What is Customer Relationship Management?
Customer Relationship Management or (CRM) is a term that defines how your business interrelates with your customers. In the most basic form, the CRM is a system to capture information about your customers. However, the purpose of the CRM is much more than that. CRM involves using technology to gather the intel you need to provide improved support and services to your customers. Since human beings naturally have memory limitations, we can’t possibly remember every single client, relationship and request by heart… especially when we’re dealing with over 50 clients in a month. Therefore, CRM helps you as a business owner to better prepare for your clients’ requests, always be one step ahead of your clients and also gain their trust, that you indeed remember and care about their needs. Ultimately CRM is about what you do with the information you gather throughout your interaction with your client, to better meet their needs and identify new potential customers, resulting in higher revenues for you.
The CRM purpose & Functionality…
- A database that allows you to collect information about your customers.
- A way to analyze the gathered client information in a local or cloud database.
- A strategy for applying the analysis to better meet your clients’ needs and identify potential customers.
- Collecting data to ensure your strategy is effective against time.
Integrating CRM in Your Business Model
Envisioning your ideal business flow is the key in this process. Developing a CRM strategy is an investment that will be beneficial in the future most definitely. Creating a strategy allows you to set a direction for your CRM initiatives and ensures that your investment is targeted to foster stronger relations with your customers.
As a starting point for developing a CRM system for your business, you should identify your customer profile. For example, their needs, their level of satisfaction, and what impacts their purchasing decisions. With this process, you may be able to identify unique traits that your clients have and ultimately focus your efforts on those important hidden buying qualities. Your CRM strategy should also define the goals of your business’ engagement with current and future customers to maximize sales, profit and long-term growth.
CRM Will Also Benefit Your Company By Allowing You To:
- Develop improved services and products that meet your customers’ identified needs.
- Boost marketing towards the most profitable customers to improve your business revenue.
- Anticipate future business needs based on data on historic sale and service tendencies.
- Increase client-base as you advance in new ways to engage your clients.
Benefits of CRM
CRM is about making each and every customer feel like they have a one-to-one relationship with you. Effective CRM gives you the opportunity to show your customers that:
- You know and recognize them personally, (but not too personally).
- You understand them and their needs properly.
- You sincerely care about their needs, demands and concerns.
- You want to deliver services and products they need the most.
- Ultimately, you appreciate their business.
Implementing CRM in Your Business Model
Implementing a CRM system is more than installing a software package. All functional areas of your business need to be carefully observed and taken into consideration by yourself and also the Developer who is assisting you put the divine plan together.
You will need to ensure all your employees understand CRM and what it means in your business. This can be done through formal training or informational conferences. Developing a written CRM strategy is another good way to communicate with your employees.
How much data is the right amount of data to collect? Once you get started collecting data about your customers, it’s sometimes hard to know when to stop. If you do collect a lot of data, there are two things to consider:
- Do your current systems have the capacity to hold and manage it?
- Do you really need to store every piece of information you collect? Maybe you just need it one time?
Smooth implementation of CRM in your business is likely to depend on the level of planning that went into developing a comprehensive CRM strategy in the first place. The clearer your business’ CRM objectives are, the easier it will be to formulate a plan to implement these initiatives and ensure that all your employees understand how it relates to the overall success of the business model.