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Servicing Customers Socially

The Magic of Social CRM Overwhelms the Financial Sector

banking

There are plenty of reasons for financial businesses to be excited about CRM in the financial sector right now. After all, without these advancements, retaining customers on a massive scale would be quite nearly an impossible task. So how are CRM advancements shaping the finance sector, and what can we expect from the future of CRM in finance? What are some of the problems in the CRM-finance world, and what can any industry take away from these missteps?

Put the C Back in CRM

As the old adage goes, the customer comes first. It’s the first word in the acronym and it’s the most important aspect of a CRM program. The problem is that some companies (and even some of the programs designed to help them) spend far too much time focusing on what they can do for the business and not what they can do for the customer. This is not to say that it is unimportant to consider how a business goes about providing the best possible service to their customers, but instead that too much focus on that aspect of customer service can have negative consequences.

Once you get into the area of manipulating consumers (often with language, but also with poor focus) in order to get more out of them, relationship management has become more about control and less about service. More time spent determining how to best communicate with people is less time spent actually communicating with them. CRM and the technology surrounding the concept isn’t intended to make the process more difficult or cumbersome, it’s intended to make everything function smoothly. It’s time to talk about how a modern financial business can use CRM to truly improve their services before their customers go elsewhere.

Deliver an Excellent Experience

In order to make the best use of a CRM program and implement strong customer relations, it will be important for businesses to determine how to give their customers a good experience. When it comes to finances, it can be very important to make quick contact with a customer, and there are many different factors to consider.

What do they need to see?

Don’t just give your customers what they want, give them what they need. By studying your customer base and determining how they use financial services, you can begin to discover which services your competitors are neglecting to provide and capitalize on that by setting your business apart from the crowd.

How can you reach them?

Once again, through intense study of your customer base, you can determine information such as this about your clientele and use that to your advantage. If they are more likely to prefer a phone call instead of an e-mail, take this into consideration when deciding how to contact them. If they’re more likely to be receptive to a response on social media, this will also be important to consider.

How can we improve their service?

Take a look at what has been successful for your company and try to figure out why your customers come to you for their financial needs. Here’s a hint: It’s not your company motto, although you may believe in the message that it sends. Through careful examination of your success, you can start to see what people do and do not like about your services. There will more than likely be areas where improvement is needed, but don’t forget to keep providing the service that keeps people coming back while improving other areas of your business.

These are only a few examples of different questions that a business in the financial sector should be asking themselves when working on their CRM. A Customer Relationship Management program can help to manage a lot of these tasks, but it doesn’t work like magic. The technology exists to help form a better connection with customers, not to make life easier for those in customer service.

Focus on the Customer Experience

The problem with spending too much time figuring out how a company will use a CRM program to make customer relations more efficient is that it often pulls the focus away from the customer. Instead of asking how the customer uses financial services or how they would like to approach their finances, you might find a financial business asking how their employees approach customers and how they can provide the best service. Such an approach can make a company blind to the actual experiences of their customer base, which can lead to disaster if they are not careful.

Instead of working from within the organization and moving outward, it’s time for modern businesses take a look at how their business functions from an outside perspective. This is the primary means by which a customer will communicate with a business and use its services, so it will be important to streamline this process and make it as simple and useful as possible. Sometimes it’s hard to get that done if it’s been a while since you actually experienced the manner in which your customers interact with you.

CRM is still incredibly important, but it’s time to change how it is viewed in business and how we interact with the technology that has been built up around the Customer Relationship Management experience. Hopefully the future of CRM in this industry will be more focused on the customer experience and less focused on how things function behind the scenes.

Who knows? Perhaps the technology of CRM programs will even advance to the point where social media allows financial institutions to establish a constant connection with their customers, keeping them informed at all times. Heck, we’re already reaching the point where the simple press of a button can instantly inform us of our finances. The process is becoming quite streamlined, but as always, there are still areas that need improvement. That being said, the future looks bright for CRM in the financial industry!

About the Author: Dave Landry Jr. is a financial consultant for several small businesses. Dave is also passionate about finding and perfecting new customer service strategies, which is when he turns to Simplify360 for ideas. He hopes you enjoy this article.”