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The Obvious and Subtle Benefits of CRM
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By Mark Klein

Customer relationship management (CRM) has been around since the beginning of time. The butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker practiced it automatically, serving their customers one-on-one and adjusting relationships on the fly. CRM wasn’t very complicated back then.

Now, however, even a small business can have so many widely dispersed customers that maintaining relationships is a serious challenge. So if you believe, as we do, that customers are your most valuable asset, finding better ways of keeping in touch with them and strengthening your relationships is essential to building your business.

Is your business big enough to use a CRM program effectively? Loyalty Builders' research shows that as companies approach the 500-customer level, they begin to lose sight of the behavior of individual customers. At that point, it makes sense to call in technology that helps manage account relationships more intelligently.

Putting a CRM program in place helps achieve better control of your interaction with all customers, not just the best ones. A good CRM application provides insights into the behavior of your entire customer population. You’ll discover things that aren’t obvious, such as which customers are at risk of defecting and which represent cross-sell and up-sell opportunities.

You’ll discover potential risks as well. We’ve seen many businesses--particularly small ones--rely on too small a number of customers for too much of their revenue. This can happen without the company realizing it. Such skewed revenue distribution could put a business at risk if demand softens. CRM technology can spot such imbalances and help even out revenue distribution by revealing mid-tier customers with greater buying potential.

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Mark Klein is the CEO and Manager of Loyalty Builders.
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