For businesses large and small, their profitability and success depend upon customer retention, customer relationship enhancements and customer acquisition. This is often known as Customer Relationship Management.
The goal of Customer Relationship Management is to measure, create and increase income and reduce costs for each customer and customer segment so as to increase the positive lifetime value across the portfolio of customers.
To be fully effective at Customer Relationship Management an organization must position the business unit or enterprise (proposition, processes, and people) so that the customer is as the center of their business.
This also means that the business has streamlined customer management through the integration of all customers 'touch points', such as marketing, customer service and payment in such a way that true customer satisfaction and loyalty appear to occur effortlessly, which allows businesses to better manage their customers through the introduction of processes, procedures, and reliable systems for interacting with those customers.
How can CRM software improve customer relationships?
Customer Relationship Management Software, also known as CRM, is software that allows a company to manage their relationships with their customers by capturing, analyzing, and storage of customer, partner, vendor details and internal process information.
CRM software can be used to improve customer relationships in several ways. It can help businesses keep track of customer contact information, preferences, and purchase history, and any other important interactions they've had with your company.
A good CRM solution helps the business acquire customers and service the customers. Good CRM systems also help retain good customers and identify which customers can be given a higher level of service.
The 3 Key functionalities of a CRM System
The key functionality of a CRM system is divided into 3 basic modules these are Marketing, Service and Sales and they can be implemented in isolation from one another.
1 - Marketing
The marketing module deals with providing functionality of short-term execution of marketing related activities and long-term planning within a company.
- Campaign Management – running marketing campaigns using different communication channels, which targets potential buyers using a product or a group of products as a message.
- Planning – making long term market plans which are quantitative or qualitative measures. These can be set for a period and for different product groups and geographies.
- Lead Management – generating sales related leads which then can be converted into sales, lead management deals with processing the leads by carrying out sanity checks and evaluating the genuineness of the information received and then deciding which leads are hot and cold.
The service function focuses on how effective the system is of managing customer service which is planned or unplanned. Below are some of the functions of the Service module:
- Service Order Management
- Service Contract Management
- Planned Services management
- Warranty Management
- Installed Base (Equipment) Management
- Service Level Agreement Management
- Resource Planning and Scheduling
- Knowledge Management (FAQs, How to guides)
3 - Sales
The sales function focuses helping the sales team of the company to manage and execute the pre-sales process, making it more organized. The sales team in most companies are responsible for capturing any leads or opportunities, capturing customer interaction, the CRM helps them process this data and monitor it in the future.
- Opportunity Management – helps to organize all relevant data received and captured for a deal to be put into one place, it could hold data as expected budget, total spending, prospective customers, key players, products interested in, important dates and expected closing dates of a deal.
- Quotation and Sales Order Management – if an opportunity is reached the quotation phase a quotation is formed and if this is won the quotation is turned into a sales order – the sales order then gets passed to the ERP system.
- Activity Management – this represents activities that go on within the sales and service areas with the interaction with the customer including meetings, discussions, calls, and emails.
Customer Relationship Management Software is a good way of organizing and running your company effectively.
When you implement a CRM solution for your company you make people accountable, while you equip them with the right tools to handle customer related problems.
Today’s market is extremely tough. With so much new competition making it to market keeping the revenue becomes even tougher. Using CRM is an excellent way to maintain your revenue and increase it by building customer loyalty. The company that gets on the customer service and loyalty bandwagon is going to reap the benefits long-term.
In addition to saving time and money, CRM software will provide instant answers to your customers, enabling excellent follow-up service.
Choosing the right CRM solution for your business requires first assessing your needs and comparing different solutions. Consider a CRM system that is flexible, so that your customer service won't be interrupted when your business grows or changes.
Be sure to consider factors such as price, features, scalability, integration capabilities, and support options when making your decision. The result is that customer service improves dramatically and thus so does the profit line.
In order to deliver outstanding service, it is essential that you build long term customer relationships and the way to do that is by the right CRM software for your business.