What is Customer Relationship Management?(CRM)

Customer relationship management (CRM) refers to the principles, practices and guidelines that an organization follows when interacting with its customers. From the organization’s point of view, this entire relationship encompasses direct interactions with customers, such as sales and service-related processes, and forecasting and analysis of customer-trends and behaviors. Ultimately, CRM serves to enhance the customer’s overall experience.

Customer relationship managementCRM

Customer relationship management (CRM) is an approach to managing a company’s interaction with current and potential customers. It uses data analysis about customers’ history with a company and to improve business relationships with customers, specifically focusing on customer retention and ultimately driving sales growth.One important aspect of the CRM approach is the systems of CRM that compile data from a range of different communication channels, including a company’s website, telephone, email, live chat, marketing materials, and more recently, social media. Through the CRM approach and the systems used to facilitate it, businesses learn more about their target audiences and how to best cater to their needs. However, adopting the CRM approach may also occasionally lead to favoritism within an audience of consumers, resulting in dissatisfaction among customers and defeating the purpose of CRM.

The primary goal of customer relationship management systems is to integrate and automate sales, marketing, and customer support. Therefore, these systems typically have a dashboard that gives an overall view of the three functions on a single customer view, a single page for each customer that a company may have. The dashboard may provide client information, past sales, previous marketing efforts, and more, summarizing all of the relationships between the customer and the firm. Operational CRM is made up of 3 main components: sales force automation, marketing automation, and service automation.

Key Elements of CRM

CRM can be broken down into a number of different components which many software vendors have developed packages for. For the most part, there are three areas which are core to successful customer relationship management :

  • Sales force automation: Sales force automation works with all stages in the sales cycle, from initially entering contact information to converting a prospective client into an actual client. It implements sales promotion analysis, automates the tracking of a client’s account history for repeated sales or future sales and coordinates sales, marketing, call centers, and retail outlets. It prevents duplicate efforts between a salesperson and a customer and also automatically tracks all contacts and follow-ups between both parties.
  • Marketing Automation:Its focuses on easing the overall marketing process to make it more effective and efficient. CRM tools with marketing automation capabilities can automate repeated tasks, for example, sending out automated marketing emails at certain times to customers, or posting marketing information on social media. The goal with marketing automation is to turn a sales lead into a full customer. CRM systems today also work on customer engagement through social media.
  • Service automation: Service automation is the part of the CRM system that focuses on direct customer service technology. Through service automation, customers are supported through multiple channels such as phone, email, knowledge bases, ticketing portals, FAQs, and more.

Advantages of CRM

  • Provide better customer service
  • Increase customer revenues
  • Discover new customers
  • Cross sell/Up Sell products more effectively
  • Help sales staff close deals faster
  • Make call centers more efficient
  • Simplify marketing and sales processes.

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