There’s no doubt about it, customers are demanding… and every year they expect more – better prices, a better level of service, faster delivery … you name it they want it. But why? And how do you get ahead of their expectations? How do you increase the service while also improving your profit margins?
The answer to the two fundamental questions of why are customers more demanding, and how do I get ahead of the competition are essentially the same. The customers are ever more demanding because the competition (or another supplier in another market) is simply raising their expectations faster than you are meeting them… and the way you get ahead of the competition is by raising the standard faster than your competitors can keep up.
Easier said than done? Perhaps. But those who manage it can achieve huge success. If you can get over the bar, raise the standard and meet your customer’s needs much faster than the competition, then you will be significantly more profitable, gain a stronger brand and have significantly more free resource than others. Like other companies that understand the value of exceeding customer expectations (Virgin, BMW, Mercedes, Costa, Amazon for instance) you will find that staying ahead is actually a lot easier than you thought.
So, we’ve talked to customers and prospects from different industries to help share the best practice from one industry to another, and help our customers to concentrate on differentiating their telesales customer experience:
In the current climate, all teams need to focus on costs and efficiency – but none more so than telesales teams. So, what are the classic mistakes and unnecessary costs in telesales departments and telesales systems?
The reality is that Telesales is an expensive exercise… recruiting, managing and employing people is expensive! There’s no getting away from it. They are expensive but necessary – so it’s critical that we make the most of this expensive resource, and maximise their productivity. Later in this series we will look at the issues involved in replacing telesales activity with online and automated eCommerce (arguably an unstoppable trend), but for now, let’s assume that you can’t or don’t want to move all of your sales to online ordering and want to keep at least some element of your telesales.
So, how can we maximise the cost-effectiveness of our telesales activities…
Creating and managing a successful sales team is becoming more and more difficult. There is a fine balance to be had between mentoring and monitoring. Getting the most from a sales team depends on quality information and, much like selling itself, asking the right questions.
Most companies are either thinking of implementing, or are currently using a CRM system. Research shows that for those already using a CRM system, many have not realised the importance and potential benefits of integration with their back office accounting system.
Why? The simple answer to this question is that people underestimate the potential benefits of CRM, and often mistake CRM as a tool solely to manage contacts and documents. However without realising the importance of better CRM through accounts integration, many are not maximising their return on investment (ROI).
Our first CRM Best Practice blog explained that the right way to go about a CRM project is to forget about the detail to begin with and concentrate on the bigger picture.
Implementing a CRM system is not an easy to task to take on. Your initial questions should be based on what you are trying to achieve and why you are looking to invest the time and effort.
Even after you have implemented your system there needs to be some commitment to tweaking and adjusting it as your market and customer change. This process is inevitable as you continually evolve the customer-facing side of your business.
So, if there are some good reasons behind implementing a CRM system you can move forward in the right way.
How many times have we all heard about failed CRM projects? How many times in fact have we heard about failed, over-budget or under-performing IT Projects? Plenty I am sure! But for every failure there are tens or even hundreds of successful projects – whether we are talking CRM or anything else. So, as a potential CRM buyer or user, what is it that differentiates success from failure and how can we ensure that our CRM project delivers real, tangible business success?
If you currently have a Google Analytics account, you should have noticed that a new dashboard (like the one on the left) appeared earlier this week. While it all looks very grand, I actually think that you will want to go in and remove or edit a lot of the default reports that are spewed out at you.
Dashboards can of course be very useful (we’ve based our CRM product around one), but you also have to be careful about how much information you have on them, and what information you want to display. A good dashboard should:
Whatever software you are buying; be it CRM, eCommerce, web analytics or otherwise; there are normally a range of free or ‘open source’ alternatives being marketed to you. As a logical buyer making an investment in growing your business this raises the question – why go for a paid solution?
While open source solutions are free in terms of software cost, it is essential that you consider total cost of ownership of your solution; as given the time and technical expertise required to make a success of the project no software ends up being ‘free’!
Consider some of the following things that can add to total cost of ownership: