Sales and Customer Service During COVID-19: Are You ready?
There is much talk about what aspects of our lives will be permanently reshaped because of the pandemic. As my associate Mike Pratt discussed in an article even before coronavirus showed up, businesses have been making the shift to virtual operations. But here we are in a pandemic, and now those who were skeptical of the idea were temporarily “forced” in it. Now we’re seeing companies across all industries notice the profitability and efficacies of having staff work from home, and a company’s sales and customer service operations are a critical part of this shift.
Apparently, there is nothing like a pandemic to make sales and customer service both more important and more difficult. The personal touch has always mattered, and clients will still be seeking that, though how satisfaction is delivered may be different. It is a contradiction, to be sure, but here is our challenge: can we maintain and grow those relationships when there are more exchanges happening virtually? The starting point is a lab-specific, easy-to-use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system that is globally accessible and built for the specifics of what your company does (read: your team will actually use it).
Communication— Inside and Out
Any good salesperson knows that a happy and returning customer is all about great communication. While many folks in our industry are still using giant spreadsheets to track interactions, today’s environment requires that we move beyond that, into something much more efficient. The right CRM product will allow your team to get past the technology and to simply use it to reach customers. Many CRM products like fulCRM are designed to allow staff to quickly pull up customer info, immediately get status on any issue, push potential red flags to the top before they become emergencies, and let the user focus on the information, not the tool. (There’s a nifty two-minute video about it here.)
And keep in mind that a CRM tool is not only for your external customers, but your internal ones as well. As we’ve written about before, the symbiotic relationship between IT and Sales deserves just as much attention as external customers. A solid CRM tool can facilitate internal communication and improve processes; your staff’s internal “customers” deserve quality customer service, too, and a CRM is a lifeline for achieving that.
Free Up Time for That Personal Touch
With this new normal we’re in, don’t sacrifice personal touch – in fact, it’s better to over-communicate and to reach out more frequently to be sure your customer feels taken care of. And don’t forget your customers are in a new normal, too. A great CRM tool can help you track your customer’s changing preferences and needs and to make sure you’re aware of those changes and can adapt to them quickly.
Across the board, the less bogged down in confusing paperwork and strung-together programs your coworkers are, the more attention can be paid to doing the tasks that can increase profits. Once you have the right CRM tool in place, your staff will have improved efficiency and can focus on great communication and that personal touch. And honestly, they’ll be happier for it.
The Right CRM App for Your Company
Choose a cloud-based CRM tool that can be accessed anywhere, by any member of your team. Being able to log in via your phone or tablet is now a necessity, not a luxury. And be sure your CRM software doesn’t do too much or too little for your organization – like Goldilocks, you want a CRM tool that’s just right, or it will end up a waste of time and money. Some CRM systems will allow you to get a tailored experience so there is no unnecessary clutter or features to learn and then forget because they’re not useful.
U.S. HealthTek saw the need for CRM tools for the medical lab industry years ago, and this is why we launched fulCRM — the only CRM system designed by lab people for lab people. We think it’s a perfect balance of function and affordability – if you’re a Fortune 500 company it’s not going to meet your needs, but if you’re a small- or medium-sized lab, it may just be the Goldilocks solution you’ve been looking for.