What is CRM?
What is CRM?
Customer Relationship Management commonly known as “CRM” is a blend of technology, practices and strategies that helps an organization to analyze the behaviour of customer and their interaction with the brand. It is done to improve the customer experience and relationship and it helps the company to drive more sales. A CRM system assembles all the data by the customer from different channels which could be a website, phone, social pages, e-mails, live chat and many others. A CRM provides all the details of the customers like their personal information, buying history, purchasing preference and other important details that can help a company to make better sales. In this article, we are going to study about everything you should know about CRM.
Components of CRM
Most sincerely, CRM software combines all the customer details into its database so the company can manage access and use it easily.
As technology is evolving, more and more new features are been installed in a CRM system to make them more useful. Some crucial functions in a CRM are recording a customer’s conversation on a phone, social pages, e-mail or any platform. It can also automate many tasks like creating alerts, calendar, making a call and one of the most important features in CRM is its ability to track the productivity of the company based on available information. Following are the important components of CRM that will help your company.
- Marketing Automation
Having a CRM with the ability to automate marketing can ease many tasks which are repetitive so that a person can focus on more important tasks. For example – If any potential customer comes with a query so it will automatically send a welcome message with all the marketing materials be it on an e-mail or social platforms so that they can be their permanent clients.
- Automation of Sales process
In this, the automation tool tracks the conversation of a customer and helps to automate some important parts of a sales process which are crucial to attract and get new clients.
- Automation of Calling
This feature will drastically reduce the boring part of a calling agent. Calling automation includes a pre-recorded voice that will assist the customer to get the solution what they want. To simplify the process of customer service different tools can be integrated with the system of the agent that will reduce time and money both.
- Location-based services
To create a marketing campaign according to the customer physical location many CRM software includes location-based services by integrating Google maps or any GPS app. This technology can be used to find and contact a customer or client in a particular location
- Automating Workflow
Every CRM system is developed to make most of the work automated so that employees can focus on more creative and important tasks.
- Lead management
It is easy to track leads with the help of a CRM tool so the sales team can track and analyze all the leads at one place.
- Human Resource management
A CRM tool can allow the human resource department to manage the workforce more effectively by tracking information of every employee be it their contact information, performance or attendance.
Analytics in CRM is very important for a better customer experience as it will analyze the data of the customer from which we can make targeted marketing campaigns.
- Artificial Intelligence
AI is the future and most of the artificial intelligence are coming with pre-installed CRM to automate repetitive works and identify customer’s behaviour and predict their next move.
Types of CRM Technologies
Top CRM companies like Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce and SAP offers many advanced and useful technology as they are used by big multinational corporations. Other CRM service providers are also popular among small and mid-size businesses and offer some decent technologies. Following are the technologies which are provided by a CRM
- On-Premises CRM
It is a kind of CRM system in which a company has to buy the licence of the CRM according to the number of employees working. Database of the system will be installed in servers of the company and this will be a one-time purchase. For further update and addition of any module, extra cost will be charged.
- Cloud-based CRM
Cloud-based CRM is also called on-demand CRM or software as a service in which all the data is stored in an external server and any employee can access it with the help of internet. Companies having limited technological recourses are more attracted to a cloud-based CRM. Small and mid-size companies find this CRM technology more affordable. Companies like sales-force charge a user on a subscription basis which can be monthly or yearly.
Big companies are very concern about their data while using cloud-based CRM as there is no physical control over the storage and maintenance of their data. If any cloud CRM provider goes out of business or acquired by any other company them there will be a risk of losing all their data. Therefore big corporations believe in on-premises CRM rather than on-cloud CRM as it is safe and cost-effective as well.
- Open source CRM
In the open-source CRM, the source code is made available to the local public so that anyone interested can download and modify the code according to their will. Some example of open source CRMs are OroCRM, SuiteCRM and SugarCRM. Any company can adopt this CRM technology according to their needs, goals and resources.
Why CRM is important to your business?
CRM has become the most important part for many businesses as it allows you to gain new customers and hold on to the existing ones. There is no stopping of the CRM industry.
A report shows that the revenue of the CRM software industry has now over taken the DMS (database management systems) to become the biggest software in the market. In this today competitive market, a customer has many choices of products and services.
After the launch of any new product in the market, it takes around a couple of months to make that product or service common which means that it is easy for customers to switch companies and brands but remember, not all customers are same.
Some customers are loyal to their particular brands and others buy products and services from new vendors in the market because of their influential marketing strategies. In these cases, CRM allows to target your potential customers and to keep them engage with them.
It also helps the company to understand their customers that what they need and how their product can improve their life. The more you engage with your customer, you know more about their preferences and choice of products which will help you to make sales.
Examples of CRM
- Call Centres
To collect data for the CRM systems are the prime responsibility of the sales and marketing team and for the call centre people as well. After generating leads, sales and marketing department updates the system with the available information of customer after this the information is used by call centre agents for service calls and tech support.
- Social CRM
In social media CRM allows businesses to engage with customers directly with the help of social media platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Social media allows customers to share their experience with their respective brands.
Companies use various CRM tools so that they can monitor their conversations on social by analysing brand mentions and the use of hashtags. Other tools are also there which help a company to analyze feedbacks on their social media pages and to reply to customer’s queries. It also helps to gather the information of customer’s preference, what they share and what kind of pages they are following so that they can recommend them the exact product or services they need.
Another benefit of Social CRM for both customers and brands is social forums where a customer can post their reviews about any products and can interact with their favourite brands to solve their problems in real-time. With the help of customer’s feedback, new ideas and changes for products and can be developed as well.
- Mobile CRM
A person who wants to work remotely will want a mobile CRM application as it will allow them to perform their daily tasks from their smartphones or tablets. It includes some unique features like GPS and voice reorganization so that a sales and marketing person can get customer’s details from anywhere in the world.
- Business to Business
In a B2B business model, a CRM system allows you to monitor every process in the sales which enables a business to rectify any problem during the process. CRM helps to make the B2B business model more transparent and hence increase the efficiency of the sales process.
Challenges of a CRM
The CRM technology is quite advanced and without proper knowledge and management, it will become a system where the information of customers is stored. For proper use of the data, it needs to be connected, organised and distributed so that anyone can use the information with ease. Without the connection of data, companies will only get the one-sided view on customer’s behaviour. Duplicated or outdated data can also be a huge problem as it will lead to bad customer experience.
Any CRM software works best when the company spends time to clear outdated data and eliminate any duplicated data.