The Next Big Thing for Small Businesses

For a small business, a CRM system may seem overcomplicated, expensive and unnecessary for your needs. For some, this may initially be true, but for all businesses regardless of size, it doesn’t stay true. Here are three reasons your small business needs a customer information system.

1. Your Customer Relationships are MORE important

People choose to patronize small businesses for one reason: personal attention. For example, I love to treat myself to ice cream from the local Penny Ice Creamery at the Farmer’s Market. Is the ice cream cheaper? You bet your  pants its not. Is it better? I suppose you could argue that it is, but I love a Ben & Jerry’s pint just as much. The draw is the service and the personal attention that I get. The scooper knows my name and allows me to sample everything on the menu before making a decision. Plus, he invites me to local events, like free ice cream fundraisers, and informs me when my favorite flavors will be back in rotation.

What happens when you are on the phone with a customer and there isn’t any information stored in your archaic customer Excel files? Nothing is more embarrassing for you–or deflating for your customer–than being forgotten. We all know the importance of customer experience, but as a small business, your forté needs to be providing the customer with an experience that makes them feel special and valued. A CRM helps you manage your relationships, remember customer preferences, track touch points, and customize marketing efforts in their direction.

2. You already needed it, yesterday

There comes a point when all the information just mentioned begins to spill out of your brain. According to Robin Dunbar, you can only have meaningful relationships with about 150 people. If you subtract your family, friends and Facebook friends, how many are you left with? It is probably safe to say that this number is less than the number you want your customer base to be.

What happens when you hit the point when your business does need a CRM? Bad news. Once you realize you need one, its too late; you’ve been missing out on volumes of valuable data. Small businesses, more than any others, need to take advantage of each and every one of their opportunities. A CRM system can help you nurture leads and prevent you from losing warm leads that are not currently in the position to buy. Instead, keep in contact with leads through drip marketing, set up reminders to periodically check in and stay at the front of their mind, so when they are ready to make a purchase, they have a distinct reason for reaching out to you. A CRM system prevents the loss of valuable information and does the work of upkeep for you. There isn’t a distinct mile marker that notifies you when you need to start tracking customer information in an organized manner, because every bit of information matters, right from your first customer interaction.

3. You can afford it

If you had access to the tools that the industry giants are using, wouldn’t you take advantage? For example, X2CRM provides the functionality of the CRM giants, but for a price that caters to small businesses. Get started today, your customers will thank you for it and so will your accountant. Successful small businesses aren’t those with 20/20 hindsight; they are those with 20/20 foresight.

Kathy Eckel