We’ve all experienced it — a nightmare customer support call where you had to repeat the same information to different agents, an inflexible return policy at a store you’ve been loyal to for years, or an email attempting to sell you a product you’ve already bought. All of these less-than-ideal experiences stem from one problem: disorganized data.

Because companies are responsible for sorting through all kinds of customer communication on a daily basis — online chat conversations, demo calls, social media and emails — it can be a challenge to know how to leverage customers’ information. This is because the data is spread out among different business software tools, not organized in a way that connects each data point to an individual contact, or it is so hard to use that employees cannot find the data they need at the moment they need it.

The solution is to have an individual, top-to-bottom view of all leads and customers where all the data about them lives in one place. That’s exactly what an all-in-one CRM like Ontraport does for you. This type of unified approach to customer data management is called a “single customer view.” It’s defined as “an aggregated, consistent and holistic representation of the data known by an organization about its customers.” Having a single customer view makes it far easier to treat each lead and customer who crosses your path as an individual with unique wants, needs and concerns.

An all-in-one system takes the single customer view a step further by not only providing the data you need about customers all in one place, but also equipping you with the tools to act on that data. With your CRM combined with responsive automation capabilities and built-in landing pages, email, tracking, payment processing and more, you can provide a uniquely personalized and positive experience for each of your contacts at each stage of the customer lifecycle.

Putting your data into action through the customer lifecycle

From the day your new prospect learns of your brand to when he or she becomes a repeat buyer who raves about your products, your all-in-one CRM is the holder of all the data and interactions you have with that person.

Here are just some ways you can use that data to provide excellent experiences for each individual to keep them flowing through your customer lifecycle:

Attract right-match leads

The Attract stage of the customer lifecycle is all about drawing in the people who will be most likely to buy your product. Rather than taking stabs in the dark about who is in your target audience and what resonates with them, you can use data available in your CRM about your existing customers to create highly segmented follow-up campaigns.

Using CLV to target the right customers

When you know the common demographic traits, interests and online behaviors of your customers who buy the most of your products and refer their friends most often, your marketing team can more easily find more customers like them to improve your results overall.

One way to determine how well you’re doing as a business is by identifying your Customer Lifetime Value, or CLV. This tells you how much each of your customers is spending on your business and what your predicted net profit may be thanks to their purchases. Knowing your customers’ CLVs means you can spend more time, energy, and money on those who will most contribute to your bottom line and help grow your brand.

An all-in-one CRM like Ontraport gives you the ability to easily calculate your CLV, thanks to all the necessary data being in one place. With CLV data, you can build highly targeted audiences based on the traits of those with high CLVs or even create Facebook “lookalike” audiences using existing customers in a certain segment.

Similarly, you can use CLV to understand which marketing initiatives were responsible for generating people with higher CLVs and choose to focus your marketing budget on those assets. Using this data, you’ll see higher-quality leads coming in faster and at a lower cost than you otherwise would.

Segmenting your leads for better nurturing

Once you’ve attracted leads to your business and garnered their contact information, you can organize them into appropriate segments so you can stay in touch in relevant ways.

In an all-in-one CRM, your landing pages and forms, where you collect customer data such as their biggest pain point or interest, are synced directly with each person’s contact record in your CRM. That means the information entered into a form field can automatically trigger the appropriate follow-up nurturing sequence. For example, contacts who select an interest in wedding catering would be placed on a campaign about your wedding services, while those interested in corporate event catering would be placed on a campaign about those services.

All this happens seamlessly when your landing page and form data are in the same place as your contact data and when all that is in the same place as your follow-up systems, such as email and SMS.

By placing customers into the campaign that best fits their interests, the likelihood of keeping them engaged and driving a sale significantly increases.

Personalizing your marketing for stronger connections

With CRM data, you can take narrowly targeted marketing efforts one step further to actually personalize the experience of each one of your leads.

This could simply involve greeting each customer by name on your emails, landing pages, direct mail pieces and text messages without manual input, or it could go steps further to provide individualized experiences with your marketing content.

For example, with some landing page builders, you can set specific blocks on your landing pages to only show to contacts whose data matches specific criteria you set. You could choose to show a promotion for your wedding catering upsell package or testimonials from brides only to those who’ve previously visited your sales page about wedding catering.

This type of highly individualized marketing is often what sets a business apart from its competitors, and it’s only possible when the data inside your CRM works directly with your landing pages and tracking systems.

Optimizing your marketing quickly for better results

When a system houses all the assets and automation related to your marketing campaigns, it also houses all the data related to your marketing campaigns, which means the data will be accurate and aligned because it’s all coming from the same source.

Using UTM tracking links and other tracking scripts in your campaigns, you can ensure all the information you need about which links each contact clicks on is automatically tabulated in their contact record. You can then view lead source data as a whole for each campaign to quickly gauge which of your marketing assets are leading to the best results so you can put more of your budget toward them.

Without all of the data available within an all-in-one CRM, there’s no way to truly understand the status of your marketing campaigns.

Convert leads into customers

This stage is about actually making sales. All the initial setup you did in the Attract stage to put each contact within the right segment and remain responsive to their signals of interest works to build their confidence in your brand and prompt a purchase.

If you have a live sales team that interacts with leads via phone, video or chat, an all-in-one CRM is an absolute must-have for keeping their conversations flowing and keeping contacts moving along your funnel toward a sale (this is where Ontraport’s new visual contact management feature comes into play).

Building better rapport through relevant sales conversations

By simply pulling up leads’ contact records, your sales team can see a complete picture of every past interaction the leads have had with your brand, such as the landing pages they visited, emails they opened and any free or entry-level products they purchased. This kind of information gives the rep a good understanding of the leads’ interests and knowledge level with your brand, making it easier to build rapport and have more valuable sales conversations.

In addition to records of leads’ past interactions, the contact record shows any notes collected from previous sales conversations for the new sales rep to reference. This is especially useful when you’re not speaking to a new lead; it could be a former customer who is considering coming back or a lead who’s been in your funnel for ages and has already spoken to someone else on your team. Knowing this information equips the rep to meet leads where they are and speak to them differently than they would a recently qualified lead.

Prioritizing the hottest leads and biggest opportunities

Team members can use visual contact management systems as their go-to for their day-to-day task prioritization.

Organizing each contact according to their stage in your funnel can give team members an immediate understanding of which contacts to focus on. This means they’re spending less time digging through records or lead score lists and less time contacting leads who aren’t yet ready to buy. Instead they’ll find their greatest opportunities for sales at a glance and have control over their progress toward sales quotas. They’ll be in touch with the right leads at the right time and with the right message, thanks to the data available to them in your contact records.

Following up consistently

All sales reps know that it takes numerous follow-up attempts and several connection times to appropriately nurture a lead into a sale. If they fail to follow up due to lack of organization, they could lose a sale.

Using visual contact management workflows combined with automated tasks and prompts can keep this from happening. Team members can easily manually set reminders to follow up after a certain period of time based on their interactions with someone, or use automated reminders built into their funnels. Team members can be assured that there will be no dropped leads and that each contact is receiving exactly the right follow-up at exactly the right time.

Creating smoother handoffs between marketing, sales and customer service

Because of the rapport that they work to build with each new customer, your sales team often ends up being the de facto customer advocate when an issue or opportunity arises. With a CRM, you can ensure that the smoothest possible handoffs occur between marketing and sales or sales and customer service because all the notes and information about each customer’s background is stored in his or her contact record.

With an all-in-one CRM, you can also automate this transition so that, once leads are qualified, they pass seamlessly into the sales funnel from the marketing team or into your new customer welcome funnel immediately after their first purchase.

Fulfill promises to customers

Although an all-in-one CRM offers many benefits that make it easier to attract new leads and customers, it doesn’t stop there. You can also gain an edge when it comes to serving customers, retaining them for longer and developing more profitable relationships.

Providing customers with above-and-beyond service

By gaining access to all the available information about each customer, your team can learn more about the individuals they’re interacting with to ensure they’re correctly serving their needs.

Your team can personalize the support they provide to emphasize the priorities that the customer has already expressed to the sales or marketing teams, and they can learn more about each customer’s unique situation so they can provide customer service that goes above and beyond. For example, say that during a conversation with your team, a customer revealed that he or she had recently experienced a big personal victory thanks to your life coaching service. If your sales rep or customer service agent noted this in his or her contact record, the next time the customer contacts your team, the team member could congratulate him or her on the achievement.

Customer support team members can also use an all-in-one CRM’s trove of data to more easily solve problems. For example, Ontraport’s contact records show every step a contact has taken in a campaign — every link clicked, email received, purchase made and more. If a customer calls saying he didn’t receive the download he signed up for, wasn’t charged correctly for an item or has any other common complaint, team members can easily view the history and automation log to see where the problem may have occurred and more quickly find a resolution.

Using CLV to tailor service

Sometimes it’s important to make exceptions to the rules for a high-value customer, but it can be difficult to make that call. With an all-in-one CRM, your team can easily see the total lifetime value of the customers they’re dealing with to better understand the value of their relationship for the company so that they can justify making an exception for only the most high-value customers.

For example, say a client had spent $10,000 with your business over the past year and was frustrated with a recent $5 surcharge. Although this is your policy, you may want to make an exception in order to keep this particular customer’s business. This is just one example of how a CRM can empower members of your team to make good decisions that preserve your most valuable relationships.

Overall, when your team members begin to rely on your CRM for information to make the customer experience better, they will see a higher satisfaction rate on customer support issues and end up dealing with fewer complaints.

Delight customers with unexpected offers

The Delight stage is where you turn your new customers into repeat buyers by offering upsells and cross-sells to keep them engaged. This is often where customers truly understand the value of your brand and become loyal to you.

Offering the right upsell at the right time

The segmentation you did earlier in the funnel serves to simplify which upsell and cross-sell products to offer to customers in the Delight stage. For example, if a customer bought your wedding catering dinner package, you might upsell them on a dessert table; if a customer bought your corporate event catering package, you might upsell them on a professionally printed menu for the tables.

All of these offers are ingrained in your automated campaign from the beginning and can be set to fire at a time you choose — whether it’s when a contact reaches a certain stage of your onboarding funnel or after a pre-selected period of time since the person’s first purchase.

With your automated campaigns working directly with your CRM data, you can be sure you’re offering the right Delight stage product at the right time to each individual. You’ll get more sales from each customer on your list thanks to the segmented outreach you’ve given to them all along.

Providing a smoother repeat purchase experience

You likely have extensive data about customers who’ve reached this stage of your funnel. You can see which of your segmented campaigns they’ve experienced, and you have basic info such as their address and payment information that can be used to pre-fill forms the next time they’re in the process of making a purchase on your site. This makes the buying experience much smoother for repeat customers, which ups the possibility of them completing a purchase and continuing to come back.

You can also use the data available about customers at this stage to continue using conditional blocks in your landing pages to show only certain landing page blocks to certain customers. For example, if you have a membership site, you can show a block offering the next level of membership to the visitor, which can be triggered based on the membership level that’s stored in their contact record. Even without a membership site, the landing pages and CRM can work in tandem to detect the length of time someone has been a customer or the types of products that customer has previously purchased and trigger a landing page block based on that information.

Seamlessly sharing feedback with the product development team

An all-in-one CRM makes it easy to break down “information silos” that prevent data from being shared freely between different parts of your company. In addition to the information inside the contact records supporting the marketing, sales and customer service teams, it can also serve to benefit the product development team.

Knowing the ways customers are using the products and services, including the challenges they may be having with them, is crucial insight the product team can use when making decisions about new products they’re creating, improvements to the product or new versions and upgrades, and which add-ons or upsell packages to create. Having this feedback based on CLV data can further support the team in determining the right changes to keep their best customers happy.

Gain referrals from repeat buyers

At this stage, you’ve got repeat customers who are sold on your brand; now your goal is to encourage them to tell their friends about it. Referred customers are much less costly to acquire than new ones and much more likely to stick around for the long-term, so they’re extremely valuable to your business.

Increasing brand loyalty and referrals

Improving the quality of your conversations with customers throughout the lifecycle, including during any customer service conversations post-purchase, can have a big impact on customers’ willingness to spread the word about your company. Most customers expect to have unpleasant interactions when submitting an issue for customer service, so if you’re able to turn that expectation upside down by using the information in your CRM to your advantage, customers will want to stick with your brand long-term and refer new customers to you.

Identifying, nurturing and empowering your brand advocates

You can use data about your existing customers to figure out which of them are most likely to refer your business. With your CLV data and other insights into customers who refer you to others, you can identify patterns in your most valuable referrers. You can use that information to spot more potential referrers, nurture them into more loyal brand advocates, and give them the tools and incentives they need to share your business with their friends.

The full customer lifecycle

With so many specific benefits for each part of the customer lifecycle, it’s clear that maximizing the use of your CRM can change the landscape of your entire business. Fundamentally, using your CRM to its fullest puts the customer at the heart of your entire strategy. This leads to four large-scale effects:

  1. More Satisfied Customers: With more personalized service, relevant sales messages and fewer complaints, you’ll enjoy better relationships with your customers and a better brand perception as your reputation spreads via word of mouth.
  2. More Sales: Because of higher-quality interactions with your team across the board, it will be much easier to turn leads into new customers as you handle their objections and treat them as individuals. This will also help achieve more repeat business and better retention.
  3. More Referrals: As you earn more trust from your customers and continually impress them with personalized service, they’ll be more willing to share your business with their friends.
  4. More Insight: Since you’ll be measuring and collecting data on all the interactions between your team and your customers, you’ll gain priceless insight into your team’s performance, your customers’ habits and preferences and your best sources of new leads.

By using your CRM data to its full potential throughout the customer lifecycle, you’ll turn an ocean of data into a relationship-building tool that can only lead to expansion.

About Angela Fornelli
Angela Fornelli is a writer and editor with over a decade of experience covering the healthcare, aviation, and technology industries. A Chicago native, she currently serves as Ontraport's managing editor and has a Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Illinois.