Why CRM is the key to remote working success

As it stands, we don’t know and cannot control how long the COVID-19 pandemic will last, but we can control how we respond.

With the second wave of COVID-19 accelerating at an exponential rate and the latest Government advice dictating that individuals should return to working from home ‘if possible’, millions of professionals have embraced working life from the kitchen table once more.

For business owners, it’s clear that coronavirus is here to stay and instead of ‘waiting’ for it to pass, now is the time to adapt strategy, push forwards and focus on growth, regardless of when or where your staff are fulfilling their job roles.

However, with the fragile state of the UK economy and market competition increasingly fierce, upholding effective operations and strong customer service and delivery is fundamental to both short and long-term success.

Key to this is the implementation of an effective Customer Relationship Management or CRM solution. Here’s why:

Team Collaboration

One of the most challenging things about remote working is effective team collaboration. With all employees operating from home, it’s commonplace for a conversation about a customer to transform from a 2-minute office-based chat into a 30-minute Zoom call, impacting productivity and service delivery as a result.

Although it’s important to try and maintain a positive company culture when operating remotely, maximising the use of technology to drive team collaboration will save significant time, cost and resource.

With access to all customer data, including a history of recent communication, a CRM solution provides all team members with the information they need about every single customer in the business at the touch of a button. Therefore, aside from improving operational efficiencies, a CRM solution will help overcome any issues with internal communication whilst ensuring all staff members are made aware of any customer issues or disputes regardless of how far they are situated from the office.

Real Time Business Insights

Without physically seeing your staff on a daily basis, it can be difficult for business leaders to feel as though any real progress is being made, particularly when it comes to driving new sales.

A quality CRM solution can quickly overcome this by providing real-time business intelligence, enabling business leaders to understand existing and forecasted revenue, customer contact and the performance of individual staff members against agreed KPIs.

Far beyond the functionality and accessibility of an excel spreadsheet, business leaders can utilise a CRM solution to understand exactly how the business is performing any time of day, any day of the week, enabling them to make fast and effective decisions to uphold operations, drive growth and increase the bottom line.

What’s more, with the option of bespoke workflows, business leaders can mould CRM solutions to their individual requirements, ensuring all status reports deliver the exact information they need to obtain a full picture of the business, whenever needed.

Time Management

According to the latest statistics, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital change by 5 years, with many organisations reporting an increase in productivity as a result of new technologies and mass remote working.

However, for many business leaders, mass remote working is a completely new concept, where the idea of having absolutely zero insight into how and on what projects employees are spending their time may seem somewhat challenging.

With time management functionalities, CRM solutions can clearly document and keep track of staff output, driving maximum productivity. In addition, for service-based businesses in particular, time management tools allow individual employees to document the time spent against specific tasks or client activity, which can then transfer to cost of sale or invoicing for accounts. Not only does this improve operational efficiencies, but also provides the opportunity to clearly identify over-serviced clients, where an upsell may be due.

Rewind 12 months and it is very unlikely that the majority of businesses across the country would have envisioned mass-remote working by the close of 2020. However, with every challenge comes the opportunity to evaluate existing processes and make decisive change.

As it stands, we don’t know and cannot control how long the COVID-19 pandemic will last, but we can control how we respond. In business, the organisations who come out on top are those who strike the perfect balance between customer retention and business growth. Investing in a quality CRM solution makes this possible, particularly if your entire operation is working remotely.

This article was also published on NewBusiness