storage of all customer information in one location enables you to access the desired data, and to share them with business partners at anytime. Customer data is not at hand, because you have unexpectedly fallen sick and remain at home? After the introduction of a CRM system, these problems belong in the past.

2. Personalized Communication 

By collecting and segmentation data, you can analyze the purchasing behavior of your customers individually and react to it. When does Mrs. Smith need a new tint or the car of Mr. Thomson needs new winter tires? Is it time to remind Mr. and Mrs. Jackson about the annual flu shot for their daughter? Or is it time to raise attention to Mrs. Peters for the Christmas season offers at your nail salon? How many days / weeks in advance do these topics need to be addressed and which media should be used for communication?

 

With a CRM system, you can accurately answer these questions and respond timely. Be the first service provider who comes into contact with your potential customers once the opportunity arises. Better still, you are not required to pick up the phone and call. An integrated email marketing system (or SMS messaging system) performs this task for you, so you just have to wait for the booking.

 

3. More than an average CRM

Besides the advantages mentioned, which provides a CRM solution for small business owners, there are additional custom features that can support your daily business. In particular an online booking system.

This function is the answer to the above problem that the business hours of small businesses are often congruent with the working hours of potential customers. The answer is not to hire more staff, but make better use of the resources available to coordinate more effectively. Check out the example below: 

Appointment Management: anywhere, anytime

 

The short video illustrates the advantages and possibilities of online appointment booking. For you as an entrepreneur and for your customers.

Conclusion

Shore´s CRM enables you to answer customer queries 24/7, without sacrificing your well-deserved free time. Your customers can check opening hours, book and change appointments. You, as the service-provider, get notifications of these changes in real time, so you can plan your working hours accordingly. Reduce the number of cancelled appointments and use the free time slots to maximize your turnover.

Try us, it´s free ! 

Any questions?

Theme: CRM

About me

Hanna Oeljeschläger
Hanna Oeljeschläger

Hauptberufliche Content Marketing Managerin, mit einer Leidenschaft für kreatives Schreiben/ Texten, Advertising und Soc...Read more