Customer Relationship Management, abbreviated as CRM, is a process involving the management, tracking and recording of current and prospective customer’s data, to facilitate better communication in order to maintain or form a good relationship with them. Traditionally, customer relationship management involved sending cards, gift baskets, newsletters or good old phone calls. With the advent of technology, this process too has been computerized. There now exist CRM software packages or systems, that do everything that traditional CRM did, and more.
CRM has proven to be a very important tool for the growth and relevance of a business. It is a widely known fact that retaining a pre-existing customer is ten times cheaper than acquiring a new one. CRM software aims to save businesses this cost by maximizing customer retention in a number of ways. This system has become a need in the current business environment, due to the high competition in almost every industry. This has led to businesses of all scales opting for CRM systems, which are tailored to their needs so that they can get their money’s worth.
The biggest reasons that businesses are opting for CRM systems are:
It provides centralized data storage
Any kind of data acquired at any given time may be useful later. But in an organization, if different people interact with the same customer, they all receive data and record it in different places. This can prove to be a very messy and inconvenient way to store and retrieve data because none of them have complete information; they may also have the same information that they end up storing in different places (data duplication). Having a CRM software not only reduces the frequency of this issue but completely eliminates it. Having a centralized data storage system ensures that all available and newly received data are entered and stored in a single place which is constantly updated, hence greatly reducing repetition and simplifying data retrieval for everyone involved.
A smooth workflow is a key factor in helping an organization succeed. This is impossible without establishing a proper system of communication; one which combines all outlets of communication while keeping track of the information exchanged. Most CRM software packages offer an integrated communication channel, which enables your business to send and receive communication through all the channels that you want to.
The crux of CRM is that it aims to provide a great customer experience and meaningful communication. A system that tracks and streamlines all customer requests, complaints, purchases, preferences and insights is an extremely important asset that improves communication between you and your client. This software helps your business build personal connections with your clients by sending them timely updates, reminder e-mails and personalized promotional content and helps resolve issues quicker by tracking and gathering all communication between your representative and the client, cutting down on time wasted asking the same customer for information repeatedly.
Supports sales and marketing communications
The sales and marketing teams of organizations are the ones that have maximum contact with your clients. Helping them do better with the help of a software will not only save their time but will also boost their productivity and increase their output. A CRM system is the perfect solution for this. Customer Relationship Management software packages not only combine all modes of communication but also record all the information exchanged, so that you and/or your representative do not have to go looking through multiple files or folders to recall the details of your client’s background again and again. While these CRM packages boost communication between a business and it’s client, they also help improve inter-branch and inter-departmental communication.
Sales and marketing is a combined effort, where the people working in these departments need all possible support, knowledge and information regarding their products and services so that they can answer all client queries effectively and give them correct information. A CRM system gives them regularly updated data which they can use to maximize the sales and marketing communications of their business. It updates everybody with the latest tasks completed and allows easy access to the information.
A Customer Relationship Management system is a unified software. It performs multiple tasks like centralizing data storage, streamlining client communications, sending reminders. It updates to clients in a timely manner, ensuring smooth workflow between departments, and so on. Doing all these tasks manually is time consuming, slow, and monotonous and leaves room for human error. Implementing multiple software packages to do these tasks individually puts a load on the system. It also wastes time as the user has to learn how multiple software bundles work and spend a lot of time switching between different platforms to perform a task. Both of these options are expensive, in terms of purchasing materials (like paper, files, stationery, and other equipment), utilizing manpower, and purchasing software.
Implementing open source CRM software is the best, most cost-effective solution for a business that needs to perform all the aforementioned tasks. It saves the costs involved with purchasing equipment as well as those incurred in buying multiple software packages. It is a one-stop solution to answer all your customer relationship management needs. This software has minimal upkeep costs too. The post-purchase support and customizations is available at nominal charges (if at all).
An organization requires a lot of data of different kinds to run efficiently. To provide a fantastic customer service experience, the organization must be quick and precise when interacting with a customer. This means that when a representative is interacting with a customer, they will need customer’s information. This data is stored in a single folder in the Customer Relationship Management software. Having all the data stored in one common place allows your representative to help your customer in the best way. This also helps in cases where the assigned representative is unavailable and somebody else has to take over for them. This new person does not need to contact the absent representative to obtain information; they can do it themselves in a short amount of time.
These are just five of the numerous reasons why almost all businesses today are choosing a customized CRM software. It boosts productivity, saves valuable time, reduces costs, improves and tracks communication and does so much more. The reason that having a CRM software for your business has become a need is that it digitizes your data. Digitized data is a lot less prone to misplacement, loss, disorganization or damage. It is also much easier and time-saving to search for a particular thing if its digitized. Similarly, the flow of sending and receiving data is also so much simpler. CRM systems help you handle and organize this data, while recording each and every exchange, modification, and access. It improves data transfer, security, and accessibility in the organization. Therefore making the business more transparent to its employees, helping them work better and provide their best to your clients.
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