In this blog post, we uncover the roles and responsibilities of a customer relationship manager.
What are the roles and responsibilities of customer relationship manager?
The relationships you form with your customers are critically important when you’re a business providing a service.
Your brand identity, reputation and company image are all developed around the experience you give to your customers.
Throughout this post, we will discuss how a Customer Relationship Manager can foster this experience by listing their roles and responsibilities and how they help companies achieve their goals.
Purpose of the CRM role
Whether B2B or B2C there is a service or transaction from business to customer. Whoever is representing the business in that relationship must ensure they are exhibiting the culture, values and responsibilities of the company.
This is a significant role, as the whole relationship with the customer and their perception of your company relies on it.
In today’s fast-paced business environment, there is no substitute for the authentic connections that are made between customers and the organisational representatives in the customer relationship manager (CRM role).
Let’s look at the importance of managing customer relationships.
The importance of managing a customer’s relationship
- Improved customer experience
- Customer feedback on review sites
- Ongoing/ repeat business
- Referrals and recommendations
Improved customer experience
What is customer experience?
The customer experience encompasses the entirety of a customer’s perception, thoughts and feelings towards a company, their services or products, and the level of engagement they have with it.
This is influenced by the use, the effectiveness of a product or service and the customer service provided by the organisation.
The customer experience is also influenced by:
1. Dealing with complaints/ feedback
When a customer is unhappy with the service/ product, it is the responsibility of the CRM to resolve any issues and complaints. The customer may also give positive feedback which the company can utilise more in their dealings with customers.
2. Upselling or cross-selling
Improving the customer experience also extends further than dealing with complaints. They can also enhance the customer experience by informing clients of new and existing company products/ services that the customer may benefit from.
Customer feedback from online reviews
To generate a positive customer experience and avoiding a negative experience is important.
Maintaining a positive customer experience is vital as more consumers are now reading online reviews than ever before. This number has grown to 77%, up from 60% in 2020. If your company harbours a lot of negative reviews, you can near guarantee a loss of business.
One of the biggest benefits of utilising an experienced CRM is the repeat business generated.
Statistics show that it is more profitable for a business to invest in customer retention over customer acquisition. According to a recent study, there’s over a 60% chance of converting an existing customer, compared to the lower percentage of just 5-20% of converting new customers.
Referrals and recommendations
If a customer relationship manager has performed their job well, they will generate new prospective customers through referrals and recommendations.
As a result of improving any of these four areas, the financial success of a business improves.
Role and responsibilities of a customer relationship manager
The role of a CRM is to focus on the interactions with potential customers and current customers.
A great customer relationship manager should aim to improve organisational relationships and increase customer loyalty and satisfaction with the overall aim to drive sales.
Through utilising customer interactions and data tracked via CRM systems, the CRM can implement strategies to retain customers and engage with new ones.
The CRM also works closely with other departments (such as marketing, sales and customer services) to ensure a smooth and consistent customer experience.
Here is a detailed list of the roles and responsibilities of a customer relationship manager:
1. Building and maintaining customer relationships
A customer relationship manager’s primary role is to build a strong relationship with their client and maintain it for the duration of the service(s).
To foster this, they need to have an understanding of their client’s needs and wants. Then work with the client in building towards those needs to build trust and loyalty.
2. Identifying new business opportunities
The role of a CRM isn’t limited to existing clients, they must also source new clientele and identify new business opportunities. This includes acquiring new customers or upselling to existing customers.
A skilled CRM will be able to recognise the patterns in customer behaviour and develop new strategies for business growth.
3. Manage concerns and complaints
Someone has to pull the short straw in dealing with complaints. But it should be viewed as an opportunity to surprise and delight a customer when they are coming from a place of displeasure.
When a CRM can turn around the complaints and concerns of a customer in a timely and professional manner they do a lot to fix the relationship and identity of the company.
4. Communicating with other departments
Effective communication must also extend to the rest of the team. Company collaboration is an important part of company success- especially when dealing with customer experience.
The CRM should have effective communication with sales and marketing to ensure customer needs are benign met.
As well as the operations team. Using a document management system is a great tool to foster team collaboration. You can find out more about this here.
Types of communication should reflect the customer’s needs and wants as well as feedback. Any opportunity for the company to learn how to improve its services should be welcomed.
5. Analysing customer data
Analysing the data of your customers or potential customers is an important task.
A great example of analysing customer data can be seen with the document management system, DocFlite.
When potential customers are sent documents, their digital footprint on the document can be tracked through heat mapping.
Using heat maps on opened documents is a great way to predict the future sale actions of a potential customer.
By monitoring how long a client spent on a document, which pages they read and how many times they revisited the document, a CRM can very easily make estimations on whether the lead is hot or cold.
Analysing all sorts of data is effective for developing targeted marketing campaigns and making strategic business decisions.
6. Creating sales plans to generate revenue
It’s from the positive relationship the CRM has formed with the customers that personalised sales plans can be created.
Through using customer feedback, tools and surveys, the CRM will develop an understanding of the customer needs and be able to present relevant suggestions to the different teams. Whether it’s improving products, services, marketing or sales.
The position and role of the CRM give an organisation valuable insight and an opportunity to be flexible with customer needs and wants for an optimum experience.
7. Monitor business competitors
A truly valuable customer relationship manager will also monitor competition. Creating a SWOT analysis to find out the strengths and weaknesses of competitors is vital to adapting to the market and finding the organisational unique selling point.
This can also include researching industry trends. This can be fed back to the sales and marketing department where new customer strategies can be devised and presented to customers.
What are the skills required for a customer relationship manager?
As we’ve outlined so far in this post, the roles and responsibilities of a customer relationship manager are significant for the success of the customer experience, and the development of the direction of the company’s marketing and sales efforts.
With such an important role requires very specific skills. Next, we’ll list these skills needed for a CRM.
1. An effective communicator
First and foremost, a CRM must have the charisma and professionalism to be able to converse with customers and potential customers effectively.
Not only must they be able to represent the company and the company values, but also be personable and likeable for a genuine relationship to develop.
Customers must be able to feel as though they can communicate clearly and feel understood by the CRM. A CRM must be able to listen well to the customer and be an effective communicator who feels approachable with the right mix of professionalism.
2. Good at Collaborating
Collaboration between customers, and organisational teams such as sales, marketing and even senior organisational leaders are essential for the role of a CRM.
3. Smart Problem-Solving
As discussed earlier, a CRM should be the first point of call for dealing with customer complaints. Therefore, finding solutions to these problems is essential.
Finding a balance between keeping the business and the customer happy requires smart problem-solving.
4. Customer service skills
Efficient customer service skills require an empathetic nature. A CRM who is highly skilled in this area will make their customers feel valued and listened to, all while being able to resolve their issues with ease and professionalism.
5. Negotiation and influencing skills
Winning over customers requires strong negotiation skills. Landing sales, upselling or cross-selling relies on persuasive selling.
6. Presentation skills
A CRM must be able to effectively present their findings, ideas and customer information well to senior members of the organisation so that strategic decisions can be made from the findings gathered from customers.
7. Time management skills
CRMs should be able to manage their time effectively. To develop a good relationship with their customers they should ensure prompt responses to their queries.
Managing time to work between customers and other departments is also essential to ensure information passed between teams is correct and delivered within a reasonable time to get things moving promptly.
8. Computer skills and CRM tools
Being familiar with different CRM tools is beneficial for a CRM. Documenting conversations, having digital copies of documents and sending back and forth documents are essential for an effective customer experience.
Hence, having the ability to use an automated document system is essential for this.
Roles and responsibilities of customer relationship manager
The role of a customer relationship manager must be flexible to adapt to the continuous changes in customers and the market.
But, most importantly, developing strong relationships with customers and potential customers is crucial to long-term business success!
Identifying new opportunities, managing customer relationships, and customer complaints, liaising with other departments and analysing customer data are all important steps to ensure a successful CRM.
By meeting these roles and responsibilities of customer relationship manager outlined in this post, an organisation can achieve their goals and effectively grow its customer base.