Customers and clients are the heart and soul of every business. Managing those relationships is essential for your long-term success, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is a vital tool for handling customer interactions in small and medium companies, whether business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C).
But does that mean CRMs work the same way for both types of audiences? Not always. In fact, B2C businesses have unique needs compared to B2B companies. The right system creates engaging customer experiences instead of the same old approach to marketing.
When used right, a B2C CRM helps creates fans for life, meaning increased revenue and more referrals. Let’s dive into the different types of CRM software and look at the features and benefits of the best CRMs for B2C business use.
What is B2C CRM software?
A B2C CRM solution is customer relationship management software designed specifically for consumer-facing businesses. Just like B2B software, it supports sales, nurturing leads, marketing activities, and more. However, it’s built for the unique needs of B2C companies.
All CRMs do not function the same way. Some can’t manage the large volumes of data and leads that B2C companies have coming in, and some are more efficient and effective than others when it comes to B2C operations. That’s why it’s important to understand the difference between B2C and B2B CRMs when choosing the right software for your business.
B2C vs. B2B CRMs
Selling to B2B companies through a long, complicated sales cycle is quite different than selling to an individual in the rapidly changing B2C world. The B2C sales process is much more straightforward.
When marketing to other businesses, it’s helpful to focus on the logic of the purchase. But with consumers, it’s better to create an emotional connection between the customer and the product or service. Plus, purchase amounts differ substantially between the two audiences, so CRM platform needs differ as well.
Lead management works a little differently in B2C CRMs, too. Unlike B2B businesses, which work at contact level management where leads represent entire companies, B2C CRMs may often treat each lead as an individual.
Finally, B2B companies use CRMs more for sales management and performance tracking, while B2C businesses need to manage sales operations and marketing all in one place with a bird’s eye view over the customer journey.
What are the benefits of CRM in B2C?
When looking for the best CRM in your small business, you may be wondering, “What are some of the benefits of CRM systems for B2C?” There are many advantages of CRM tools for B2C businesses, and they can help you level up your company and increase revenue. Here are a few of the biggest benefits.
The ability to make data-driven decisions
CRMs optimize your pipeline management, allowing you to make decisions based on customer data collected throughout the sales process. It’s easy to determine the most qualified leads according to interactions with your company and past behavior. This overarching view of the sales pipeline helps with forecasting growth and revenue.
Everything is organized in a centralized hub
A CRM allows you to effectively organize everything in one place, streamlining your workflows and making collaboration and customer relationship management easier. Sales team members can access sales documents, company assets and files, and customer information at any time and from anywhere.
Gain critical business insights
CRMs can provide helpful insights into customer behavior, and you can also identify their pain points and measure the ROI of marketing campaigns.
Create personalized messaging
Using a CRM that integrates with marketing automation makes it easy to connect with leads via email marketing on an emotional level and turn more leads into buyers and retain more customers. With marketing automation, business owners or marketing teams can easily segment and target your current and potential customers with unique messages, using triggers you automate once. AI and computerized assistance help you manage and tailor messages.
Types of CRM software
As you begin the process of finding the right CRM for your B2C business, it’s helpful to know the different CRM feature options. There are five main types of CRM software available and many platforms include a combination or majority of these features:
- Contact management: This CRM provides the tools to manage existing clients and customers.
- Customer support: Customer support CRMs help provide the best customer experience and optimize customer retention by managing their needs.
- Lead management: This type of CRM helps find and capture leads and convert them into customers.
- Sales management: Sales management CRMs streamline the sales journey for maximum efficiency for business owners and sales reps.
- Marketing: This CRM segments existing customers and integrates with marketing automation, which often includes professionally designed templates and campaign workflows, to improve marketing effectiveness with targeted offers.
Each of these types of CRMs has its benefits. The key is finding the right one that works for your business needs.
Top features to look for in a B2C CRM
The right CRM software can actually make sales and marketing exciting and engaging. Here are some of the top features to look for in a B2C CRM.
Cloud operations provide many advantages to B2C companies. They don’t require expensive hardware installation and management as they work on off-site servers. Cloud-based operations allow teams to access information from any device no matter where they are, eliminating most compatibility issues.
CRMs also help you integrate multiple marketing and customer service channels into one platform, from social media and live chat to emails and phone channels. Integrating everything allows you to switch between channels as customers do to provide comprehensive support.
Sophisticated contact management and customer tracking
The software you choose should allow you to manage your lead generation and marketing efforts, track customers throughout the buyer’s journey, and record important data along the way. This process helps provide a seamless customer experience and allows your team to access pertinent information.
Real-time metrics and data
The B2C sales journey moves quickly, so waiting for computers to batch-process information means you’re not working with the latest data. Real-time updating allows you to view the most up-to-date information about where your customers are in the process and what they need.
How to choose the best B2C CRM for your business
What is the best CRM software for B2C? Picking the right B2C CRM is vital to your long-term success, and it all begins with defining your requirements and budget. From there, you can research and make a list of vendors and request software demos.
Start by signing up for a free 14-day trial of Act! today. Find out how our all-in-one CRM solution can help you manage customer relations for your B2C business.