Key warning signs your really don’t know your customer!


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Now let’s be real here and take a bigger perspective of your company’s  knowledge of its customers.  

We often find that when my firm reviews how a prospective CRM client has been using their CRM system, there are key gaps in the knowledge of the customer and the operational processes they follow.

This makes it much harder and time consuming for the marketing person, the sales team and the customer service representatives to do their job effectively.  Yes, we all get busy but a disiplined effort needs to be applied for keeping your customer information clean, accurate and fine tuned.  Yes, operational processes  can be optimized.  Yes, newer CRM systems like Infor CRM and Swiftpage Act! provide more efficient ways to add and update information on the fly using  mobile phones and tablets.

Does the information in your CRM system show a clear picture of who your customers really are and how they behave?

These are also signs that a well-used CRM system is NOT in place

  • You can’t find emails because too few contacts are clearly identified at your customers.  You should at least have full contacting information about them so the sales team and marketing are effective. Many times you’ll need to have 2 – 4 email addresses for each contact.
  • You don’t have a solid clue how they became a customer.  What is their lead source?  Was it a specific marketing campaign, a trade show attendee, a referral from another key person?
  • You don’t know the effort it took to convert them from a lead to a true customer.  How many days did each customer take from the time they became a qualified lead to becoming a new buyer?
  • You don’t know the dollar value of each customer for the last several years of sales.  Have they been trending up, flat or down?  Under each customer account should be a tab listing the invoiced transactions or a products/services that have been previously purchased.
  • How long has it been since a customer has had a new purchase?  Is any given customer or segment of customers taking longer for a renewed purchase?  Your CRM should be providing these trends if your business is based on reoccuring revenue from your customer base.
  • Take a Time perspective approach:
    • How many days to convert a qualified lead to a new customer
    • How many days do your best customer return with a purchase
    • How many days has it been since someone had a meaningful conversation with your best customers?
    • How many days are you ‘touching’ your prospects and customers with meaningful educational content and not just me first content?
    • How long does it take from recognition of a service or support issue till it is resolved?
  • You are ranking your customers right?  Do all of the “A” customer have more than 2 contacts in your CRM system and do you have more than one person in your company in regular contact with them?
  • Referrals are a great source of new customers without the huge costs of new customer acquisition. Identify your best referral sources in your CRM so you can then associate a new customer to a referral customer or strategic alliance partner.
  • Which customers would actually recommend your business to a trusted business friend?  Who are useful reference customers?
  • Take a percentage perspective approach:
    • What percent of raw leads convert to qualified leads?
    • What percent of qualified leads have valid sales opportunities but have not purchased yet?
    • What percent of qualified leads do become customers?  If this trend getting better or worse?
    • What percent of sales opportunities are Closed as Won?
    • What percent of sales opportunities are Closed as Lost and to what main competitors?
    • What percent of your customers fall in the “A” group, the “B” group and the “D” group?
    • What percent of current customers leave and are not retained?
  • Which customers are having service or support issues?  What trends does your CRM system lead you to change or refine?  Are certain issues reoccurring or certain customer having continuing issues? 
  • Look at your contact list and determine the roles and responsibilities of your key contacts.  Do you have the right people in the right positions known well?  Who is an influencer or a decision maker?
    • Get more personal – have a key ‘trivia note’ field for each contact record that is easily visible on the main contact screen.  
    • Ideally your contact record will also show their Interests like dinning, movies, sports
    • Identify the spouse and children
    • What else can you identify about a person that needs to be in your adaptable CRM system?
  • How do your contacts want to be contacted?  Is their preference email, phone or face to face? Your marketing person loves to know this.
  • Which contacts are receiving your monthly company electronic newsletter?  Which ones are opening the emails, who is looking at specific content and who has unsubscribed?  


Which of these are most important to your business?

I’d really like to hear your feedback.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Dick Wooden
CRM specialist to help you get the answers you need with sales, service, and marketing CRM software. I help mid-sized businesses select, implement and optimize CRM so that it works the way their business needs to work. My firm is focused on client success with remarkable customer experience, effective marketing and profitable sales using CRM strategy and tools.


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