Previously, businesses depended completely on their personnel to interact with their customers. Companies had to sift through thousands of resumes just to find the best workers around in order to sell their products or just answer clients” queries. However, things have changed now. With the arrival of automated systems, especially customer relationship management (CRM) systems, companies can finally breathe easier.
A Brief Introduction to CRM Systems
Customer relationship management (CRM) is a strategy that helps companies manage interactions with its customers, clients and suppliers. With the help of different software modules, the system can organize, automate and coordinate business processes such as sales activities, customer service and marketing.
In general, companies start using CRM systems in order to automate three phases:
1. Attracting New Businesses: With the help of contact management, sales automation and marketing software, a CRM system can help businesses attract new clients.
2. Enhancing Customer Service: CRM software allows businesses to capture, manage and share vital customer information with the people and departments that require it to efficiently do their jobs. This ensures that your staff is providing high quality customer service and responding quickly to customer inquiries.
3. Retaining Existing Clients: In today’s competitive environment it is important to meet customer expectations before, during and after the sale. CRM software which provides service ticket management, a customer knowledgebase and access to frequently asked questions can help you to deliver the personalized service that drives customer loyalty.
These phases are respectively translated into the following three CRM software applications:
1. Sales and Marketing: These Sales management and email marketing applications help you build brand recognition via automated marketing programs, manage leads, qualify prospects, create proposals and quotes. Automated business processes help manage the sales cycle from introduction to closure and ensure that you sales team remains on track. This, in turn, helps to reduce the costs and time spent on extensive market research, finding leads, developing account relationships, and delivering proposals.
2. Contacts and Account Management: This is the core of most CRM software programs which allows companies to track, manage and share information. Having a complete 360 degree customer profile of company information has proven to significantly improve sales execution and customer service.
3. Customer Support: This customer support application helps with problem resolution, escalation tracking and the management of product and service contracts. A quality CRM system will help turn your call center into a support center that helps secure customer loyalty.
Benefits of Using a CRM System
Companies that have implemented CRM systems have realized the following benefits:
“Guaranteed Customer Satisfaction” Automating different aspects of a business helps reduce the delivery time of products and services. In addition, since business transactions are handled through a computer, chances of errors are significantly reduced. Maintaining a history of customer interactions also serves to ensure that your staff can quickly and efficiently respond to customer inquires.
“Reduced Costs” CRM systems that efficiently manage the marketing , sales and support aspects of growing businesses have proved to significantly reduce operational cost through reduced errors and improved communication with customers, vendors and suppliers.
“Improved Brand Recognition” Whereas a single sales representative may be able to reach out to 40 people a day, a CRM system can publicize companies” products and services to thousands of customers and prospects at a fraction of the cost.
“The Ability to Track and Manage Opportunities” Companies which deal with hundreds of customers will be able to effectively track and manage phone calls, sales leads and follow-up activity. This ensures that they know where they are in each stage of the sales cycle.
“An Edge Over Your Competition” The more you know about your customers, the better you”ll be able to optimize your strategies for customer acquisition, retention and cross selling, giving you a leg up on your competition. Companies that have deployed CRM software have become a more effective sales and service organization.
For organizations looking to choose the best CRM system for their needs, here are some pointers to keep in mind:
” CRM systems are available as web-based programs as well as desktop based software. Choosing between both of these types depends on your specific business criteria and whether you have an IT infrastructure to manage on-premise software or not.
” Companies should choose systems that are simple and easy to use. This helps organizations avoid spending money on hiring professional system operators and saves employees from spending time on excessive training.
” Organizations should look for software that is provided by a reputable company with many years in the business.
” Good CRM software is available at a pocket-friendly price, but make sure the company offers continued support and scalability.
” Companies need to research the solution they become interested in. Online reviews on different forums and communities can also be of much help.
If you make the right selection and are committed to improving how you market, sell and service your customers you will realize extensive value from CRM software. For more information please Visit: www.commence.com