What are CRMs and how should you use them?

A CRM allows for a variety of ways for you to engage with customers in a variety of ways. What exactly is a CRM?

Customer relationship management, or CRM for short helps companies stay connected to their customers and streamline processes in order to improve profitability. A CRM system can be beneficial because it can be used to improve business relationships with clients by making sure that all interactions are managed efficiently.

When people talk about CRM, they’re usually referring to a tool that helps with contact management and sales. However these days it can be used for managing customer relationships in areas like marketing, sales, digital commerce, and customer service interactions.

What kind of CRMs are there?

There are a variety of CRMs available to a small business, so which one is right for you? A commonly used CRM is Mailchimp. Mailchimp allows you to send out mass emails to people on your email lists, segmenting them as you see fit. It also has automation functionality, enabling you to set up certain processes on auto-pilot, such as checkout notifications or abandoned cart reminders. Best of all, MailChimp is free to use up until your contact list reaches a certain amount.

Another commonly used CRM is Active Campaign. Active Campaign is a good choice if you want to get very technical with your customer relations. It features automation functionality (however it’s significantly more expensive than Mailchimp) audience segmentation, email customization, customer stage displays, etc. etc. Active Campaign does cost to use however, and is more for those businesses that already have a lot of contacts, or want to do very specific things with customer management.

Overall, most businesses with plans to grow out will eventually need to utilize a CRM of some kind and this is for two reasons. The first is that the ability to communicate with your customers on a mass scale is a valuable tool for communicating deals, encouraging customer loyalty, and ensuring brand consistency when interacting with your clients.

The second reason is the ability to automate tasks can significantly cut down the time it takes to do busy work, like sending out hundreds of emails to hundreds of people. Time is often something that we are running out off, so why not take every chance you can to get some back?