April 12, 2017

How Well Do You Understand Your Customers?

by Guest Blogger

Today In Focus welcomes Ben Bolopue, double certified Salesforce administrator at Quanex. He was recently named a Salesforce MVP, and since 2011, has helped Quanex implement a comprehensive CRM strategy that has driven the business forward.

Imagine a scenario: You’re a salesperson, and you’re walking into an appointment with a customer. You think you have a pretty good handle on this particular customer relationship, though he or she hasn’t told you specifically what this meeting will be about.

You walk in—and you’re blindsided. The customer greets you with a host of problems they’ve been experiencing with your company for months. Poor service and follow-up. Product quality issues. Timeliness of delivery.

The worst part? You had no idea any of this was happening.

Years ago, this might have been a relatively common and even understandable scenario. But today, that’s no longer the case. With the tools that organizations have at their fingertips, there’s no excuse for having a poor grasp on your customer relationships.

That is the approach that Quanex has taken over the past decade, around the time when we first implemented Salesforce, the gold standard in customer relationship management (CRM), across our organization and business segments.

Since that time, there has been a lot to learn about how to make the most of the investment we’ve made in CRM, and there have been plenty of benefits.

But to realize those benefits, the most important thing I’ve learned is this: Everything is a process. Salesforce is an exceedingly powerful resource, with virtually limitless features and tools. It can help you automate a number of business processes that can benefit your organization. But when working within a CRM platform, taking advantage of those tools to automate processes…you need to take the time to truly understand those processes.

Let’s say you want to automate logging and responding to customer concerns as they come into your organization. Great—you want to more deeply understand and more quickly respond to any issues your customers are experiencing. There are tools within Salesforce that can help you accomplish this goal. But don’t jump directly to the tools themselves—take the time to think about how your organization wants this process to work.

Ask yourself some questions: What does success actually look like here? How soon does your organization want to see results? Are you going to segment customers in any particular way, or are you treating all customer concerns equally? How will you respond to those concerns? How will you route those concerns to the appropriate person? How will you track customer satisfaction with your responses?

There is a tool that can help you do each of these things, but the important part is that you put the process first. Once you have that understanding, you’ll be able to more effectively parse the data at your fingertips and put the rubber to the road in making changes that will benefit the customer.

Questions or comments? Contact me directly at Benjamin.Bolopue@quanex.com.

For more information about Quanex visit www.quanex.com
Posted: April 12, 2017 by Guest Blogger Filed under: communication, CRM, customer