Welcome to Clues for the Clueless CRM Marketer! Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a must for a business of any size. There’s also no one right way to do CRM.

In this podcast, we’re here for the Clueless CRM Marketer, which all of us were at one point (or still are). With each daily mini-episode (minisode), we’ll aim to clue you in a bit more on CRM.

00:20 Andy Shore: Hey, everybody. Welcome to the first ever episode of Clues for the Clueless CRM Marketer. It’s going to be daily mini-sodes, Monday

through Friday, and we’re gonna get to the bottom of what is CRM? How can you use CRM? How can you manage your contacts with it and keep track of all your tasks? All that good stuff, in this subject, unlike the email version, I’m much more of a novice, but that’s why I have my co-host here with me, Paul Rijnders.

00:54 Paul Rijnders: Hello.

00:55 AS: Who is our director of product development for the CRM tool. I’ll let him say hi in a second, but I just want to encourage everybody, check out the Heart of Business episode with Paul. We really get into the whole background on development of Benchmark CRM. It’s an awesome listen, it talks a little more about CRM too, but that’s what this podcast is for is really to get into the nitty-gritty of CRM. How you doing today, Paul?

01:17 PR: I am doing fabulous, and you?

01:19 AS: I’m great. I’m great. I’m excited to do this.

01:21 PR: I am too.

01:22 AS: I think it’s gonna be really good. I figure like we were talking before we started recording, it’s gonna be a new dynamic Dana and I have been hosting podcasts for a while. So, we’re excited to get you into the mix and podding with the rest of us.

01:35 PR: And now I’m excited because I get to listen to Abba at least once per day, because that’s what I’m listening to, to kinda cleanse my mind before the podcast starts.

01:43 AS: Yeah, I don’t think we have the budget to secure the rights for Dancing Queen, but that was our pre-show music, for all of you wondering what Paul was just talking about. So, maybe just before our intro music kicks in you can… Next time you listen to the next episode get that in your head to really set the mood and feel like you’re in the room here with Paul and I.

02:03 PR: Yeah, we’re not gonna play you the song, we’re just gonna tell you what song it was. You’re on your own, but YouTube and Spotify are close at hand. [laughter]

02:12 AS: Oh, that is like the worst version of a game show. [laughter] We’re gonna talk about a song to you, and you have to guess what that song is.

02:19 PR: Yeah. No worse than talking about a movie, I guess. I guess that would be worse.

02:25 AS: That’s funny. So, we’re gonna start off with really the most basic question there is, and that’s what is CRM?

02:32 PR: Awesome. Okay, well, CRM is customer relationship management. But it isn’t so much what the thing is, it’s what you do. And what I mean by that is, what you’re trying to get to with CRM is you’re trying to get to a better understanding of your customer. So, are you trying to sell more? Are you trying to market, so that you can sell more? Are you trying to provide a better experience for your customer, every time they come in to contact with you? All of those things can be solved with CRM. So, maybe the old model of business might be, well, the customer walks in and let’s see what we can learn about them real quick and what their need is, immediately, so that we can sell them something. But these days, the tools that we have at hand are a lot more proactive and a lot more targeted. So, what you want to do is, you want to be able to assemble as much on your customer as you possibly can. That doesn’t mean you want to compile a big old dossier or a spy brief on every single customer. It just means that when your customer…

03:35 PR: And by the way, let’s be really clear about this here now that this has kind of come up, because the whole kind of ickiness of wow, do I have too much data on my customer or does this company have too much data on me? That definitely comes up and I guess you could go crazy and some companies already do it for you, and they’re pretty big where they’ve got profiles of a lot of people that are out there, that’s not what we’re trying to do with CRM. What we’re trying to do is, we want you to be able to say, “Hey, customer, I know you, I know what you want out of my business.” So, what are you trying to record? Are you try to record all the incidental things in their life? No, you’re trying to notate their needs, when they come to you. So, what is that? Well, there’s the structured data that we talked about, I guess, in that opening intro, way back when. And that might be things like, okay, well, who do they work for, and what is their job title? Why is that significant? Well, if you’re doing a one-to-one kind of conversation with your customer, it helps to know that person was the Human Resources Manager or helps to know that that person is the lead of this particular department.

04:44 PR: Or if you do mass emailing, like we do with our Benchmark email product, which by the way is integrated very finely with Benchmark CRM, that you might say, “Okay, well, you know what, it’s time to drum up some business because we just came out with this awesome product,” or we have this great deal on this product and guess what? All the people who manage automotive shops, they probably wanna know this. Okay, CRM, tell me who are all the people that own automotive shops? And then, bam, here that is, comes up. Hey, let’s push an email list over to Benchmark email and send out this great piece that tells them why they need this product. So, that’s the structure kind of data, right? But then also there’s all the times that you talk to your customer that becomes important. So, let’s say that you had an interaction with your customer either on the phone or by email or maybe even in person. As soon as you can, you should probably get in there and notate the stuff that’s important. So, for instance, did your customer have a problem, well, that should be a support ticket. And that support ticket should have all the data in that ticket so that if that gets handed off to somebody else, they know exactly what to do and how to take that up. Or is that a follow-up task, where your customer says, “Hey, you know what, I need you to send me that price quote,” okay, well, you need to make a to do.

06:00 PR: So, you put that in the CRM, and now that’s attached to your customer record, so to speak. So, the next person that picks that customer’s file up says, “Oh, wow, okay, cool. You know what? This person had a problem with this and we solved it, and they had a problem with this and it’s still ongoing. So, before I even talk to them, I’m gonna make sure that’s done. Oh, and by the way, we’re supposed to send out a price quote, that’s gonna be sent out tomorrow. You know what? Since I already see that that’s a to-do, and I’m gonna talk to that person today, why don’t I just be proactive and send that to them ahead of time.”

06:28 AS: Yeah, that all makes sense and kind of gives me a little more understanding of what goes into what a CRM is. And one thing I can connect to, that you were talking about, is just understanding who your customer is and as a member of the marketing team, customer-centric marketing is the most important thing. It’s not trying to sell, that’ll happen when you’re understanding your customers and delivering what they need and just hearing what you’re saying, and that was a very good description, was just kind of helping me see that it’s just a tool that’s gonna help you do better customer-centric marketing, interactions, communication because you’re doing it for them to provide value. You’re solving problems for your customer. Selling is the by-product, and sure, it’s what you’re in the business for ultimately. Everyone wants to make money, but solving problems for people and delivering your goods and service or whatever that is, and doing it in a way that is focused on their needs is the way you’re gonna succeed in business.

07:33 PR: Yeah, definitely. For instance, if your customer has… Let’s say your customer has a dog and a cat. You have a pet store. Well, it’d be helpful to know the name of that dog and cat. Next time they come in, “Hey, how is Sparky doing?”, or “How is Roscoe doing?” [chuckle] That’s a great name for a cat, by the way, Roscoe. But it helps to establish that personal touch. Or there might be more important information like, “Hey, this dog’s got an allergy to this thing,” so that someone doesn’t accidentally sell the wrong dog food to that person when they call in. Every business is unique, and every business has their own unique challenges, but it’s all… Obviously, I think the most overriding concern is, is the data that you’re collecting about your customer is not icky if it’s data that’s helping them out, in a way that you’re giving them better service, better products, and you’re not making mistakes with them. Customers demand that you know them. And if you don’t know them when they walk in your store, they’re gonna go to the next place that does know them because they’re gonna feel more comfortable because they’re gonna get better service.

08:37 AS: Definitely. That all makes perfect sense to me. I think we’re gonna wrap up this first episode. Thank you, everybody, for tuning in. Catch us tomorrow when our next episode goes live and we’ll continue digging into what is CRM, how do you use it, where do you use it, who in your company should be using it. We’re gonna answer all those questions as we continue. So, thanks again for listening, and we’ll catch you next time.