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How to use CRM for more effective account management
How to use CRM for more effective account management
Customer relationship management and client account management aren’t one and the same – but if you created a Venn diagram of their goals and strategies, you’d see significant overlap.
For this reason, CRM software can be instrumental in nurturing key client accounts – whether that’s providing customers with better service and support or finding opportunities to increase their consumption of a product or service.
First things first, what is account management?
Client account management focuses on the long-term relationship between your customers and your business. How that looks depends on your business – account management for a healthcare company would differ significantly compared to media and publishing, for example.
Here’s how our sales director Jamie Horastead describes good account management:
“It’s the practice of providing customers with service, support and opportunities to increase their consumption of a product or service and maximise retention, cross-sell and upsell opportunities within the customer base”
Account management might have a dedicated team, or it could be an umbrella term for functions carried out by many arms of your business, including the sales team, engagement team, marketing team, and support team. Every department has its own key performance indicators aimed at improving the customer experience.
Whether you have a dedicated task force for nurturing client accounts or use an interdisciplinary approach, CRM can make your mission more efficient by providing a 360-degree view of your customer.
What makes effective account management?
Nurturing client relationships, like any expenditure of time, money and resources, should have a solid return on investment. Otherwise, you’d hire a fleet of the UK’s friendliest representatives and have them take every one of your customers for tea and scones.
Instead, CRM helps you flag which accounts need your attention – so that you can wisely deploy your resources.
Managing accounts effectively is two-fold. It rests heavily on not only what you know about your customer, but what you do with that knowledge. Rather than collecting and analysing as much data as is computationally possible, you need to focus on the most valuable metrics and use them to target accounts.
To manage accounts more effectively, you need to understand:
Customer goals, interests and specialisms
How your customers operate
What product or service is best suited to them
It should all come together to inform timely, helpful and need-based communication with your customers. It’s about building trust – they should feel that you are working for them, not just selling them the latest and greatest widget.
How can CRM help?
CRM gives you the edge in account management by helping you provide better service. Here is a sample of some of the helpful data CRM gives you access to:
Product splits – what they’ve purchased and, more importantly, what they haven’t
A single platform to track activities past and present (calls, meetings, events attended, etc.)
An overview of quotes, orders, invoices and credit notes
Support cases or complaints
Campaigns your customer enrolled in
Contract renewal management tools
For B2B, a single overview of all people in your customer’s organisation and their roles
The most important thing is selecting your CRM reports to give you and your team actionable insights.
Without further ado, let’s look at five of the best CRM reports for managing client accounts.
Top five CRM reports for managing client accounts
1. Activity tracking
As your business grows, it’s not enough to rely on diaries, spreadsheets and the organisational skills of your representatives. You need a single, centralised record of all activities – past, present and potential.
Tracking your interactions with customers is critical for consistent communication – the cornerstone of client management. Having an instant overview of the status and priority of all your customer activities in real-time drives a methodical, organised and timely approach to communication. No more lax follow-ups and mixed messages.
2. Digital footprints
Digital footprinting is a CRM tool that allows you to track where your customers navigate on your website. You can drill down into individual customers and map out their interests.
This is a goldmine of information. Of course, you could use it alongside their product purchase history to simply identify selling opportunities – or it could help you personalise the content you send them based on their interests.
3. Product splits
Managing existing customer accounts isn’t just about keeping the customers you’ve got – ideally, you’ll grow your accounts too. Product splits give you an overview of your customer’s purchase history so you can keep your eyes on the horizon.
Once you’ve identified potential for cross-sell or up-sell, you can initiate targeted campaigns to engage customers. This is far more effective than rolling all your marketing out to all your customers – which could see you labelled as a spammer, leading to unsubscribes and attrition of trust.
4. Order workflow
Order workflows allow you to streamline and even automate sales motions. You reduce admin on your side and make it easy for your customers to renew. Not every process needs human-to-human interaction, and the busy schedules of your customers mean that smooth CX goes a long way. Where favourable, use your CRM to automate recurring activities that can be completed by customers in a matter of clicks.
5. CSAT scores
A good experience isn’t always enough to keep a customer – but a bad experience is often all it takes to lose them. Ideally, you will measure CSAT scores across different touchpoints in the customer journey, so you can track how they change over time and identify weak spots in your service delivery.
Well-selected CRM reports keep you on the pulse of your client accounts, so you can ensure they stay healthy. The right suite of metrics will flag up action points and let you take a deeper dive into key accounts at critical moments. As part of a defined account management strategy, these measures are invaluable when it comes to providing value and keeping your customers happy.