Have you ever purchased something online, taken out car insurance or signed up for a phone contract? We look at Customer Relationship Management systems in Aged Care. If you answered yes, then your details and purchasing history is most likely being stored in a Customer Relationship Management or CRM system.
CRM is designed to help you improve your customer’s relationship with your organisation. It enables you to keep your customer’s details up to date, track every interaction they have with your business, whether it’s a sale or an enquiry, and provide ongoing services based on their needs. Any sized business can and should have a CRM system.
But does Aged Care really need one?
Yes. CRM’s are a vital business tool as they record a customer’s first experience with your organisation and track every interaction thereafter.
Traditionally, CRMs have been used in companies that manage customer accounts in medium to large organisations. But with the advent of eCommerce, online shopping and multiple touchpoints, CRMs are being used to track an individual customer order as well as provide recommendations based on purchases made by other customers who bought similar products. A CRM system provides a central place where you can store customer and prospect contact information and share it across the business
And as the Aged care industry continues to expand further in providing more products and services based on the diverse needs of clients and residents, CRM will play a crucial role in delivering the best customer experience and supporting a longer-term relationship with your organisation.
How a CRM can work for Aged Care
CRMs are designed to track a customer’s journey, but it can also provide crucial reporting and analysis for your organisation around revenue (pipeline) and resource (workforce) management. A CRM will typically support the sales team in aged care organisations by separating clinical information from financial data. This data helps sales teams to make informed decisions in a timely manner.
CRM revolution and change of focus
In life, one of the biggest decisions you will make is when you buy your first home. This is perhaps bested when you then sell your first home. But when you make the decision to move into an aged care facility, this is possibly an even bigger decision.
Organisations must develop their CRM systems to work harder and take the guesswork out of supporting their customers and their organisation by using data to guide their decision making. This has led to a renewed focus on building process and systems into business development and sales and marketing teams of aged care organisations.
How the perception of sales has changed
Sales may have a negative connotation, but it is a vital function to any business as it is dealing with people (emotion), finance and legalities (contracts). In aged care, the sales role needs to be able to separate the finance side from the clinical needs of the client, while still understanding the emotional journey the client and their family is going on. The separation of these two distinct roles (financial and clinical) ensures the best outcome for the client. Sales isn’t about convincing someone to buy a product. Sales is about providing you with the right information at the right time to make a decision based on your circumstances.
Key skills for salespeople
With many functions within an organisation, diverse work experiences can be a huge asset to an organisation. People with different or multiple skills and experiences complement a team by making it stronger. In aged care, the one skillset that is paramount to your sales team, clinical and support staff is empathy. Going into an Aged care facility can be a daunting decision and so by having an empathic approach means you are able to provide a better experience for the client while they are making the decision to move in.
What systems help you do your job well?
CRM is a tool. As a carpenter has their favourite hammer, he/she still needed to learn how to use it. Using CRM is no different. You need to teach your sales team how to use the CRM system to its full potential.
The questions a sales team need to consider when using or planning to implement a CRM are:
- What data or information am I wanting to retain? Why do I need that data? And how will this serve the organisation?
- How quickly can I access the data/information I need? How easy is it for me to share with others? Who else in the business can see the data/information?
- Does the CRM system record/retain all the data/information I need to keep?
- What other systems can integrate with the CRM?
- What reporting/analytics does the organisation need? What reporting/analytics does the CRM have? Will it help me to do forecasts and budgets? And find sales patterns/trends? Will it show me what metrics drive my business?
- What training will we need to use the CRM system? How long does it take to be an efficient user of the CRM?
- What costs are involved? One off payment? Or an ongoing fee subscription?
How do you teach someone to look at data?
“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.” — Sherlock Holmes
As the famous detective was known for, you need to recognise the different trends or patterns that are forming. But you can’t do this without getting the data first. Teaching people how to search through data and to find a pattern especially when sales forecasts aren’t going to plan is an acquired skill set. The natural instinct is to say you just need more leads. But you need to start with “why” first. This generally involves looking at the tactics used to attract potential customers – Why didn’t this campaign work? Why did we target customers there and not there?
Depending on the outcome, your sales team may need training. Or it could be as simple as targeting the wrong location or audience. You won’t necessarily see this on a report. Sometimes you need to go with your gut feel instead and look to support this with information you have at hand to either prove or disprove your hypothesis. Having data to support your decision making allows you to push harder when the market changes.
Why is CRM important?
CRM won’t solve all of your problems. It is a tool that helps you gather data and information and organise into patterns for you to understand. A well-designed CRM system can help you solve a problem quickly, enabling you to get traction and act faster.
Three (3) key functions an organisation should look for in a CRM that supports the sales team:
- Easy to navigate and efficient to use
- Can add value to your workflow i.e. save time.
- Ability to access and report on the data insights we need – quickly.
- User-friendly: the best measure of success for any system is user engagement. If it’s easy to use and meets your needs, you will have good data going in, and good data coming out. (okay that was four points, but we felt the last one was just as important!)
We believe data is key to driving good business decisions in today’s market. You need data quickly as the market changes rapidly, and organisations need to be agile to make decisions. A good CRM system should provide your organisation with the rigour to hypothesis around where leads are coming from, why sales aren’t converting, the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and other lead sources. Gone are the days where you could rely on hearsay or guessing. The skills of the sales team are also key to collecting insights around trends and market patterns, coupled with timely data, an organisation must use people + technology to succeed.
For more information about Mirus Australia’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform named Mirus Admissions Companion, please contact us here.