Customer Service

Small business CRM best practices for customer support teams

Caroline Burk

Updated: Dec 07, 2023 · 8 min read

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Providing your clients with the best experience goes beyond offering them a great product or service. In fact, it’s hard to have happy customers without great customer support. A 2023 report by ZenDesk noted that three out of four consumers will spend more money with a company if they provide good customer support. On the other hand, the same study reported over half of consumers will switch to a competitor if they have a bad support experience.

The stakes are high — if you neglect customer support, you risk missing out on repeat business and losing customers to your competitors. These factors alone prove that your support strategy is just as important to your business as your marketing and sales campaigns.

So what can you do to ensure every client who contacts your support department is treated with the best possible care? It starts by empowering your representatives with a game-changing tool: A small business CRM software.

In this article, we’ll walk through CRM best practices and tips, including what features your CRM software should have, how this tool can help your customer service agents and how to optimize your CRM to its full potential so every customer gets what they need.

Don’t leave your support strategy to chance. Keep reading for all the information you need to take control and improve every customer’s experience.

Ensure your small business CRM provides a comprehensive view of each customer

When it comes to your support team, knowledge is power — and when a representative sets out to help a customer, they need to be able to access that knowledge quickly and easily. This is where a small business CRM can help immensely.

Whether you're searching for CRM software or working with one already, you’ll want to make sure your tool of choice provides a complete rundown of each customer and all their relevant information. This could include a customer’s:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Preferred contact information
  • Previous support interactions and inquiries
  • Purchase history

This information may vary based on your industry and what you need to know when processing support requests. But no matter what’s needed, your CRM should be able to store it safely and load it for representatives quickly.

This will minimize customer frustration because they won’t be stuck waiting for a representative to find their details, and they won't have to repeat information they’ve already provided in the past.

Implement automation for routine and repetitive tasks

A large part of the support process happens one-on-one between your representatives and customers, but there are also many repetitive duties that need to be done behind the scenes. These routine parts of support — emails, tasks, status updates — are inevitable and a crucial part of ensuring a positive customer support experience. While you can’t eliminate these items, you can automate them.

Automation software can take the weight of the routine tasks off of your team, saving them time and allowing them to focus on other aspects of their roles. When you integrate automation software with your CRM (or even better, get one software that does both), you can automatically assign support tasks to specific team members, notify your team about new or existing tickets that need attention, track the amount of tickets in queue, communicate status updates and more.

Once implemented, automation can hit the ground running and start yielding benefits, including:

  • Increased organization for support reps
  • No more missed status updates
  • Less risk of tickets falling through the cracks

Pairing workflow automation with your CRM can improve your customers’ experiences, and it can bring huge benefits for your support team. They’ll realize the impact of automation almost immediately as they have fewer repetitive tasks weighing on them each day.

Use CRM tools to collect and analyze customer feedback

As you already know, small business CRM software is great for collecting and storing information. Aside from storing customer contact information and history, CRM software can collect and analyze customer feedback, too.

For example, after someone has finished an interaction with your service department, your CRM and marketing automation software can automatically send a survey. Once completed, the survey will be stored in your CRM so your team can access it, analyze it and use it to identify what they’re doing right and where they can improve.

Another one of the CRM best practices to adhere to is to optimize tags with the survey feedback you receive. You can tag customers based on their survey responses so you know what additional steps to take. For example, you can tag based on satisfaction ratings, then set up a workflow automation to automatically invite happy customers to leave a review, or assign a task to your team to follow up with someone who had a negative experience. Tags will also appear in each customer's file in your CRM database, providing even more context for representatives to use as they work on support requests.

Overall, collecting and analyzing feedback is a necessary part of your customer support strategy. It will give you a high-level view of how your support department is doing, so you can rest assured that your customers are receiving the help they need.

Integrate your CRM with communication tools

Customer support can happen through many different channels, and it’s important to have a record of all communications, no matter the platform. However, it can get tricky when you have countless emails and chats happening at once. That’s why your CRM should integrate with each of your communication tools.

With successful integration, your support representatives don’t have to worry about updating a separate customer record every time they finish a chat. Instead, any communications will be synced and stored in their CRM. Then, if they or another agent ever need to access that information again, they’ll have an accurate, thorough account of past support tickets to draw from.

You can start this process by taking inventory of any communication channels you use for support and running them by your CRM provider to make sure they can integrate.

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Pro tip

Keap’s marketing automation and CRM for small business connects users to their existing tools using Zapier, which offers over 5,000 integrations.

Provide ongoing training for support teams

After you’ve found a CRM that works for your business, don’t stop there. Keep providing ways for your team to improve with ongoing training.

Your CRM will most likely (and hopefully) make regular improvements to their software. When they do, that’s your cue to hold a training session to go over any changes to the CRM software, new features or additional integrations and how to use them. Consider holding routine training sessions in case anyone has questions or needs a refresher on how they should use the software. These trainings can be a good place for customer support representatives to share tips and tricks with each other on how they’re making the most of your CRM and how it’s helping them do their job.

Creating a space for ongoing learning will make sure:

  • Your customer service representatives know the best practices for your specific software
  • You make the most of the software you’re paying for
  • You never miss out on features and integrations that could benefit your customer service experience
  • Your service strategy continues to evolve

If you’re looking for a platform with training capabilities, Keap’s small business CRM offers a variety of training resources. From free webinars and courses to in-depth trainings with a CRM expert, Keap will meet you where you are and make sure your software is meeting all your needs.

Conduct regular audits

The final step to include in your customer support strategy is an audit of your CRM. Like any of your business’s processes, a regular audit is necessary to keep teams working efficiently and effectively.

During such audits, remember to get rid of outdated information. This could include historical data and workflows that are no longer relevant, as well as obsolete contact information, such as old phone numbers or wrong emails. Maintaining a clean and accurate database keeps the team on the same page and helps support representatives know they have accurate data.

An audit should also be done of your team’s workflows and how they’re using the CRM. Results can point out pressing issues hindering your overall customer service process.

Regular audits and check-ins help guarantee your CRM software aligns with the evolving needs of your support team, enabling them to provide consistent and effective service to your customers.

Your CRM search made easy

We know how hard it can be to find CRM software that meets all these requirements, but we also know how important it is that you don’t settle for the wrong solution. If you’re in the market for the best CRM for small business, don’t go into battle (aka a Google search spree) alone.

Instead, simplify your search by knowing exactly which features to look for in a software and what questions to ask as you shop around. Download our free CRM Buyers’ Guide for all this information and more.

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