CRM or customer relationship management is the business approach to creating and maintaining relationships with your targeted audience. It serves as a way to develop a business relationship as well as a personal relationship with individuals – the ultimate aim is to retain them for future business.
By creating an integrated solution administration routine tasks such as cold calling, pre-sales and customer management can become more streamlined and effective. A solid CRM programme also has many other advantages for a business making its way through the current economic landscape, including:
- Making tracing and tracking customer trends and movements easier, which allows your business to work out which customers are the most profitable enabling you to target your business time and money more effectively.
- The ability to group customers into certain categories, assigning them an account manager who then becomes responsible for making sure their clients have the very best in customer services. It makes sure that each client has an accountable member of staff within your business which should help to deliver a better business experience.
- Being able to view historical and analytical data of client purchase history, helping your business to look at potential future requirements of those clients and anticipate future business – again offering your customers a more joined up service.
CRM systems work well not only for storing existing customer details but also for helping with any prospective new clients. Storing information about the number and ways of contact can help the initial introduction service and subsequent business. Again it is the seamless integration of a hosted CRM system that will enable your sales people to then link in with service or production employees once the business has been won.
CRM is a cost effective method of conducting business – there is no replication of data inputting or doubling up on either sales or marketing efforts. Ideally it will lead to less administration, less employees needed and less resources used. Hosted CRM systems will make systems more efficient with simpler processes.
The Future of CRM
The future hosted CRM systems will need to take into account the impact of social media in modern businesses – web 2.0 will need to be integrated into CRM solutions. In the ever more connected world in which we live the days of CRM being stand alone is over. The future will mean that CRM systems will need to fully integrate with all production and automated processes that businesses use – a holistic approach ensuring the various aspects of a business are fully integrated.
The main aim of CRM is to give your business the competitive advantage over others in the market place. It enables you to integrate all aspects of your business processes as well as allowing you to track and pinpoint customer requirements. This means you can deliver a far higher standard of customer service – leading to the best business that there is – repeat business. There are a wide range of hosted CRM solutions available, but many of them are costly so make sure you shop around and find the solution that is right for you.
This post was written on behalf of iComplete – Small Business CRM experts.