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CRM Managers: What customer data should you collect first?
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CRM Managers: What customer data should you collect first?

Congratulations! You just got a job as a CRM manager. It is now your responsibility to manage your company’s customer relationships, making sure to always keep your marketing objectives in mind. You have a lot to keep track of, and a lot to learn. Most importantly, you need to learn from your customers: who they are, what they need, and how to talk to them.

Being a good CRM manager begins with getting to know your customers. No matter how much experience you have in CRM, every position will require starting from scratch when it comes to getting to know the people that use your product and how to best serve them.

In this blog post, we discuss the four pieces of data you should collect first as a new CRM manager, how to collect it, and why these pieces of data are so important to have in your CRM system.

1 — CRM manager: how your customers feel

You probably know how important preventing churn is for your company, since preventing churn is the main reason why companies invest in CRM managers. One of your main responsibilities is making sure that your customers feel heard and that their complaints and suggestions are taken seriously. One of the first things you should do as a new CRM manager is send out an NPS survey that simply checks in on your current customers to see how they feel about your product. Taking the time to ask will save you from losing customers who feel exasperated with your product but who haven’t taken the time to tell you. When you ask, you’ll find most customers have a lot to say.

crm manager nps question

2 — How your customers connect

Another essential thing to find out as a CRM manager is how customers connect with your product, and what their favorite ways are to connect. With this piece of data, it’s important to remember that customers may not be connecting with your product in a certain way because it isn’t available to them, so you need to do the following things in order to correctly collect this data:

  1. Research what communication channels your company already offers and which ones they don’t have yet.
  2. Record the frequency that each channel is used (your CRM software should allow you to measure clicks, visits, etc.)
  3. Observe and record how much customer to company interaction takes place on each channel (ex: Do customers use social media to express concerns to you, or do they call your customer service phone line?)
  4. Look at what forms of communication your competitors are using to talk with your customer base.
  5. Ask your customers which communication methods they prefer, and if there are any that your company doesn’t offer.
crm survey question

Figuring out how your customers interact, on what communication channels they feel the most natural is the first step in succeeding with connecting with them. As a CRM manager, it is essential that you connect with your customers in ways that are convenient and comfortable for them.

3 —  CRM manager: who your customers are

As a CRM manager, you should have the most precise idea of exactly who your customers are in order to correctly serve them. Creating buyer personas is an important way to stay relevant when you are creating content for your customers. When you create web content or send out communication initiatives, you should always be keeping in mind who the person is you are writing to. Again, the best way to collect this information is simply to ask. You can send out a demographic survey that asks your customers the following basic questions:

  • How old are you?
  • How would you describe your gender?
  • What is your position at your company?
  • What challenges do you face at work?
  • What do you do in your free time?
crm manager question
  • What makes you happy about your job?
  • What causes you stress?

These questions tap into not just who your customer is but also give you insight into possible pain points that your product can resolve. Sending out a survey like this is a great way to start collecting data to make revised buyer personas, and you can also collect some of this data passively through researching your customers on social media or talking to them when they reach out for customer service. Even if your company already had buyer personas in place, it’s important to collect this information again. A lot of times buyer personas are created with guesswork and you need to be sure you have accurate data to go on.

4 — What are your company’s sales and marketing goals?

This last piece of data does not require getting in touch with your customers, but with your company. Though it isn’t your direct responsibility to sell products to your customers, it’s important to remember that as a CRM manager your end goal is still trying to nurture your customers so that they are happy with your company and therefore ready to buy. You should always be aware of what the sales and marketing goals of your company are, so that every interaction with your customers leads them closer to the products or services you would like them to use. You can also suggest ways to use your customers as brand ambassadors to help sell your product.

A new position can be overwhelming, especially when there is so much to learn. Being a CRM manager means staying completely focused on keeping your customers happy and thriving, and in this instance, knowledge is power. Depend on surveys, social media observation, and direct contact with customers through customer service as tools to help you get all the information you need on who your customers are and how to keep them happy.

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