By Estela Viñarás, on 20 July 2021
Customer relationship management (CRM) is a term used to describe all activities, strategies, and tools used by a company to manage the way it interacts with its customer base. The right CRM strategy can help you build solid relationships with your customers and increase customer loyalty and retention. However, for it to work, your strategy must align with your sales and marketing plan and your customer service department. It also needs to take into account the four core areas of CRM: technology, strategy, processes, and people.
In this post, you will find out everything you need to know about customer relationship management. We will explain what CRM is, and how understanding the key elements of customer relationship management can benefit your business.
What Is Customer Relationship Management?
Customer relationship management is a combination of practices, strategies, and technologies used to manage and analyze customer interactions. It usually includes the analysis of data collected from a number of customer touchpoints, sych as website visits, telephone calls, live chat, direct email, marketing campaigns, and social media.
The aim of CRM is to improve customer relationships, increase loyalty and retention, and drive sales. However, for it to succeed, your CRM strategy needs to take into account the following key elements:
- Technology: applications and infrastructure. When people talk about CRM, they are usually referring to a CRM system, used to manage digital interactions with current and potential customers. Data is collected from the entire customer lifecycle, including marketing and sales platforms, digital commerce, and customer service interactions.
- Strategy: business goals and objectives. Your CRM strategy should be based on clear goals and objectives. It should also align with your company’s positioning, culture, vision and values.
- Processes: procedures and business rules. For a CRM strategy to work, all internal and external processes should be customer centric. Do they provide the best possible customer experience? Do customers trust what you do with their data?
- People: organizational structure, skills and incentives. People form the core of any CRM strategy. Are employees focused on customer engagement? Are departments cross-functional? Is there a top-down commitment from the entire staff? Are bonuses connected to customer satisfaction goals?
Why Customer Relationship Management Is Important
CRM is so much more than technology. Think of it as a business philosophy based on listening to customer needs and behaviors and using that information to build stronger relationships and generate more leads. It should form the foundation of your business strategy.
It Helps You Manage, Automate, and Optimize Customer Data
A good CRM system takes into account all touchpoints in the customer lifecycle. This might include phone calls, messages through social media, website interactions, and emails. It gathers data when a client Tweets about your company, files a complaint, submits a review or raises an issue. By analyzing this data, you can build a picture of who your target customer is, how they typically behave, what they want and expect from your business, and how you can win them over.
A CRM system can also help you organize, streamline and automate your processes so that you collect the right data and have the right information at your fingertips whenever you need it.
It Helps You Learn About Your Customers and Build Relationships
For a company to succeed in business, it needs to understand its customers. The data you collect through your CRM solution can help you understand what makes your customers tick, and how you can keep them happy. You can then use this information to communicate in a way that addresses their needs and wants. This will create an increased sense of trust and loyalty and help to cement a long-lasting relationship with all of your customers.
It Helps You Identify and Categorize Leads
Customer relationship management data can be used to optimize marketing campaigns using a data-driven approach. This can help you better understand your sales pipelines and provide you with a clear vision of all leads and opportunities so that you know which are worth investing your time and attention in.
How Customer Relationship Management Benefits Your Business
Implementing a CRM system can provide your company with a great number of benefits. Customer relationship management can help you get to know your customer base and build better relationships. A CRM tool can be used to manage and analyze your customer data more effectively and automate and optimize your customer relationship management processes. It also makes it easier for your employees to identify sales opportunities and manage marketing campaigns, driving the bottom line of your business.
Let’s take a look at a few of these benefits in a bit more detail.
Better Analytics = Better Relationships
Access to more comprehensive analytics will help you understand market trends and customer wants and needs. Customer relationship management data can help you gain valuable insight into your typical customer so that you can build a better customer experience for them. When a customer sees that you care about the experience they have with your company, it helps build a sense of trust and loyalty.
Better Relationships = Higher Customer Satisfaction
CRM data doesn’t just stop there. The better the relationship you have with a customer, the more likely they are to have a positive experience with you and return. What’s more, a CRM solution centralizes all your customer data so you can access what you need at the drop of a hat. This makes it far easier for your customer service reps to address any issues that crop up so that all your customers walk away with smiles on their faces.
Higher Customer Satisfaction = Increased Retention, Loyalty, and Profit
Of course, the bottom line is that happy customers mean increased retention, loyalty and profit. The better the experience a customer has with you - whether it’s their first visit or they are a long-time customer - the more likely they are to come back. You are only as good as your last transaction with someone, so you need to keep your customers satisfied to keep them coming back. This is what customer relationship management is all about. A good CRM system can also help you keep in touch with past customers and incentivize them to visit you again. After all, it is far cheaper, in the long run, to keep a customer than it is to find a new one.