Take a moment and look around your office. Consider your employees and all the knowledge each person has in his or her noggin. Really look. (Go ahead. We'll wait.)
Now think about what would happen if one of these people walked out today and never returned. Or if another decided to take all the vacation time she had coming and left for a month. Or if the VP of Sales decided it was time to retire...in six weeks. What would happen to all their knowledge, specifically the knowledge they have about their day-to-day jobs, your company, the industry, and how to un-jam the copy machine on a Friday afternoon when no one is around?
Remember, knowledge is a company asset, one that's no different from other assets, like patents and computers. How do you make sure this asset remains with the company, even after the "holder" of this knowledge is gone? And how do you make sure everyone in the organization has access to the wealth of knowledge that resides within your organization, thanks to your talented employees?
Don't panic if you don't have the answer. That's why we're here: to show you how the best CRM software can help with knowledge sharing. Let's get to it.
The best CRM software...
1. Lets you loop in experts with the click of a mouse.
What's the point of having knowledge experts in your company if you can't easily tap into their knowledge when you need it? With a flexible, nimble CRM, you should be able to loop people into your tickets or projects (cases and spaces are what we call them at Fanhub).
For example, let's say a client reaches customer service and has a technical question about your product. Instead of going down the voice mail or email rabbit hole hoping to reach the right person, the customer service rep would simply loop the “IT first responders team” onto the customer thread within the CRM itself. The first person from IT who sees the thread can respond. No muss, no fuss, no time wasted waiting to hear back from someone.
In essence, your CRM is now acting as a conduit between employees—a conduit where valuable information freely flows.
2. Allows you to customize everything according to your company's way of doing business.
Quality CRMs give you control. You'll be able to customize everything, including field names, lead lifecycle stages, and so forth. This can prove especially beneficial with new hires. Instead of training them on your organization's lingo, your CRM does it for you. Once they have a couple of days to familiarize themselves with the CRM, they'll understand not only the jargon that's relevant to your organization, but also the way your company interacts with leads and customers directly—and how customer issues are resolved internally.
3. Houses leads and customer data in one accessible place.
Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to leads and customers. When everyone within the organization commits to using a CRM, it becomes a powerful knowledge arsenal, one that your employees can access anytime and anywhere they have an Internet connection. No more sticky notes with chicken scratches from today's sales call. No more manila folders and endless file cabinets that are only accessible in person during office hours.
4. Allows employees to pick up midstream without missing a beat.
Because all customer-related information resides in one central place, it's easy for someone to join a customer record midstream, pick up the paddle, and keep on going down the river (we're all about analogies around here).
So if someone calls out sick, if someone retires, if someone goes on maternity or paternity leave (and so forth), other folks can pick up right where that person left off. Internally, the knowledge sharing is transparent—one person can join a record and see where things stand and what needs to happen next. Yet this process is invisible to the customer. All the customer knows is that your organization is always on top of things no matter who is working on her account. That's the power of a quality CRM.
5. Provides employees a blueprint for effective customer interactions.
Let's face it: customers often contact you with the same needs, comments, complaints, issues, etc. By having all customer information—and interactions—in one place, your employees don't need to reinvent the wheel. Certain verbiage could become standard for dealing with specific problems. For example, the way Joe responded to customer X about a technical issue was perfect. Other employees could use that response again and again instead of drafting a new response from scratch. Talk about efficient!
6. Helps you spot potential trends and issues.
We're veering away from the typical uses, but there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to learn from all the data your CRM houses.
Let's say your marketing person is keeping her eye on the leads as they come in. She notices that an unusually high percentage of these leads seem to stall after the "second touch" the sales person makes. No, this knowledge doesn't solve the issue, but it reveals that there might indeed be an issue. Now the marketing person can be proactive and start thinking about what she and her team members need to do to help move these stalled leads down the sales funnel with the sales team.
Remember, your employees' collective knowledge is one of your company's most important assets. Nurture it, protect it, and consider using the best CRM software to help.
In a few days, we're going to show you how Fanhub can help with all of your knowledge sharing needs. Stay tuned.
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