How to Manage Customer Relationships: Comprehensive Guide

October 6, 2022
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Wholesale B2B eCommerce businesses need to learn how to manage customer relationships and improve their customer experience strategies. From increasing your B2B sales leads to improving your customer retention rates, a good CRM and CX strategy comes with a lot of benefits.

In this comprehensive guide, we will review the fundamentals of CRM and CXM, their benefits, and top software to automate your customer relationship and experience operations. We’ll also look at best practices to improve your CX and CRM strategies.

Let’s get started!

Customer Relationship Management | Getting Started With CRM

CRM is crucial to the operation of any business process flow. A CRM will assist your eCommerce staff in managing all relationships and interactions with the outside world.

Business CRM helps customers have a better overall experience with your brand. Customer relations management ultimately seeks to aid in customer retention, boost sales, and enhance customer pleasure.

What then is customer relationship management? Find out together!

What is Customer Relationship Management?

Customer relationship management is the term that describes the methods, tactics, and technology that businesses employ to manage and analyze customer interactions. CRM processes track consumer data throughout the customer lifecycle. 

The tie between a business and its customers is strengthened via a customer relationship model. When you integrate CRM software with your business processes, it will be easier for your team to efficiently monitor the many stages of developing a strong customer relationship.

Your CRM system is more than simply a piece of software that makes it easier for you to comprehend customer behavior and data. Instead, the system simplifies the way you handle customer contacts and aids your team in developing customer-friendly corporate procedures.

A CRM compiles all information (including form submissions, calls, emails, texts, and meetings), paperwork, quotations, transactions, and responsibilities pertaining to each lead and client. All customer data, sales lead data, and other information are linked together in a CRM. This makes it simple for every member of your team to access the information and make wise sales and marketing choices.

You can better understand your current and potential customers by integrating a customer relationship management solution. Additionally, it is easier to pinpoint consumer expectations and position your brand to meet them.

Here’s an overview of the customer relationship management model:

  • Brand Awareness
  • Discovery
  • Evaluation 
  • Intent
  • Purchase
  • Loyalty

5 Benefits of CRM to eCommerce Businesses

Here are the benefits of customer relationship management to eCommerce businesses:

  1. Increased Sales Opportunity
  2. Improved Customer Service
  3. Better Customer Retention
  4. Streamlined Marketing Efforts
  5. Automated Reporting and Analytics

3 Types of CRM

Customer relationship management tools offer all these benefits and more. However, there are various types of CRMs. Let’s take a look at what they do.

  1. Collaborative CRM Systems: Collaborative CRM enables your business to distribute customer information across various team functional areas, such as marketing, sales, support, technical support, etc.
  2. Analytical CRM Systems: The main objective of analytical CRMs is to help you analyze the customer data you already have to gain important insights.
  3. Operational CRM Systems: The major objectives of operational CRM are generating leads, converting them into contacts, gathering all the essential data, and delivering service throughout the customer lifecycle.

Customer Experience Management Strategy: 5 Benefits of CXM

A significant factor in boosting customer loyalty and retention is providing your customers with the finest experience possible when they connect with your business. Always expect a satisfied consumer to recommend you to their friends and family.

From the standpoint of the customer, customer experience management (CXM) enhances your brand. The finest customer experience is the most effective brand differentiation technique and can be a component of your company's USP.

Let's examine how you might enhance your customer experience management plan. First, what is customer experience management?

What is Customer Experience Management?

Customer experience management (CEM or CXM) is the set of strategies a business employs to monitor, control, and arrange customer interactions. CXM controls every interaction a customer has with a business over the course of their relationship.

Delivering exceptional customer experiences at each point of the customer journey involves many decisions and preparations. The customer experience strategy defines the actionable measures put in place to provide a fulfilling, meaningful experience during pre- and post-sales interactions.

Throughout the entire customer lifecycle, CXM manages every interaction a customer has with a company. The journey of a customer doesn't end when they successfully buy one of your high-demand products. 

Your brand's perception among current and potential customers will improve if you develop a strong customer experience plan. You consequently receive better leads that are sales-qualified and see increased levels of customer retention.

So, why is CXM important? Let’s find out!

Why is Customer Experience Management Important? 5 Reasons for CXM

Without customers, no business can stay afloat. Customer experience management enables companies to both attract and keep customers.

Here are five reasons to invest in customer experience management:

  1. Better Customer Retention Strategies
  2. Higher Customer Lifetime Value
  3. Reduced Customer Churn
  4. Reduced eCommerce Marketing Costs
  5. Better Customer Engagement

5 Ways to Improve Omnichannel Customer Experience

Today, a customer's decision-making process is primarily influenced by their experience with a business. It's crucial to consider how customers react to your brand when they see it in television advertisements, on social media, or in your online store.

Here is where omnichannel experience is useful. A consistent customer experience is the main goal, regardless of the channel customers use to communicate with your business.

So what exactly is an omnichannel customer experience? How can it benefit your D2C, B2C, or B2B eCommerce business? Find out now!

What is Omnichannel Customer Experience?

An omnichannel experience is a predetermined approach that integrates many client touch points to offer a seamless eCommerce customer service and experience. A business is said to be offering an omnichannel customer experience when it advertises to and supports customers through many channels.

The omnichannel experience includes cross-channel marketing, sales, and customer service. This will offer a smooth and integrated customer experience regardless of the way or place that a customer contacts you.

Whether making purchases in-person or online, customers should have a seamless experience, and services must be delivered in a distinctive way. A poorly planned omnichannel customer experience strategy might lead to a positive in-store encounter but a negative assessment of your in-app service.

5 Ways to Improve Omnichannel Customer Experience

Building and improving your omnichannel customer experience requires different strategies. From investing in the right B2B eCommerce platform to using the perfect customer relationship management tools, let’s look at 5 ways to improve your omnichannel customer experience.

  1. Research Buyer Personas

Tip: Take advantage of big data and surveys to learn more about consumer behavior, what they want from your brand, and how that has changed over time.

  1. Identify Customer Touch Points

Tip: Use a customer journey map to draw out your business process flow and customer journey.

  1. Use the Right Tools and Automation Software

Tip: Boost brand loyalty and your relationship with current customers by using digital technologies and customer engagement tactics.

  1. Analyze Customer Feedback

Tip: A variation in customer behavior, the emergence of users on new channels, or alterations in your market or industry will all necessitate adjusting your strategy.

  1. Develop Self-service Options

Tip: By fostering beneficial customer interactions, self-service portals contribute to enhancing brand reputation.

3 Benefits of Omnichannel Customer Experience

Customer retention and brand satisfaction can both be increased by offering an excellent omnichannel customer experience. Here are three reasons for your investment in an omnichannel customer experience strategy.

  1. Higher Customer Retention
  2. Better Customer Journey Mapping
  3. Improved Customer Engagement

Customer Experience Strategies for Wholesalers: 7 Tips

Businesses that deal in wholesale distribution frequently provide hundreds of consumers nationwide with high demand products. Managing vendors and maintaining good customer relationships can be challenging, from taking customer orders and shipping in bulk to acquiring new wholesale supplies.

Customer satisfaction will rise and your customer retention rates will improve as a result of a fantastic customer experience. The value of your wholesale distributorship business can increase as a result of designing customer experience tactics to enhance your USP. 

The amount of money you set aside for your eCommerce marketing budget is simply one factor in your wholesale marketing strategy's success. It is the continual application of customer experience best practices shapes it.

How Does Wholesale Work exactly? Becoming a wholesale distributor requires the right strategy and planning. Learn How to Become a Wholesaler and How to Run a Wholesale Distribution Business in this in-depth guide to wholesaling.

So, what are these best practices? Let’s find out!

Top 7 Wholesale Customer Experience Strategy Best Practices

Let’s review the top 7 customer experience strategies and best practices.

  1. Create Your Customer Experience Strategy
  • Identify Your Audience and Create Buyer Personas
  • Set a Goal
  • Plan a Strategy 
  • Monitor and Adjust
  1. Define a Clear Customer Experience Vision
  • Describe the methods or techniques your company uses to provide excellent customer service.
  • Take into account all points of contact with customers to understand their behavior and provide individualized support.
  • Research How customers feel about your brand as a result of their interactions with your company.
  1. Broaden Your Services

Some additional services you can offer include:

  1. Switch to eCommerce Personalization Campaigns

You can personalize your customers' experience in several ways:

  • Always use the customer's name while addressing them.
  • Send customized messages and responses.
  • Don't forget to follow up with customers who join up for a free trial or buy any products. 
  • Inquire about their experience with onboarding.
  • Find out how you may assist them by asking them.
  1. Be Proactive
  2. Invest in the Right Wholesale Tools

Other tools that can automate your wholesale distribution processes and improve customer experience are:

  1. Monitor Customer Experience Metrics
  • Customer satisfaction score
  • Customer effort score
  • Churn rate
  • Net promoter score
  • Response time

6 Best Customer Experience Management Software

Customer experience is the impression a customer has of your brand after interacting with it. Providing your consumers with the ideal experience can increase their lifetime value and enhance customer retention.

You can develop and manage customer experiences by integrating customer experience management software. Let's examine the top customer experience management tools for business owners.

What is Customer Experience Management Software?

Customer experience management software is a tool that allows businesses to receive and manage feedback from customers about their experience. In order to meet consumer expectations and boost customer satisfaction, businesses adopt tactics through the customer experience management process.

You can track and improve a consumer's journey from brand discovery through post-purchase interactions by using customer experience management software. Customer relationship management, ticket management, product inventory, customer self-service, reports and analytics, and collaboration tools are all included in customer experience management software.

Let’s review the best CXM software for business owners.

6 Best Customer Experience Management Software

  1. HubSpot

Features

  • Live chat integration
  • CRM platform
  • Centralized inbox
  1. Salesforce

Features

  • Customer relationship management software
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Third-party software integration
  1. Zendesk

Features

  • Personalized customer experience
  • CRM software
  • Automated responses
  1. Zoho Desk

Features

  • Customer experience management
  • Workflow automation
  • Omnichannel conversation management
  1. Freshdesk

Features

  • AI-powered chatbot
  • CRM software
  • Ticket management
  1. SAS

Features

  • Customer insights and reporting
  • Marketing automation

5 Key Features of Customer Experience Management Software

When choosing the best customer experience management software solutions, consider the following features:

  1. Mapping Customer Journey
  2. Designing and Testing Customer Experience Strategy
  3. Managing Tickets
  4. Reporting and Analytics
  5. Tracking Inventory

Customer Relationship Management Software: 5 Best CRM Tools

Customer relationship management software optimizes how businesses communicate with their target market. CRM technologies let businesses easily automate their B2B sales operations by gathering, analyzing, and storing information about potential customers.

Let's examine the top customer relationship management tools for companies. We'll also discuss CRM software features and things to think about while choosing the right software for your company.

What is a Customer Relationship Management System?

A customer relationship management system is a tool that helps business owners manage all interactions with potential and existing customers. From initial contact to final sale, CRM systems foster new partnerships.

Additionally, the technology boosts customer loyalty and retention while enhancing communication with current clients. The primary goal of a CRM solution is to improve customer engagement.

So, which CRM tool is best for your business needs? Let’s find out!

5 Best Customer Relationship Management Software

  1. BlueCart

BlueCart is an all-in-one eCommerce CRM solution for wholesalers, food distribution businesses, restaurant businesses, hotels, and other food service businesses. The software offers an intuitive solution for managing customer interactions and building customer relationships.

  1. Salesforce CRM

Salesforce cloud CRM platforms offer B2B companies many CRM customization options. The in-built flow builder allows you to automate your business process flow. Salesforce also enables integration with third-party B2B sales lead generation and eCommerce marketing platforms like MailChimp.

  1. Oracle NetSuite CRM

Midsize e-commerce businesses can better analyze their consumers' purchasing patterns using Oracle's NetSuite CRM platform. Oracle's NetSuite is a cloud-based ERP system with CRM capabilities. 

  1. HubSpot CRM

HubSpot is a fantastic choice for sales teams aiming to boost productivity by merging data from various third-party software providers. Businesses can quickly and easily link third-party applications to sync and filter customer data while automating business processes. 

  1. Pipedrive CRM

Pipedrive is a sales management application for small teams that helps to ensure crucial tasks and discussions won't be overlooked by visually representing your sales pipeline. Pipedrive is an excellent CRM solution for companies needing an effective visual sales pipeline.

3 Things to Consider When Choosing Customer Relationship Management Tools

The customer relationship management software reviewed above offers excellent features and benefits. However, you must choose the right one for your business based on your needs. 

Let’s look at some things to consider when choosing CRM software for your business.

  1. Budget

Setting a budget before purchasing any tool is so essential. The features may be alluring, but you need also think about whether your company can afford to keep using the software in the future.

  1. Features

Prioritize the fundamental features while selecting a CRM tool. After that, you can make a list of your needs in a CRM application. Another excellent idea is to ask your team members.

  1. Ease-of-Use

Many companies spend money on tools that are either too hard to use or not very user-friendly. Consider user-friendliness when choosing your perfect customer relationship management program.

6 Top Features of CRM Software

What exactly should you look for in a CRM tool? Let’s find out.

Here are some standard features you can discover to help you decide which CRM systems will best suit your company's needs.

  1. Reporting and Analytics

Some of the data your CRM software should track include:

  1. Customer Data Management
  2. Interaction Tracking
  3. Lead Management
  4. Workflow Automation

Wholesale CRM: 6 Benefits of CRM for Wholesale Distributors

Businesses that operate B2B wholesale marketplaces provide a variety of customers from a range of industries with hundreds, if not thousands, of high demand products. The simultaneous manual entry of customer information, keeping track of the things that each customer orders, and customer interaction might be difficult.

Let’s review how wholesale CRM can help wholesale distribution companies increase their customer satisfaction rates and improve customer experience.

What is Wholesale CRM?

Wholesale CRM is a software or eCommerce platform that unifies the operations of sales, marketing, and customer interactions. CRM software helps wholesale distribution companies obtain helpful customer insights. 

Using this real-time data, leads can develop into customers. It automates time-consuming customer-focused processes in addition to offering marketing and sales management features.

CRM provides a single, 360-degree picture of all services and transactions for each customer. This offers a more comprehensive, accurate view of the customer and their relationship with your business, which should be kept in mind for all interactions and contact with them.

Let's examine the benefits of adopting wholesale CRM software.

6 Benefits of Wholesale CRM for Wholesale Distributors

Wholesalers can automate their business process flows with systems like wholesale ERP software, wholesale inventory management software, and wholesale distribution software. CRM software also offers tremendous benefits for wholesalers and distributors.

Let’s take a look at these benefits:

  1. Increased Customer satisfaction
  2. Real-time eCommerce analytics and reporting
  3. Improved Sales automation
  4. Enhanced Customer segmentation
  5. Streamlined Marketing automation
  6. Increased business profitability
Streamline order management, grow your bottom line, and get back hours of your time with BlueCart. Schedule a demo now:
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