Customer relation management (CRM) is a practice by companies that involves tracking customers’ activity during their lifetime with the company. It involves technological practices and strategies that a company employs during a customer’s lifecycle to track and analyze customer interactions with the company. It is aimed at developing customer relationships with the company and hence increasing sales. CRM systems are designed to provide a contact point between the customer and the business. This helps to track a customer’s personal background information about buying history, preferences and choices as well as a customer’s concerns. Information tracked includes: emails, telephone calls, social media chatting and website interactions among others.
Benefits of CRM software
CRM software consolidates all of this customer information (from phones, emails chats, live chats, social media etc) into one single database making it manageable. The software tracks various customer interactions and automatically records them. This helps managers to track information about productivity, based on the information that the customers used to log in. Their benefits include:
- Increases organization – When a large organization is dealing with millions of customers it is easy to be disorganized. The software creates organization by creating a contact list and having all information about the customer centralized.
- Scalability – It is vital to consider long-term needs of a company and take them into account. The software is designed to accommodate as much data as required as it comes in. It also it has an option for upgrading which can be done when a need arises.
- Integration with other software – if one has existing software to monitor customers e.g. QuickBooks and Microsoft Excel it is advisable to get software that can integrate with your current software easily.
- Support systems - The CRM support system is efficient and operates 24/7 to help one resolve issues that might arise during the transition as well as afterwards.
- Mobile capabilities – CRMs can appear in mobile phone form as well. This makes it useful and usable to all small and large enterprises.
- Improve social media marketing – the CRM software integrates with social media hence allowing managers to track performance of the product they offer and interact with customers directly.
Features of CRM Software
This is one of the integral features of the CRM. It involves use of the software to send automated marketing information to customers via email or social media, hence converting leads into potential customers. This feature helps in marketing efforts to customers at each point of the lifecycle. It helps to automate and make easier the work of marketing that can otherwise be manual.
Sale force automation
This involves analyzing sales, tracking customer interactions, sales processing and inventory control. A CRM system tracks all follow-ups and contacts between customers and salespeople automatically. This helps in preventing duplicate contact between salespersons and customers. In other words it manages sales force.
Contact centre automation
Also known as e-contact, customer centre is where customer contacts are managed centrally in an organization. The contact centre includes all online contacts and also extends to other contact forms which includes; post mails, website enquires, new letters, chats and all other information gathered about the customer during purchasing. Contact centre automation is designed to cut off some of the costs associated with hiring call centre agents, as well as to cut down the time for calls and simplify customers work. This involves pre-recording information that will help customers during calls or conveying certain information about the business. It is also integrated with the system to cater for a customer need and simplify the purchasing process.
This is also referred to as location based technology. It includes being able to create marketing campaigns based on the specific geographical location of a customer. This is made possible since the software integrates with popular location-based GPRS apps which are available. The technology can also be used as a contact management tool so as to extend sales by finding prospective customers in specific locations.