Customer relationship management, or CRM, consists of all aspects of interaction between a company and its customers. The primary goals of CRM is to better understand the customer, attract new customers, retain current customers through better customer experience, increase profitability by winning over new clients, and reducing customer management costs. Information is collected from all data sources within an organization to present the company with one, holistic view of each individual customer in real time. This allows customer service employees the tools required for the best marketing strategies and customer relations in areas such as customer support, sales, and marketing. The following are important CRM strategies that are essential for business-customer relations.
CRM analytics is a system of programming that analyzes data about a company’s customers and organizes it so that more efficient business decisions can be made. Features of analytics can be incorporated into sales, service, and marketing applications to allow companies to monitor and understand their customer’s preferences. CRM analytical tools can be used to benefit many customer-related activities, such as determining if an ad campaign is successful or if customers are satisfied with certain products or services. With CRM analytic, companies can also used advanced reporting software to show trends and build reports.
Segmentation is a technique that is used quite frequently as a way to divide a company’s population by targeting demographics related to the business that align products to specific market segments. The market is divided into groups of individual markets with similar needs or wants that a company divides into distinct groups which may want different products or services. Markets can be divided by various criteria, such as private or public. Customer-based segmentation can be developed on a product-specific basis in order to provide a match between a customer and product or service.
Business process redesign is the analysis and design of processes with and between organizations. Generally, the processes have two important characteristics. These include both internal and external customers and occur between or across organizational boundaries. The primary objective of process redesign is to take advantage of new technologies, such as multi-media, the Internet, and wireless telecommunications by rethinking business practices. This can lead to great improvements in competitiveness, productivity, profits, and customer service.
Sales Force Automation
Sales force automation, or SFA, is a type of information systems used to streamline all the phrases of the sales process. This helps to minimize the time that sales representatives spends completing each individual phrase and allows for more customer service time. SFA consists of a contact management system used for tracking and recording the stages of a sale with each customer from start to finish. There are also a wide range of SFA applications used for sales forecasts, quote generation, workflow animation, and product knowledge.
Customer Service and Support
Customer service is one of the most important factors in maintaining current customers and attracting new clients. Businesses continue to search for new technology to help improve the customers experience while keeping costs at a minimum. Many companies do not have all the tools to solve the problems of their customers. Customer service applications manage call center solutions, as well as features such as computer telephone integration and intelligent call routing.
CRM marketing helps businesses identify and target potential clients. Generating new leads can be accomplished in several ways, such as with multi-channel campaigns, social media, email, search, direct mail, and telephone. Prospect Relationship Management (PRM) tracks customer behavior from start to finish during a sale. Marketing automation is often used to cut the process of active sales out altogether.
Social media has become increasingly popular with the launch of sites such as FaceBook, Twitter, and Linkedln. Customers can use social media to share experiences on specific companies, such as their services and products. Companies look to gain access into this dialogue to promote targeted sales and marketing communications. While company involvement in social media can lead to high-quality leads, some customers resent company involvement in their peer-to-peer discussions.