One of the most crucial aspects of business throughout the history of business has been customer relationship. It is not just in this digital age that customer relationship is relevant. The importance of CRM cannot be overstated. There are many reasons why we use CRM Software. Since customer relationship is an indispensable aspect of a business, people want to figure out the best way to do it. Now, you can figure that out on your own over years of failure but by then people who took the easy way and used a CRM will have gone way ahead. So. Next time you ask “Why use a CRM system?” just focus on what is best for your company.
This article will teach you everything about CRM systems and will help you make up your mind if the question “Which CRM should I use?” is confusing you.
Instead of skipping the basics and rushing through the whole debate over the importance of CRM and which CRM should I use and why use a CRM at all, let’s start with the basics so that the slow learners and the rookies in the business are not left behind.
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. Though the term is self-explanatory, nobody would know how to do it right without some guidance. Of course you can learn from your experience, but that will come at the cost of some major mistakes in your business. So, why fail yourself when you can learn from the mistakes of others? Some entrepreneurs have learned the importance of CRM the hard way, but you don’t have to. This is because thankfully for this digital era, there are CRM systems that will do the work for you. All you need to do is understand the trends and personalize the system according to the needs of your existing and potential customers. Even you can have free Demo for CRM so that you cxan decide and see the change in work process. So, now you have probably got the hint that “why use a CRM” means “why use a CRM system”. CRM refers to the tools and the technical system that is used to perform optimal customer relationship management.
The Importance of Customer Relationship Management
Before getting to the importance of CRM let us ensure you understood the importance of customer relationship management. Maintaining healthy and productive customer relationship is the best way to ensure a bright future for the business.
Customer relationship management is crucial because:
- Creating a bond with the existing customers ensures that you won’t have to work on getting them again like new traffic.
- Having a bond with customers increases the chance of them making numerous purchases so a bulk of that first-time buyers is not limited to just that before perishing.
- When you make your customers feel welcome even after the purchase, they too start feeling some loyalty towards your brand.
- Since the brand image is already created before all this even begins, customers will have something to relate to or look up to when they make multiple purchases.
- When you maintain a strong bond letting the customers know they are valued, the customers become your friend.
- With prolonged good customer relationship management, customers feel obliged or happy to advocate your brand to others and that’s how your business rises to success and permanence.
This is why you will hear every successful businessperson advice young entrepreneurs to focus on the people and not just on the numbers. Without the people, the numbers stop adding up. To some it might come across as a no-brainer but many entrepreneurs start their journey without knowing these basics. That is why it was important to discuss this. Now that everybody knows the importance of customer relationship management, let us get to the importance of CRM systems.
Implementing a CRM
Before you get into the details of the importance of CRM and why use a CRM, it is nice to find out how simple the basic deal is.
This is how a CRM system is implemented:
- Data is collected.
- Data is segmented and stored.
- The data is available to access by authorized people.
- The data helps analyze customer behavior.
- The system offers solutions for efficient marketing according to the trends as understood from the data.
- The system offers suggestions to enhance the customer experience to let your business go that extra mile to impress.
The basics are this simple. You don’t even need to know how exactly it is done in details because the system will do it for you. Intrigued yet? Let’s find out more about the importance of CRM, why it is crucial.
Why use a CRM?
Every business organization that became successful at a national or global level know the importance of CRM and how to use a CRM system. They invest in world-class CRM system tools and put them to use on a regular basis.
Some well-known tools for CRM systems are Sugar CRM, BatchBook, SalesForce, and Buzzstream. You may use one of these or choose the one you came to know about from a friend. Now you might wonder “Which CRM should I use?” but the more important question is, “How to put a CRM system to optimal use?”
Reasons to use a CRM system
If you haven’t already realized the importance of CRM by now, if you are still wondering “Why to use a CRM when I can manage my own customer relationships alone?” the answer is objectively laid out for you below.
To Avail a Comprehensive Customer History
A CRM system will have the whole history of customer trends and habits, even of those you had acquired before installing the systems. This information is crucial for the analysis of the wishes and tendencies of each customer. Once you know this, you will know what to offer them.
This will help you acquire more customers and be ready to serve the freshly acquired and previously acquired customers. Also, you have a record of your leads and contacts and you can access them whenever you need. You will never lose these leads.
To Gear you up with the Required Products
The CRM system will not only have the basic purchase history but all details of the customers so you can even track the purchase details and resources of the customers.
When you analyze the data and know what price category, what brands, what products, and what time of the year or day the target customers like to shop, you will be able to present the right thing at the right time to the right people and you can never go wrong with that.
To Help you get Service-Ready
The CRM systems group customers according to their price group preferences, product preferences, and location. With this information you can smartly allocate customer managers or account managers to different areas and equip them with the required products and teams. This will help you promptly serve every location.
To help you Optimize Conversion Probability
You will also be able to track down the time of the day each customer is more likely to visit a site to make a purchase. You will know the festive season or any time of the year that is most likely to raise demands of a particular product in a particular area. The CRM system will analyze and Optimize Conversions for you.
Since you know the details of the customer preferences now, you will not waste time researching and collecting data about what they are looking for. This way, by the time your rivals figure out what the target audience is looking for, you will have already presented it to them.
To help you Acquire new Customers
The CRM system you use will not only track the history of newly acquired customers but also help you acquire these new customers. The system will identify targets and record the important data into the ‘Opportunity of Business’, which is the CRM system that stores the details to use when needed.
An integrated CRM system will help the employed Sales and Field reps to put this data to use and optimize conversion.
To Save Your Time
The data on an integrated CRM system is centralized so that it is available at any time and to any authorized person on any authorized device whenever needed. You don’t waste valuable time or a great opportunity waiting for the system to upload or the data to be extracted.
This increases productivity which not only directly translates into increased sales, but also creates a reputation for your business.
To help your Business Expand
Talking about reputation, a CRM system helps you with everything so that you can perform with perfection and promptly, without any delay at all. The brand image will be brilliant. Customers will look at your company as one of the most efficient ones in the market. Your team will be the best.
It doesn’t matter that most of it will be due to a software system. The point is, the human employees must know how to use it right and the business will flourish.
To Boost Brand Image
A loyal customer base is crucial for the success of any business and a steady CRM system brings to you more customers and shows you how to sustain a relationship with them and turn them loyal to your brand.
So, the CRM system not only helps the present business and profits but also helps you secure a steady future for your business.
To train Human Employees
A CRM system helps the employees figure out how to go about the customer relationship management part so they gain experience in the field learning from a software. The system also teaches these human employees how to analyze important data and which data to focus on.
Overall, the system makes your employees and the management teams more experienced and more efficient compared to what they were when you employed them. This way the performance of each employee will keep improving with every passing day without any external investment on your part to train them.
To Reduce Cost
The last but not the least important point about why a CRM system is good for you is that it is very cost-effective. You will obviously wonder how is that even possible when these tools are actually premium and don’t come cheap either. Well, look at the price cuts you are getting to make.
Because of this tool, you can shrink your whole analytical team and the marketing team so there will be way fewer people on the memo. Yes, you will have to make some cuts for that and that might be trouble ethically speaking. But if you start your business with an integrated CRM system, you won’t have to make any cuts. You will only hire the people you need and that will save time and money that goes into the process of hiring. You will not be wasting paper and space that is needed to maintain hard copies. You can just backup your data and you are good to go.
So now you know the importance of CRM in detail. It is probably safe to assume you will no longer be asking “why use a CRM system at all?” You now know what the CRM system does for you and must be interested in getting yourself one. So the next segment will help you choose.
Types of CRM Solutions
There are four broad categories that CRM solutions can be classified into.
These ones provide a web-based solution ideal for a business where the human employees aren’t skilled enough to tackle the transition into e-commerce.
Off the Shelf Solutions
This is the cheapest type you can avail. If you are just starting with a CRM system you can use this type as a trial version. These are the cut-down versions of the CRM packages from other software companies. You can’t get exactly what you want out of these systems because these are already made to suit some other business but if you just choose right you might just get something that will work for you till you get your own custom version.
Custom CRM Systems
You can customize your CRM system to suit your necessities best. You can tailor your CRM package but for that, you will need experienced consultants, marketing heads, and software engineers. You will also need to take out time to run it and check for bugs. So, this is not something that comes in handy. This is what you wait for while you use the above two types. This is what you build and keep for permanent use.
Managed CRM solutions
This one is a hybrid between outsourced and custom solutions. You rent a custom suite and use it as you need but this type isn’t recommended because you will have to make the adjustments to suit the system and that could harm the objectives of your business.
These are the broad categories. The most recommended type is the custom one. Hire a small team of experienced people to custom the system and you are good to go.
Drawbacks of CRM
There are no qualms admitting that a CRM system has its own drawbacks. However, most of them are due to the wrong implementation.
A CRM system will not perform optimally if you:
- Have a team that is not committed to maintaining originality and uniqueness.
- Have a team that does not know how to use analytics.
- Have implemented a cheap solution and not customized it to fit you exact needs. So this answers the frequently asked question, “which CRM system should I use?”
- Have left everything to the system alone and did not take out time to personalize it to fit the brand image.
- Have not teamed with the marketing team to sync the brand image with the CRM system analytics.
- Have never taken out time to read the analyzed data and make the necessary changes, as indicated by the system, in your business system, the website, and the CRM system itself.
If you can avoid the above mistakes your CRM system will pay off. Once you start properly using a CRM software you will see the importance of CRM in the profits of your business and the running of your office. Once you see the results of using a CRM system, you will recommend friends to use it for their startups too and will have all the answers when they ask “why use a CRM system?”