As small business owners, we should all be focused on our customers.  However, not all of us are sure quite what to call this ‘focus' on the customer.  CRM, or Customer Relationship Management, is the art of keeping your existing customers happy and using existing satisfied customers to attract new customers.

Small businesses tend to target a natural customer base that is located in close proximity to the business itself so that sales & distribution is quick, easy and relatively inexpensive.  Small businesses (like mine!) don't usually have huge advertising budgets or access to the latest management strategies.  In order to run your small business and expand it, you need to establish a satisfied and loyal customer base.

Some simple CRM techniques for small businesses:

  • Show them you care: Showing your customer's that you care and value their business and feedback yields amazing results.  Establish a line of communication with your customers and ensure that there is minimum response time to their feedback or queries.  This will make them feel special.
  • Tailor your products and services to their needs: This is an extension of the above point.  It is also limited in scope, but tailoring your advertising and communication and even your product to your customers in a particular area can result in higher sales.  What works in a larger market will not necessarily work in a smaller local market.
  • Focus on customer-centric services: rather than on product-centric services.  It will make customers feel more special.
  • Establish a continuous and reliable line of communication: This will provide you with a more accurate demand and sales forecast.
  • Quick and accurate turnaround: Quick and accurate demand-supply turnaround time enhances goodwill with your customers.

CRM facilitates profit maximization management by efficiently handling customers' needs with streamlined customer-centric services.  It benefits both the your business and your customers.