The COVID 19 pandemic is shaking us all. Personal contacts have been cut off. Aren't customer contacts suffering the most? No - if we use the time now to systematically capture our customer relationships in a CRM system.
The COVID 19 pandemic has severely restricted the smooth functioning of the global economy. Trade chains are disrupted, relationships with previous suppliers and customers are blocked. Buyers of products are in trouble; they withdraw from the market or they buy less. The customer base is crumbling.
Of course, we do everything to keep the contacts alive. In doing so, we rely on well-rehearsed processes and on a relationship of trust that goes back many years. At the same time, we have to look intensively for new contacts. We look for new suppliers, new customers in new markets, new partner organisations.
Asking critical questions about existing customer relationships
The pandemic offers a good opportunity to put established relationships with customers on an even firmer foundation and to document them in detail in a CRM system.
Ask yourself the following self-critical questions:
Push ahead with the development of a CRM system now
Parallel to this new intensity in customer processing, now is the time to plan and initiate the development of a CRM system. To conclude with an example: with the development of 'B2BTrace', SIPPO commissioned an external software development company to design a software solution geared to the specific needs of BSOs. It has been introduced at SIPPO itself and is also used by some BSOs.
So, isn't the crisis just the right moment to jump in? Isn’t it the moment to remind everyone in the team that a CRM system can only develop its full potential if it is continuously maintained, if everyone adheres to clearly defined processes and assumes their responsibilities? Because only then a CRM system becomes THE winning tool for retaining customers and acquiring new ones.
Martin Elbel for SIPPO; our partner Import Promotion Desk (IPD) supported us with its CRM expertise in the preparation of the three articles.