- Customer relations cannot be improvised. You need the right tools and then the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is improved. Among these tools is the CRM software.
There can be multiple definitions of a CRM from different perspectives:
– From a management perspective, CRM can be defined as an organized approach to developing, managing and maintaining a profitable relationship with customers.
– Equating the term with technology, IT organizations define CRM as software that facilitates a company’s marketing, merchandising, sales and service operations.
– According to Franics Buttle, the world’s leading CRM professor, it is a core business strategy that integrates internal processes and functions, as well as external networks, to create and deliver value to a target customer in a cost-effective manner. It relies on high quality customer data and information technology. The main objective of a CRM is to increase customer loyalty and thus improve the company’s profitability.
Here are some of the important ingredients of a CRM:
– Analytics: Analytics is the process of studying, processing and representing data in different graphic formats such as charts, tables, trends, etc. in order to observe market trends.
– Activity Reports: Activity reports include specific reports on sales, customer service and marketing.
– Customer Service: Customer service consists of collecting and transmitting to the appropriate department the following information about customers:
o Personal information such as name, address, age, etc.
o Past buying habits.
o Requirements and preferences.
o Complaints and suggestions.
– Human Resource Management: Human Resource Management is about employing and placing the most qualified human resources in the right place in the company.
– Lead Management: Lead management involves keeping track of sales leads and their distribution, managing campaigns, designing custom forms, finalizing mailing lists, and studying customer buying habits.
– Marketing: Marketing is the development and implementation of sales strategies by studying existing and potential customers in order to sell the product.
– Sales Force Automation: Sales force automation includes forecasting, sales recording, processing and tracking of potential interactions.
– Workflow Automation: Workflow automation involves the streamlining and scheduling of various processes that run in parallel. It reduces costs and time, and avoids assigning the same task to several employees.
The objectives of customer relations with a CRM
The most important objectives of using customer relationship management (CRM) methods are:
– Improve customer satisfaction
– CRM contributes to customer satisfaction, as satisfied customers remain loyal to the company and spread good word of mouth. This can be accomplished by encouraging customer engagement via social networking sites, surveys, interactive blogs and various mobile platforms. – Expand customer base
– CRM not only manages existing customers, it also creates knowledge for potential customers who have not yet converted. It allows you to create and manage a huge customer base that promotes continued profits, even for a seasonal business.
– Improve business sales
– CRM methods can be used to close more deals, increase sales, improve forecasting accuracy and suggestion selling. The CRM allows the creation of new sales opportunities and thus contributes to increase the company’s revenues.
– Improve workforce productivity
– A CRM system can create organized work methods for a company’s sales and sales management staff. Sales staff can view customer contact information, follow up via email or social media, manage tasks and track salesperson performance. Salespeople can respond quickly to customer inquiries and solve their problems.
Characteristics of CRMs
CRM systems are divided according to their main features. There are four basic types of CRM systems:
– Strategic CRM
– Operational CRM
– CRM analytics
– Collaborative CRM