Customer relationship management, or CRM for short, can be viewed as any tool or process that helps a business to store, organise, and access customer data. What historically started out with handwritten notes and computer-based databases has now grown into a far more advanced – and more convenient – system.
These days, most customer relationship management tools come in the form of cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) and offer a wide array of features geared at optimising business processes as a whole. Find out more about customer relationship management software and why they are so widely used to streamline business workflows in all manner of industries.
Setting and expanding the customer management framework
A basic customer relationship management system compiles customer data across different channels or points of contact, whether it be a website, live chat, digital ad, electronic direct mailer, chat message, phone call, or social media network. It is a place for business users to easily access detailed customer information such as personal info or even buying preferences and purchase history.
Modern CRM software also offers additional analytical, automation, and tracking capabilities that add further efficiencies to the customer relationship management process. Here are just a few CRM features that serve to take workflow consolidation up a few notches in any business.
In-depth data analysis
The most basic CRM systems can store data, but more advanced software tools can analyse it. CRM analytics help you understand your customer patterns and preferences at a deeper level, which in turn can help you create more targeted marketing campaigns and more effective strategies to retain customer loyalty. Some CRM software even have artificial intelligence capabilities that help predict future customer behaviours.
Automated marketing outreach
Automated marketing allows you to use CRM software to automatically send out communications to customers based on set parameters. For example, you can set up an automated email to be delivered at certain milestones or occasions (e.g. a subscription anniversary), instead of writing a one-off email that you need to manually send out to a list of recipients each time.
Lead management and tracking
When you automate your lead management process, you no longer have to worry about dropped or overlooked leads. Your CRM can allow you to collect and track all your leads in one place, with a clear record of every touch point between your client and company over time. Advanced systems can also identify and prioritise higher quality leads based on lead scoring criteria customised by yourself.
What does it do for your business?
The best businesses know that a closed sale is just the beginning of a longer customer journey. A good customer relationship management system supports this philosophy with its goal of extending the customer lifecycle. So, how does this translate into benefits for your business?
Put quite simply, when you improve customer service relationships, target marketing communications, and help queue touchpoints staff, the result is an uptick in customer retention. And when you factor in the fact that returning customers spend an average of 67% more than those who are new to your business, that translates to a boost in sales growth overall. This is why the best CRM systems will not only incentivise new sales, but work to create a better customer experience in the long run.
Moreover, from a work management point of view, the advantages of an automated customer management system just make good business sense. With shorter turn-around times, better leads, and the eradication of menial administrative processes, your staff will be able to up their efficiency levels and provide better results overall. Implementing a CRM also helps managers who want to get a bird’s eye view on company processes. When an automated CRM removes the need to worry about manual tracking and follow-ups, your managers can better focus their time and energy on high-level planning and implementation.
Choose the best CRM for your business
All the manifold advantages of a customer relationship management system will not necessarily apply if you do not choose a CRM that is the right fit for your business. In order to ensure you select a CRM software that works for you, it is best to go through some expectations and requirements beforehand.
For instance, you should start out with a good idea of what CRM features your business would require so that you can narrow your search to software providers that offer those capabilities. In order to decide what features you would want in your CRM, make sure to speak to key people in the teams who would be utilising the CRM once it is implemented.
Determining the required scope of your CRM will also help you allocate your budget for the software; if you require an all-in-one, fully integrated business management system, it is likely to come at a higher price than a smaller CRM software. Lastly, don’t forget to take into account the size of your business and what industry you are in; a CRM that is highly recommended for a large company in tech may not be as optimised for a small accounting firm, for example.
If you’re not sure what customer relationship management software would best suit your business, our friendly team at Clevero is ready to help. Whether it is all-in-one business management software you need or a more customised customer management system, we are happy to answer your enquiries and help work out what is best for your business. Get in touch with us for a free digital business consultation where we can help you find out what best suits your business and technological needs.