Staying organized is paramount to running a successful business, especially with multiple clients. Investing in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software program is one way to stay organized while building client relationships.
In its simplest form, a CRM program is similar to an online address book or an old-fashioned Rolodex that keeps your client’s information in one place. Basic info such as address, email, phone number, and birthday can be collected when they sign up for your services, and as you get to know them better, you can also ask for their family members’ names.
Many CRM programs have spaces for notes and next steps, such as follow-up phone calls or sessions, so at the beginning of each day, your CRM will provide an automated to-do list based on those next steps. If you have tried to keep all these details in your head or logged into your phone calendar, you’ll know that sometimes items get missed or forgotten, which can damage your credibility. Automating the to-do list process saves you time and embarrassment.
Adding a Personal Touch to Your Client Relationships
Building a client relationship also means building a friendship with that person. Yes, YOU are the business owner and the one with the expertise, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be friendly outside of business. Learn about their business or life; ask about their family; wish them a Happy Birthday or Happy Anniversary; ask questions about their latest vacation. Any little tidbit of personal information that comes up in your sessions, emails, or other conversations can be noted in your CRM program and added to your to-do list. A simple email with, “Welcome back from vacation! Let’s get your next session booked,” adds a personal touch to your relationship.
Have you ever considered sending birthday cards to your clients? If you gather that information during the client onboarding session, note it in your CRM program. Then, every week or every month, you can do a search for birthdays and send out the cards. Sending eCards is certainly simple, but also consider sending handwritten birthday cards with a simple message. That’s one way to stand out from the crowd since everyone’s email is jammed these days. I use a tool called Mailbox Power to send birthday cards automatically to my contacts, and it is SUCH a time saver!
What Else Can a CRM Program Do?
Very often, CRMs have an integrated email system so you can send individual or bulk messages instead of paying for a separate email provider. These email services also allow you to segment your clients based on what packages or products they purchased so you can run dedicated campaigns just to those people touting your latest products.
CRMs also offer ways to track leads so you can follow up with them regularly or send them emails specific to their needs. This is especially handy since you always want to gather people into your sales funnel, and you don’t want anyone falling through the cracks.
As you can see, CRM programs can handle various tasks that help keep your business organized. One note: dozens of CRM programs are available, so do your due diligence when researching. Pricing structures vary considerably, but also, in this day and age of high technology, choose a program from an established company that offers support and security updates.
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Meet Tracey Lee Davis, the brains behind ZingPop Social Media, a company that helps small business owners become online marketing rockstars! As a social media expert and Certified Partner for Constant Contact, Tracey Lee coaches entrepreneurs on utilizing social media and provides comprehensive management for their email marketing campaigns. Tracey Lee is a popular speaker at associations and business groups, and she's been awarded some pretty cool titles, like one of the Silicon Valley Business Journal's 2022 Silicon Valley Woman of Influence, Alignable's Local Business Person of the Year for San Jose (2018-2023), and a Top 25 U.S. Business Mentor of 2021. Plus, she's a Certified Content Marketing Strategist and the Co-Owner and Vice President of the Women's Networking Alliance. And let's not forget, she has a serious love affair with cheese, popcorn, and comic book movies!