Customer Support Differentiates CRM Software Providers
CRM is all about building and managing the business relationships with your customers and in order to be effective you have to do this before, during and after the sale. Mid-size and larger organizations realize that this will require a fairly comprehensive CRM solution that addresses four business processes; account management, sales opportunity management, marketing campaign management and customer support. They also realize that they will require professional services, training and perhaps some assistance in tailoring any CRM solution to their requirements. This makes the CRM software selection process a bit easier for these companies because there are only a few high quality solution providers that can meet these criteria. It also serves to quickly differentiate the myriad of product offerings that do not.
The customer support aspect of CRM software is the key differentiator. I am not simply referring to companies that provide good customer service, but instead those that offer a Customer Support or integrated Help Desk application for ticket management. The big differentiator here is that when you access a customer profile you not only see account and sales history, but the service history as well thereby completing the picture and enabling you to properly manage the relationship with that customer. If they have had a difficult service history for example you will want to treat them a bit differently so that you can build trust in the relationship. If you have not captured this information you have no way to know this.
More and more companies are becoming interested in the customer service aspect of CRM. If you think this may be an important part of your decision process today or in the future, you may want to take a look at CRM solution providers that offer this level of functionality.
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