Why Your CRM is Not Enough

In 2013, I achieved something I never thought possible. I opened a small business, a community bike shop to be more specific. I was running a local grass roots non-profit in Denver and the bike shop was launched as a social enterprise. Its purpose was to be a financial support for the youth programs getting urban teens on bicycles.

I had no idea what I was doing, I just wanted to have a better way to raise money without just asking for donations over and over again. As sales started coming in, I found myself with this wonderful list of customers. However, I already had a list of people in two other CRMs. Overnight I went from a simple operation to one with multiple silos of contacts and no way to get my data organized. I had my program people in one CRM and I had my bike shop customers in another and a third was for my donors…except in my mind, they were ALL potential donors! Oh and none of CRMs talked to each other.

Now this story is not intended to be about how I got into marketing automation, but guess what, it’s that too. That moment of staring at three different software systems was my breaking point. I knew having just a CRM was not enough anymore. I knew that my constituents expected more than disorganized disjointed efforts and so I went searching for a solution. It’s where I found Keap, but also where I discovered how absolutely necessary having a tool that meets all my business needs wasn’t a luxury, but a necessity.

So what do I mean when I say that Keap provides more? In a traditional CRM, you have a place to store your client data. That’s it. It’s designed solely to document transactional data. I see it as a one dimensional tool. When your CRM is one system and your marketing, ecommerce, sales pipeline are all other systems, the ability for any one of those tools to learn from the other is not likely possible or at the very least VERY expensive to link together. 

Now in 2022, it seems there’s a new all-in-one solution coming out every week. Some great and some that are far from hitting the mark. Finding the right one to fit all your needs can be daunting.

A CRM at its core is built to track and monitor transactions. It’s not built for relationships and it’s not a learning tool. So, if all the data goes in there, but it takes effort or other bells and whistles to make it do anything meaningful with that information what good is it? This is where an all-in-one tool comes in, because now the data is no longer siloed.

For example, in Keap, when the entire business is being run from Keap, everyone from a salespeople to a support people are seeing the interactions a single customer is having with the entire company. This influences the way they communicate with this client. Having that whole picture allows all departments to better understand the complete picture.

I tell my clients to make sure that if they are going to collect data on their customers and prospects, they need to be able to use it in some meaningful way. For example, why ask someone their date of birth if you’re not going to wish them a happy birthday? Very simple, right?

When you are working with a tool that covers your business as a whole, you’re able to track your customers likes/don’t likes, buys/don’t buys, etc. By tracking this data, you learn how to improve communication methods, build better offerings and more effectively meet their needs. 

Whether you find your solution in Keap or another tool, the days of duct taping tools together is behind us. Look for a solution that will be provide a holistic approach to your client relationships; one that  focuses on the Quality of the customer experience vs Quantity..

At the end of the day, quality customer engagement and retention is about a dynamic relationship in which both parties feel successful. It takes consistent, meaningful conversations and a skillful tool like Keap.

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