Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is one of the most important processes in any business nowadays. With our economy being a customer-centric one, it’s crucial that a business properly manages their customers.
But first, what is CRM?
Customer Relationship Management is sort of like a strategy for managing all your company’s relationships and interactions with your customers and potential customers. It helps you improve your profitability.
CRM enables you to focus on your organization’s relationships with individual people – whether those are customers, service users, colleagues or suppliers. Some of the biggest gains in productivity can come from moving beyond CRM as a sales and marketing tool and embedding it in your business – from HR to customer services and supply chain management.
It’s also a term that refers to practices, strategies, and technologies that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, with the goal of improving business relationships with customers, assisting in customer retention and driving sales growth.
CRM systems are designed to compile information on customers across different channels – or points of contact between the customer and the company – which could include the company’s website, telephone, live chat, direct mail, marketing materials and social media. CRM systems can also give customer-facing staff detailed information on customers’ personal information, purchase history, buying preferences and concerns.
Why is CRM important?
It’s because the better a business can manage the relationships it has with its customers the more successful it will become.
Customers are what makes businesses run for years, without them, a business will surely be out of commission.
In the commercial world, the importance of retaining existing customers and expanding the business is paramount. The costs associated with finding new customers mean that every existing customer could be important.
The more opportunities that a customer has to conduct business with your company the better. One way of achieving this is by opening up channels such as direct sales, online sales, franchises, use of agents, etc. However, the more channels you have, the greater the need to manage your interaction with your customer base.
Customer relationship management (CRM) helps businesses to gain an insight into the behavior of their customers and modify their business operations to ensure that customers are served in the best possible way. In essence, CRM helps a business to recognize the value of its customers and to capitalize on improved customer relations. The better you understand your customers, the more responsive you can be to their needs.
Here are some of the benefits of using CRM:
1. Improved customer relationships
One of the prime benefits of using a CRM is obtaining better customer satisfaction. By using this strategy, all dealings involving servicing, marketing, and selling your products to your customers can be carried out in an organized and systematic way.
You can also provide better services to customers through improved understanding of their issues and this, in turn, helps in increasing customer loyalty and decreasing customer agitation.In this way, you can also receive continuous feedback from your customers regarding your products and services. It is also possible that your customers recommend you to their acquaintances when you provide efficient and satisfactory services.
It is also possible that your customers recommend you to their acquaintances when you provide efficient and satisfactory services.
Learn more on how these companies master customer success here:
2. Increase customer revenues
By using a CRM strategy for your business you will be able to increase the revenue of your company to a great extent. Using the data collected, you will be able to popularize marketing campaigns in a more effective way.
With the help of CRM software, you can ensure that the product promotions reach a different and brand new set of customers and not the ones who had already purchased your product and effectively increase your customer revenue.
3. Maximize upselling and cross-selling
A CRM system allows up-selling which is the practice of giving customers premium products that fall into the same category of their purchase. The strategy also facilitates cross selling which his the practice of offering complementary products to customers, on the basis of their previous purchases.
This is done by interacting with the customers and getting an idea about their wants, needs, and patterns of purchase. The details thus obtained will be stored in a central database, which is accessible to all company executives. So, when an opportunity is spotted, the executives can promote their products to the customers, thus maximizing up-selling and cross-selling.
So, when an opportunity is spotted, the executives can promote their products to the customers, thus maximizing up-selling and cross-selling.
4. Better internal communication
Following a CRM strategy helps in building up better communication within the company. The sharing of customer data between different departments will enable you to work as a team. This is better than functioning as an isolated entity, as it will help in increasing the company’s profitability and enabling better service to customers.
5. Optimize marketing
With the help of CRM, you will be able to understand your customer needs and behavior, thereby allowing you to identify the correct time to market your product to the customers. CRM will also give you an idea about the most profitable customer groups, and by using this information you will be able to target similar prospective groups, at the right time.
In this way, you will be able to optimize your marketing resources efficiently. You can also be ensured that you don’t waste your time on less profitable customer groups.
Making sure all these benefits are acquired is done by the CRM manager.
A Customer Relationship Manager is someone who knows their customer’s needs, wishes and dreams. S/he should be well versed in the value delivered to customers and the problems customers are trying to solve.
They are blessed with the special talent of not only being able to solve customer requests but will proactively offer ideas and insights to improve the customer’s issues and challenges. The customer relationship manager will follow up on every issue and ensure complete satisfaction and maximum utilization of the product or services sold to customers.
The CRM Manager will work with customer service, marketing staff and operations to maintain a customer-focused attitude with a focus on activities that create lifetime customers. The position also requires a strong knowledge of budgeting and forecasting.
Their main roles and responsibilities include:
- Planning and implementing CRM strategies across the company to promote customer retention and customer loyalty.
- Deciding on the CRM platform structure and architecture ensuring it works seamlessly across the organization and captures all required information at key points in the customer lifecycle.
- Mapping the customer’s journey and analyzing touch points with the organization and maximizing commercial opportunities.
- Working closely with all departments to ensure the CRM works effectively for all parts of the company.
- Overseeing direct communications with customers through the CRM.
- Monitor and maximize customer lifetime value strategies ensuring maximum profitability.
- Ensuring the database is segmented effectively for targeted marketing activities.
- Overseeing the migration of all direct communications to lower cost mediums such as SMS and email.
- Developing testing strategies for all aspects of the CRM to ensure the most effective approach for the company and its products.