Building and maintaining customer relationships consists of two primary functions: communication and follow-through. Relationships will never be maintained without these two functions, much less improved.
Communication is the foundation of any relationship. It is how we share information, build trust, and resolve problems. Phone calls, meetings (face-to-face or online), and emails are the primary ways we communicate with customers. Without a clear exchange of information, relationships will not exist, agreements will not be reached, and trust will not be earned.
Follow-through is another essential function of customer relationships. When promises are made, customers must know you will keep your commitments. Businesses can only build customer trust and loyalty by keeping commitments consistently and efficiently.
Understanding this will make the difference between the success and failure of your CRM implementation. Most executives invest in a CRM tool, like Salesforce.com, to improve the visibility of their pipeline and give a 360-degree view of their customers. They need to remember the following:
The core of any CRM is leveraging the tool to build relationships through communication and follow-through.
When your system is designed to make capturing all customer communications (including taking notes) easy and set up reminders to meet your commitments, you and your team will be successful!
By understanding the core functionality of a Customer Relationship Management system, you can gain CRM adoption and build and maintain strong customer relationships that will benefit your business in the long run.