CRM AutomationIn an ideal world, business transactions would only take one click to accept, process, update and deliver goods. The world of automation is coming pretty close to this ideal because of new software, although, as of now, it takes more than one click to do all that. The best you can hope for is to have a CRM tool that will genuinely be customer-centered. Studies show that up to 14% of new businesses fail because of poor Customer Relationship Management (CRM) which is equivalent to more than 5,400 new startups of the estimated 37,488 new companies being launched every year in the US alone.

To be customer-centered, you can start by making all interactions with consumers efficient. This can be achieved by getting the best CRM software in the market that meets your needs. The quickest way to be rejected by consumers is to frustrate them with inadequate service and incomplete answers; making them wait unnecessarily or putting them through the wringer for a simple order that should typically take a few minutes to complete.

But wait! It should never stop there! A satisfied customer is excellent but if you want insurance for repeat orders and positive word-of-mouth referrals, you should make an effort to go beyond the sale.

An efficient and reliable CRM software will provide you with the perfect customer support that goes beyond the sale. This software which you should hunt down (Insider Tip: it’s not that hard to find!) can:

  • Send personalized birthday and holiday greetings to previous and current customers and subscribers
  • Forward latest sales and discounts to customers and subscribers’ emails
  • Respond to site visits and inquiries on a personal level

Be personally amiable without stepping over the boundaries. A great CRM software will be able to provide details on the profiles of your web visitors, subscribers, and customers; but as the business owner, you cannot send emails revealing all that you know about them. That would be creepy and freak out the email recipients! However, you can create email messages and social media posts that would peak their interest and be enticing for them to revisit.

This 2017, automation was the byword for most successful businesses. The use of email blasts and social media made it possible for marketing teams to focus more on strategy and creative planning. Instead of paper pushing and running around playing catch up with sales and executive decisions, marketing and sales teams were able to stay a step or two ahead, giving them more time to respond and react to customer experience and interactions.

With the right CRM, you get to kick off multiple tasks with a few clicks of the mouse, manage connections, and stay organized and focus.

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Business Man with Gear and Ipad

Technology has changed the way we work, study, and socialize. However, although technology is evolving all the time, it requires additional investment on the part of business owners to stay up-to-date. Here is where you find the point of hesitation amongst businesses as they try to decipher and decode how to transition seamlessly to new technology without upsetting the balance and the customer.

In 2017, CRM was able to generate revenues of up to $36 billion based on a study by US research firm, Gartner. Companies need to keep their Customer Relationship Management strategy relevant and fluid because it directly affects customer experience and patronage. Since we live in the age of automation, capital efficiency, and global competition, a huge chunk of good CRM must focus on customer engagement and optimization.

This winning formula works best with efficient processes which can best be achieved with the right choice of CRM technology. For example, if you sell online, your CRM should have analytics, mobile tech, and machine learning features. These features will enable your program to act without further programming and reach out to the people in a way that is most effective. If your business relies on repeat transactions, your CRM should include a loyalty rewards program and focus on enhanced value as a loyal member.

CRM technology spans the entire spectrum in the business world. If you’re a start-up, there’s a CRM technology that will work better with your kind of organizational set-up. If you’re a medium-sized business on the verge of exploding into the multinational arena with international offices, you will also find a CRM support system to meet your needs.

The technology is there. Often the problem is in the implementation and transition. It is during this phase that a business can lose its valuable customers to competitors. Here’s how you can prevent customer churn.

Train in Batches and Implement in Stages

You need to create a core group that will lead the transition and be represented in every department or division within your company. Full implementation of new technology should only take place after several dry runs and simulation of all potential problems. Employees who stand and speak on behalf of the company should have a script but be capable of diverting from the script without straying from company policy to avoid appearing robotic and uncaring.

Predictive Technology

According to Gallup, as of March 2017, 59% of customers from a study base of 13,000, reports having a recent problem as a customer. More importantly, the issues were not resolved to the customer’s satisfaction. Predictive technology will help you estimate churn rates not just for customers but also to monitor high-value employees.

Customer Journey Mapping

Should you map experience or journey? It does not have to be a choice. In fact, experience helps map the journey and determine the moment of truth when customers decide to buy or opt out and reveal any gaps in your operation.

CRM is a sophisticated strategy and covers more than just these three tips. For a more extensive and personalized approach, contact us for a one-on-one consultation. The best CRM is your CRM, and we at Planned Growth can customize one specifically for your needs.

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Customer Relationship Management or CRM is one of the most effective ways for businesses to connect with the consumer. Online CRM is the digital bridge between Internet users and businesses; questions can be answers, orders can be streamlined, and the information is exchanged on a more personal level. CRM has been around for over 20 years, but it has grown to a level of maturity that makes it impossible for a business manager to ignore.

Technology today demands that businesses make themselves available across multiple devices also known as the Internet of Things (IoT). CRM in 2018 is going to be at the very heart of IoT through analytics, cloud computing, social media, and mobile communications.

Online CRM will empower businesses in the following ways:

  • Collect real-time data on consumers and the market
  • Understand customer behavior
  • Pinpoint location of customers
  • Determine consumer needs and patterns

In other words, using an efficient and reliable CRM system will allow you to optimize your marketing strategies, have more profound customer data insights, and reduce dropped web visitors and inquiries by a considerable margin. In addition, you will be able to manage inventories and provide real-time information to customers without delay.

Furthermore, CRM can help automate operations, manage and oversee logistics, organize documentation, and company marketing and sales employees.

Based on recent studies, the number one reason why consumers try to get in touch with business before a purchase is to inquire about details, while the number one reason for the after-sales communications is customer experience. In both instances, the response and actions of your employees will determine whether the customer will recommend, be a repeat customer, or bad-mouth your business. According to a Walker study on customer expectation, by 2020 consumer experience will be more critical for a company than price or product since it is expected that by then consumers know they can always find a competitor for your business online.

Your business should also target a CRM multi-channel approach because companies with different options available for customers to reach out to them have an 89% greater chance of retaining the customers for repeat purchases compared to firms with limited channel options. However, even with a multi-channel CRM, it is possible for businesses to fail if customers are frustrated with the process. The target is for CRM frontliners to get the point as soon as possible and avoid asking customers to repeat the problem over and over again – which brings us full circle to automation and streamlined organization.

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 Man talking on Phone

The rush to automation is nothing more than exhilarating as processes are streamlined, and productivity improves. However, there is still that last bastion of employees and customers who still prefer a human voice to the electronic voice and the ever-reliable telephone to digital interface. It begs the question why many still prefer to call than text, to mail than email, and to chat face-to-face rather than engage in an online chat.

There are several reasons why some customers shy away from automation such as:

“It’s complicated!”

“I’m too old to learn new tricks.”

“I never get the answers I’m looking for and need with automation.”

“Automation took my job away! I hate it!”

According to a professor at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, Calestous Juma, fear of technology and innovation is not because it is a new product but because of the fear of losing a familiar part of one’s lifestyle, identity, or power. The exception to this rule is technology that ventures into unchartered territory like when the telephone or refrigerator was first introduced.

The Solutions to Resistance to Automation

Communication is the answer. Get in touch with your customers and employees and talk to them about your plans. You can do this with surveys, online chat, snail mail, forums, and face-to-face encounters. You can also use CRM analytics to study their online behavior. As for employees, why not consider automated training which can be incorporated into your CRM system?

Other solutions to automation would be to enhance your FAQs, guidelines, and engagement. The focus would be to retain some amount of human interaction, while at the same time, introducing new and more sophisticated technologies.

Right now, you have a CRM model whether you realize it or not. It may not be a formal program and may consist mainly of a blogger or social media coordinator, in which case, something has to be done. In 2018, CRM is expected to be one of the drivers of business. The trend this year is to integrate other business applications with CRM software as the shift moves towards a more customer-oriented approach.

Finally, it is essential to understand that communication also means listening to their concerns and addressing them. They may have misunderstood or been misinformed. Use this opportunity to ease apprehension and uncertainty and above all, exercise patience. Studies show that once those resistant to automation learn how to use technology, they tend to embrace and use it willingly. We can help. Contact us for an in-depth discussion on how Planned Growth can be of assistance in transitioning your business to a full and effective CRM automation in 2018.

Want to learn more about how a CRM can help your business?

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