Customer relationship management is more than an arbitrarily alienating business term. It’s an ideology, a fundamental means of running a business that centers around the most important component of any transaction: the customer. Here’s a quick rundown of CRM and what makes it so exceptionally important.
What is CRM?
CRM, or customer relationship management, is a business strategy that focuses on customer satisfaction, knowledge, and retention. While it’s true that any business runs on profit, CRM solutions start with the customer as opposed to starting with the product or service and getting customers from there.
Starting with the customer involves a lot of work. As a CRM based business, you need to identify your customer based on the information you collect and analyze. From there, you have to figure out what your customer needs and how your business can meet and exceed your customers’ expectations.
Customer relationship management generally consists of five basic goals:
- Superior customer service
- Effective cross-selling
- A selling strategy based on the customer’s needs
- Policies for customer generation and retention
- Support from the sales staff
These goals often lead to very personalized customer assistance. Things like price, product, place, and promotion, which might normally hold standard values in a normal business, are uniquely tailored to each customer you serve.
Adopting these goals involves a great deal of studying your customers and their individual buying processes. Your sales staff also potentially requires extra training and technology, including custom CRM software, to match products and services with individual customer needs. Value and profit comes from cross-selling while expanding the customer base.
Applying a customer relationship management system gives your business a great deal of potential for profit. Committing to CRM forces you and your team to commit to change as you cater to your customer’s evolving needs. Rolling with the punches so frequently also prepares you for the constantly changing landscape and climate of the business world and economy.
CRM is also beneficial to your business’s internal operations. Helping the customer often means talking between departments and teams, which naturally leads to improved communication throughout your entire company. CRM also often leads to greater innovations, like a custom iPhone app to facilitate the selling process.
Most importantly, CRM increases customer loyalty and satisfaction, allowing for retention of customers who will eventually refer other customers and create a growing client base.