Usually CRM  systems are implemented to support the sales activity and process. But what happens when you actually close a deal? How do you ensure customer retention? How do you keep your customers happy? A CRM is by its name a customer relationship management tool. The name is talking about customers, not leads, not opportunities and not accounts either and yet those are the parts we typically use CRMs for. But this leaves out the whole after sales process and customer retention part.

We focus on automating all the parts in the sales process and want to automatically track customer interaction and yet we forget what to do once we actually win a customer.


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Two concrete scenarios that illustrate how you can use your CRM to its fullest potential

In this article we will take a look at how a retail company or a software as a service (SaaS) type of company can benefit from integrating more teams into their CRM and use the CRM beyond its sales force automation capabilities. After all, a CRM is typically a big investment for companies and the possibilities to gain return of investment by bringing more structure to various business processes are immense.


Converting one time retail buyer into a loyal base

If you are in retail your CRM holds all your customer data. You see which products they bought and maybe you have set up automated workflows that prompt your customer to buy this other product of yours, which just fits so well to whatever he bought first. That’s great.

But what do you if the customer has problems? The margins and differentiation are small as far as retail vertical is concerned. Quite often if a retail buyer has a problem, he may not return and rather switch to your competition. Customer support team still uses their own ticketing systems. If a customer contacts support the information that is exchanged during the support request is not logged in the CRM, it means that the process between selling a product and after sales breaks. Both functions, support and sales, lack important information about the customer and won’t be able to serve him fully.

Customer Loyalty Management

Instead set up your CRM in such a way that your customer support team works on the CRM. This allows you to see exactly what kind of issues a customer faced. Imagine you have a customer who ended up being allergic to a product he bought with you. You want to make sure that he won’t be offered a product from the same fabric, instead you want to offer him maybe an allergen free product. He will be more likely to buy it and you will increase your revenue and all just because you ensured that the phone between your different internal functions is not broken.


An example from the SaaS world

If you sell software as a service (SaaS) or any other technical service you are already in a sales process that is a tad bit more complex than for example retail. Most likely you have even an on boarding training that you sell to customers as add-on. After all the biggest threat to customer retention if you sell a technical product is customer adoption. You will want to make sure that your CRM is geared towards customer adoption.

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You may have a customer success manager that works with the customer. If he works also with the CRM, he will be able to see seamlessly all the questions the customer you brought in as Sales rep has had during the sales process. With that information the customer success manager can make sure that the on boarding he will carry out with the new customer is geared directly towards the customers specific needs and wishes and this ensures that the customer feels well taken care of and makes the adoption process more likely to succeed.


In summary, no matter which industry your business is in, you can expand the use of your CRM system beyond automatic basic processes and tracking customer activity, leads and opportunities. A well set up CRM system gives you a variety of possibilities to overcome internal silos and ensure that all your teams from Sales to Customer Support work closely with each other to generate the maximum benefit for your customers and ensure that your customers stay your customers. Following are the key benefits by streamlining your customer support


  • Less pressure on sales – Repeat buying from customers can eliminate the need for constantly finding new customers to sell to.
  • Increased brand awareness – Word of mouth is the best way to reach out to new customers. Haven’t we heard that umpteen number of times already?
  • Sustainable growth – Having loyal customers means you always have a net growth as you have controlled the attrition. This means lesser spent on revenue, however, a better sales figure.