Salesforce defines CRM as a strategy for managing all your company's It's also possible to include information from customers' public social media activity. 2. WHO IS YOUR “CUSTOMER”? The “C” in CRM can have a narrow definition or a wide one. For instance, customers can include not only those who buy from. Information tracked in a CRM system might include contacts, sales leads, clients, demographic or firmographic data, sales history, technical support and service.
However, there are many potential benefits. A major benefit can be the development of better relations with your existing customers, which can lead to: The more you know about your customers, the easier it is to identify new prospects and increase your customer base. Even with years of accumulated knowledge, there's always room for improvement. Customer needs change over time, and technology can make it easier to find out more about customers and ensure that everyone in an organisation can exploit this information.
The better the relationship, the easier it is to conduct business and generate revenue. Therefore using technology to improve CRM makes good business sense. CRM solutions fall into the following four broad categories.
Customer relationship management
Outsourced solutions Application service providers can provide web-based CRM solutions for your business. This approach is ideal if you need to implement a solution quickly and your company does not have the in-house skills necessary to tackle the job from scratch.
It is also a good solution if you are already geared towards online e-commerce. Off-the-shelf solutions Several software companies offer CRM applications that integrate with existing packages.
Cut-down versions of such software may be suitable for smaller businesses. This approach is generally the cheapest option as you are investing in standard software components.
The downside is that the software may not always do precisely what you want and you may have to trade off functionality for convenience and price. The key to success is to be flexible without compromising too much.
Custom software For the ultimate in tailored CRM solutions, consultants and software engineers will customise or create a CRM system and integrate it with your existing software. However, this can be expensive and time consuming. If you choose this option, make sure you carefully specify exactly what you want.
This will usually be the most expensive option and costs will vary depending on what your software designer quotes. Managed solutions A half-way house between custom and outsourced solutions, this involves renting a customised suite of CRM applications as a tailored package. This can be cost effective but it may mean that you have to compromise in terms of functionality. How to implement CRM The implementation of a customer relationship management CRM solution is best treated as a six-stage process, moving from collecting information about your customers and processing it to using that information to improve your marketing and the customer experience.
Stage 1 - Collecting information The priority should be to capture the information you need to identify your customers and categorise their behaviour. Those businesses with a website and online customer service have an advantage as customers can enter and maintain their own details when they buy.
Stage 2 - Storing information The most effective way to store and manage your customer information is in a relational database - a centralised customer database that will allow you to run all your systems from the same source, ensuring that everyone uses up-to-date information.
Stage 3 - Accessing information With information collected and stored centrally, the next stage is to make this information available to staff in the most useful format. Stage 4 - Analysing customer behaviour Using data mining tools in spreadsheet programs, which analyse data to identify patterns or relationships, you can begin to profile customers and develop sales strategies.
Stage 5 - Marketing more effectively Many businesses find that a small percentage of their customers generate a high percentage of their profits.
Using CRM to gain a better understanding of your customers' needs, desires and self-perception, you can reward and target your most valuable customers. Stage 6 - Enhancing the customer experience Just as a small group of customers are the most profitable, a small number of complaining customers often take up a disproportionate amount of staff time.
If their problems can be identified and resolved quickly, your staff will have more time for other customers. Potential drawbacks of CRM There are several reasons why implementing a customer relationship management CRM solution might not have the desired results.
There could be a lack of commitment from people within the company to the implementation of a CRM solution. Adapting to a customer-focused approach may require a cultural change.
There is a danger that relationships with customers will break down somewhere along the line, unless everyone in the business is committed to viewing their operations from the customers' perspective. The result is customer dissatisfaction and eventual loss of revenue. Poor communication can prevent buy-in. In order to make CRM work, all the relevant people in your business must know what information you need and how to use it.
Weak leadership could cause problems for any CRM implementation plan. The onus is on management to lead by example and push for a customer focus on every project. It involves using technology to organize, automate, and synchronize business processes—principally sales activities, but also those for marketing, customer service, and technical support.
Purpose The idea of CRM is that it helps businesses use technology and human resources to gain insight into the behavior of customers and the value of those customers. With an effective CRM strategy, a business can increase revenues by: For small businesses, customer relationship management includes: CRM processes that help identify and target their best customers, generate quality sales leads, and plan and implement marketing campaigns with clear goals and objectives.
CRM processes that help form individualized relationships with customers to improve customer satisfaction and provide the highest level of customer service to the most profitable customers.
CRM processes that provide employees with the information they need to know their customers' wants and needs, and build relationships between the company and its customers. Customer relationship management tools include software and browser-based applications that collect and organize information about customers. For instance, as part of their CRM strategy, a business might use a database of customer information to help construct a customer satisfaction survey, or decide which new product their customers might be interested in.
Key Elements of CRM CRM can be broken down into a number of different components which many software vendors have developed packages for. For the most part, there are three areas which are core to successful customer relationship management: Customer Service Campaign Management.
Customer Service The customer service function in your company represents the front office functions that interact with your customers. These are the business processes that allow your company to sell products and services to your customers, communicate with your customers with regards marketing and dealing with the after sales service requirements of your customers.
Each interaction with the customer is recorded and stored within the CRM software where it can be retrieved by other employees if needed. The sales force automation functionality of CRM software allows the sales teams to record each contact with customers, the details of the contact and if follow up is required.
- Customer Relationship Management
- Customer relationship management
This can provide a sales force with greater efficiencies as there is little chance for duplication of effort. The ability for employees outside of the sales team to have access to this data ensures that they have the most recent contact information with customers.
This is important when customers contact employees outside of the sales team so that customers are given the best level of customer service.
Customer-relationship management - Wikipedia
Campaign Management The sales team approach prospective customers in the hope of winning new business. The approach taken by the sales team is often focused in a campaign, where a group of specific customers are targeted based on a set of criteria. These customers will receive targeted marketing materials and often special pricing or terms are offered as an inducement.
CRM software is used to record the campaign details, customer responses and analysis performed as part of the campaign. In today's fast-paced, competitive business environment it's more important than ever to create and maintain long-lasting business relationships. Today, CRM manages business processes spanning sales, support, and marketing creating effective customer interactions.
Given the purpose of CRM, the functionality is straightforward, and the benefits of successful deployments clearly generate value and profitability for any company. Great CRM solutions need to encourage users to interact with the application as well as be in-tune with the business and IT cost-saving needs. For the up to date CRM to be world class it needs to be revolutionary in market incursion and evolutionary in technological up gradation.
Today the major business focus is towards endowing value addition to the sales cycle, and customer retention rather than constructing a new customer base which is costlier and also an uncertain chase from business perspective.
The basic philosophy behind CRM is that a company's relationship with the customer would be the biggest asset in the long run. Before implementing any Customer Relationship Management solution in the organization there are many Question's which need a comprehensive explanation from the users' point of view What is the added value preposition of the CRM to the organization?
What would be the environment under which the implementation would be done?CRM - Customer Relationship Management
How would the synergies be reflecting in the processes of the company? These are mere stencils of the holistic scenario prevalent right now, and are to a great extent a factor which harms the opportunities of long term survival for any CRM vendor. Below are listed the following building blocks for successful CRM projects: