Saturday, July 5, 2014

Bagaimana CRM bisa membantu ?

Small business Q&A: How a customer relationship management system can help

Zack Zimmerman
Q. In a past article you mentioned SalesForce, but I was wondering what your opinion of an open-source package might be, like Opentaps, for example? Would an open source customer relationship management system be a better option and time saver than using MS Excel as a home-grown CRM? Omaha
A. The best customer relationship management service in the world is not going to solve an unclear marketing objective and an unspecific customer description. Before any CRM can be used effectively, a clear marketing plan can be extremely helpful. Who are your customers specifically? What would you like them to do in the sales process? What does your sales process look like? These are far more important questions to address before using a CRM.
Using a CRM is an affordable and simple way of assisting you in organizing your primary market. I personally would find it extremely difficult to actively approach a prospective customer if I didn’t know who they are, where they are located, what kind of interaction they have had with me in the past, and how my product or service can help them.
A customer relationship management service can help organize this information that will allow you, as the business owner, to have easy access to a complete history of a customer’s relationship with your business. This, in theory, can create a great sales opportunity for future business.
More specifically, I am not completely familiar with Opentaps as a CRM, but with advancements in technology, access to customer information is at an all-time high. This makes defining your business customer even more important regardless of what specific CRM you plan on using. Information about potential customers is rampant in the Internet age. Defining it, organizing it and referencing it can help tremendously in achieving your sales goals.
Q. What would be an example of using my email service to solicit future business? Omaha
A. I personally believe email should be used on a systematic basis to build a continuous communication stream to your customers. Just imagine if you took every business card you ever obtained and put it into a contact list using Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo email or whatever service you use. You may be surprised at the number of possible contacts and customers you accumulate.
Then, periodically you email this group about special offers, sales, product features or whatever. There are specific services that offer this type of program, but business owners could very easily perform these tasks themselves.
There have been studies on the frequency of these types of solicitations. Email customers too much, you run the risk of your business becoming annoying; email customers too little and they forget who you are. Studies have shown the ideal time frame seems to be about every three weeks. Since it seems most businesses operate on a calendar year, every month may be a good time frame for emailing your customers.
Collecting this information, then configuring a system to reach out to customers on a defined time frame can help secure future business. Please note: Allowing the recipient to opt out of future email contact is important and also needs to be included in your solicitations. But over a course of a business’s life, an email contact list that is used effectively can generate consistent sales results.
Q. I am a professional chef and want to open my own restaurant. What are some things I should be thinking about before starting? Lincoln
A. I personally believe restaurants are the single most difficult business to start and maintain. In my experience most restaurant entrepreneurs do not start with having clear expectations of the business’s demands. Here are some things to think about before starting your restaurant:
   » Do you want to be a chef or do you want to be a business owner? Many times restaurants are started by chefs who only want to cook. Well, what about the business demands? These individuals find themselves in the kitchen cooking the meals while the front of the restaurant is in chaos because the front staff does not know what to do, what to charge, how to act or how to create a pleasant experience for the customer, and the owner is too busy cooking! This is a very personal thing to decide, but it needs to be addressed. You are opening this restaurant with an expectation for your personal role. This role needs to be well-defined before opening.
   » Next, one of the reasons why a restaurant is so challenging is because it requires staff management from the onset. This restaurant is going to be less about your food and more about your management of people. I can make a wonderful hamburger, but I cannot make it for 20 people at one time. I would need assistance in serving, assisting and cashing out a customer. This requires management.
   » Finally, please check out your competition before opening your doors. In Lincoln, the new Pinnacle Arena has revitalized the Haymarket area, but it also has generated a number of new restaurants throughout the area. Knowing your restaurant’s niche and how it is different from other eating establishments will help you in the short and long terms.
Zack Zimmerman is the associate director of the Nebraska Business Development Center in Lincoln, an agency intended to help start, sustain and grow small businesses in Nebraska. If you have a question for Zack, email him


Post a Comment