The better a business can manage the relationships it has with its customers the more successful it will become. Therefore IT systems that specifically address the problems of dealing with customers on a day-to-day basis are growing in popularity.
Customer relationship management (CRM) is not just the application of technology, but is a strategy to learn more about customers’ needs and behaviours in order to develop stronger relationships with them. As such it is more of a business philosophy than a technical solution to assist in dealing with customers effectively and efficiently. Nevertheless, successful CRM relies on the use of technology.
This guide outlines the business benefits and the potential drawbacks of implementing CRM. It also offers help on the types of solution you could choose and how to implement them.
In the commercial world the importance of retaining existing customers and expanding business is paramount. The costs associated with finding new customers mean that every existing customer could be important.
The more opportunities that a customer has to conduct business with your company the better, and one way of achieving this is by opening up channels such as direct sales, online sales, franchises, use of agents, etc. However, the more channels you have, the greater the need to manage your interaction with your customer base.
Customer relationship management (CRM) helps businesses to gain an insight into the behaviour of their customers and modify their business operations to ensure that customers are served in the best possible way. In essence, CRM helps a business to recognise the value of its customers and to capitalise on improved customer relations. The better you understand your customers, the more responsive you can be to their needs.
CRM can be achieved by:
- finding out about your customers’ purchasing habits, opinions and preferences
- profiling individuals and groups to market more effectively and increase sales
- changing the way you operate to improve customer service and marketing
Benefiting from CRM is not just a question of buying the right software. You must also adapt your business to the needs of your customers.
BUSINESS BENEFITS OF CRM
Implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) solution might involve considerable time and expense. However, there are many potential benefits.
A major benefit can be the development of better relations with your existing customers, which can lead to:
- increased sales through better timing due to anticipating needs based on historic trends
- identifying needs more effectively by understanding specific customer requirements
- cross-selling of other products by highlighting and suggesting alternatives or enhancements
- identifying which of your customers are profitable and which are not
This can lead to better marketing of your products or services by focusing on:
- effective targeted marketing communications aimed specifically at customer needs
- a more personal approach and the development of new or improved products and services in order to win more business in the future
Ultimately this could lead to…click here to access the full article. Definitely worth the read 🙂