Customer Relationship Management or CRM includes all aspects of the interactions that a company has with its customers, whether it is sales or services.
CRM can be defined as a combination of processes, technology and people that come together to achieve a greater understanding of a company’s customers.
For many companies, CRM has acquired such importance that more than a set of processes they consider it a philosophy that can be extended to the whole company.
Uses of CRM
While the expression customer relationship management is most commonly used to describe a business relationship with customers, CRM is also used to manage relationships between companies. The information tracked in a CRM system includes contacts, customers, getting the contract and sales opportunities and much more.
But not only that but the CRM goes far beyond the customer relationships themselves and is established as an extensive and complex data system applicable to multiple areas of the company that we can use to optimize them.
As we will see below, the versatility of CRM systems is very high, which is why more and more em
Advantages of CRM
Customer Relationship Management systems raise some suspicion in companies in relation to them, either considering them an unnecessary expenditure of money or because they are too tedious a task. But nothing could be further from the truth, CRM systems are a great source of benefits for those companies that implement them correctly, as well as a vital factor when dealing, not only with customers but also with other companies.
Among the main advantages of CRM are:
- Increased Productivity:the in-depth analysis of customer data through CRM allows us to improve the processes of numerous areas of the company and thus improve their productivity.
- Increase Engagement:Thanks to CRM we can build more solitary and lasting relationships with our customers, since we know them better and in this way we can provide value more in line with their needs. In this sense, it should be noted that CRM is also an excellent starting point to segment our customers.
- Improve sales:through customer relationships we can increase conversion rates while shortening sales cycles and thus increase our profits.
- Data Management:in an era in which more than ever, information is power, CRM allows us to access and huge forts of information and have access to it in real time from any device so that we can use it in any of our processes.
- Improves Efficiency:as a consequence of the above, CRM allows us to optimize our processes and cut their costs by being much more efficient.
- Greater Control:we can run the company more effectively by having greater control over aspects such as order status, budget, stock or service times.
How to implement a CRM System
Although more and more companies are opting for the implementation of CRM systems, these will be really effective if we do not know how to establish them in the right way. When implementing a CRM system we must follow the following steps:
- Define our situation:it is essential to carry out an analysis of the situation from which we start, our vision and goal, the objectives we want to achieve and how our sales process is shaped.
- Develop our strategy: it is time to decide the needs that we want our CRM system to cover, it is one of the most important points because it is the moment where we will set the direction we want the whole system to take and the objectives that we intend it to help us achieve.
- Develop the CRM automation plan:once the needs that we want the CRM to cover have been set, it is time to establish the parameters that will indicate the needs to be covered. In this phase we select the indicators that configure our automation strategy in order to optimize it as much as possible to obtain the best results.
- Conducting pilot tests:prior to the final launch of the system, we will carry out pilot tests in order to detect those most important failures that may compromise the efficiency of our system, in addition this step should serve as training for the members of our company who are going to use this new system.
- Launch of the system:when we have carried out enough tests to guarantee the correct functioning of our CRM system, we can start it, it is time to make every effort in order to meet the proposed objectives,
- Analysis and Optimization:The CRM process does not have an end but we must constantly analyze all the data that we extract over the months in order to detect failures and points to improve and thus be able to optimize them in the future.
Evolution of CRM
Technology and the internet have changed the way companies approach customer relationship strategies, for example by modifying consumer buying behavior. Also, today there are many ways for companies to communicate with customers and to collect data about them. With each new advancement in technology, especially the proliferation of self-service channels such as the web and smartphones, customer relationships are largely being managed electronically.