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Getting Started With Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software

Diagram showing customer relation management process

More than one in five UK consumers buy products online. Whether your retail brand has used eCommerce to generate more revenue but has never invested in CRM technology, or you're thinking of 'going online,' a quality system can elevate your marketing efforts to generate a higher return on investment (ROI).

What is CRM?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. As complex and technical as this may sound, it hides an almost simple concept of managing interactions with prospective and existing customers during the sales process. In their most basic form, they are customer database management systems.

Technically, any business strategy that relies on customer data to establish and improve customer relationships counts as 'CRM'. However, it has grown to be almost synonymous with specifically designed CRM software and related technologies.

What does CRM software do?

Image of person symbols representing a customer group

CRM software helps to keep all of your customer information in one place. This is particularly helpful if you have multiple people in your customer service team. This way, when a customer gets in touch about an issue or request, all historic communications will be available for your sales and customer service team to catch up on. This can help resolve issues quickly before they become problems that lead to customer dissatisfaction.

You can also use historic logs within your CRM system to improve business processes and create a better customer experience in general.

Finally, tracking customer behaviour on your website or app can help you make more accurate recommendations to your shoppers, helping to maintain customer retention and loyalty.

These are just a few ways your marketing and sales team can use CRM software. Below, we've highlighted three CRM strategies that you can hone in on for even better results.

How CRM solutions can benefit your marketing strategy

Diagram of a marketing strategy using CRM

Creating a Customer Relationship Management strategy is a fantastic way to improve the sales, marketing and customer support that a business offers. Here are some of the ways CRM strategies and CRM systems can support your marketing efforts.

1) 'Mini CRM campaigns'

CRM platforms store an enormous amount of information, including:

  • Customer profiles,
  • Customer behaviour,
  • Data on your sales pipeline
  • Sales cycle information,
  • Customer satisfaction levels,
  • Growth opportunities,
  • Internal process tracking,

and more.

This can be pretty overwhelming, especially if this is the first time your brand is leveraging the power of CRM tools.

Rather than use your CRM to create an overall business strategy, take a scaled-back approach. Consider combining transactional data with external signals to pinpoint big events in a customer’s life that impact on purchasing behaviour.

This could be segmenting customers who are moving home, having a baby or retiring, for example. These big events extend over many months, from initial planning, to the ‘event’ itself and beyond, creating distinct customer needs and lifecycles.

By starting with one and understanding what life event someone is in the midst of, it is possible to understand the context and timing of their consumer decisions and respond appropriately.

It’s not CRM as we know it, but this approach creates the kind of “marketing in the moment” that CRM provides – albeit for a shorter time period.

2) Find specific CRM data that will really move the needle

Once you've utilised your CRM database to focus on one target customer segment, analyse the data across all customer touchpoints within that segment to identify what attributes actually make a difference in consumer conversations.

Once you know what has the strongest influence, you can build marketing strategies that focus on the human touch to help achieve your revenue goals.

For instance, if you're targeting potential customers who have just moved, these customers may care much more about swift delivery than if they were still in the 'moving soon' phase.

You can use this information to incorporate 'swift delivery' as a Unique Selling Point (USP) into your marketing campaigns. If you're selling goods that require some assembly, offering this as an additional service could also result in a rise in uptake.

3) Put your CRM system 'on the board'
Man presenting data on CRM using a flip chart board

Ensuring that everybody on your business board knows about and can use your CRM solution will make a tangible difference. Our Commercial Director, Nick McConnell, explains why this is such an important step when investing in a marketing CRM platform:

"Few boards have anyone appointed to represent the customer, and yet surely this role should be essential for consumer-facing organisations? Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) go part way to filling this position. However, with research showing that their average tenure is 18 months, they typically direct their time towards short-term issues and brand building, rather than long-term customer relationship building. CRM is therefore often a footnote rather than a focus. By incorporating it into your board meetings, the positive influence it has will far outweigh the tenure of other team members."

These may feel like simple actions but could have a considerable impact. When creating a CRM strategy for the first time, it's important not to overwhelm yourself or attempt to implement multiple campaigns at once.

Focusing on one customer segment first and leveraging as much revenue as possible from that will undoubtedly work better than attempting multiple diluted strategies simultaneously.

The power of homemover data and the right CRM software

In 2022, house moves accounted for £29 billion worth of retail sales transactions. Combining our property insights and intelligence and multi-channel marketing with your CRM tool can help you build an even better picture of your customer journeys, create more accurate and targeted marketing campaigns and elevate your revenue and profit.

For more information about TwentyCi's property and homemover data provision and insight solution, or any of our other services, please call 01908 829300 or email