Unless your business is a non-profit organization, chances are your mission statement and vision work towards a goal that results in profit. If no profit is made, then the business is simply not feasible. While the profitability of a business largely depends on marketing, good offerings, and a team of reliable employees, the customers are arguably the most important factor.
The customer base is where income is generated. Their patronage is the source of not only profit, but it is also the source of funding that allows business expenses to be covered. Whether it is the paying of staff or the paying of utilities, without the customer base, there is no business.
For this reason, it is important to create good customer relationships. When customers get behind your business, they become a bonus method of advertising, and they also provide repeat business. This is where the concept of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) comes into play. CRM makes use of various tools, processes, and strategies, to improve organization of and access to customer information. This allows for creation and maintenance of customer relationships by using relevant information to offer personalized customer experiences.
CRM software refers to the systems used in a business to achieve proper CRM. Have a look below on a few useful CRM insights for your business.
How CRM Works
The number one reason businesses have trouble managing customer information is that the information is not collected at a single source. This is expected as a single customer can interact with multiple departments for different reasons. What if the information collected from each department were centralized? This is the basis of CRM software. No matter where the information is entered, all details are organized for review simplicity. So, the marketing department can view the purchases made by a customer for example, which allows for targeted campaigns.
What Departments Benefit from CRM?
CRM is intended for the customer facing departments of your business. For certain departments such as accounts, it is better to have their existing system (such as Intuit QuickBooks) integrate with the CRM platform. That way the platform collects relevant information such as spending habits and leaves out sensitive details such as account information. The main users of CRM software are:
● Customer Service – This is a no brainer as this department is responsible for addressing customer concerns on the front line. Having the information that CRM platforms provide helps the team to communicate as best as possible with each customer. It also helps them to make appropriate suggestions that can lead to business opportunities.
● Marketing – In the past, marketing teams had to come up with ideas without the benefit of well formatted insights. With CRM software, the marketing department can access all the information it needs to setup campaigns, track the activities that work versus those that do not, and they can also practice targeted marketing based on concrete information. Additionally, the business can use CRM software to measure the Return on Investment (ROI) of the efforts of the marketing team.
● Sales – For the sales team it is all about managing customers from the lead to the closing stage. CRM software allows the sales team to easily decide if effort should be committed to a lead and what activities are necessary to close a sale for each. Furthermore, sales team performance and its progress can be monitored with CRM systems.
Advantages of Using CRM Software
The move to a CRM software system has the following advantages for your business:
● Time that was previously spent on information management can be used for other duties
● Increased customer relationship creation and maintenance
● Reduction in data entry
● Better departmental integration
● Lower resource wastage
● Better internal communication.
The value of CRM should never be underestimated. If you are having trouble with customer relationship creation or maintenance, or your current process is tedious, consider implementing a CRM system in your organization.