The importance of a CRM System.
A CRM system can be defined as a central place where all your data is stored.
The real importance of having a CRM system is that enables your business to manage your interactions with its customers by having all data stored in a central location to achieve the following goals of:
– Improving customer service relationships
– Assist in increasing customer retention
– Drive sales growth.
The beauty of having a CRM system is that the users can unlock a goldmine of valuable information about each customer from their contact details right through to their historic sales orders; enabling customer services to deliver a more personalised service to that individual.
For example, an international distribution chain uses a CRM tool integrated within their overall ERP system. The CRM system enables the user to access all the customer details including; previous customer enquiries, sales order history as well as indicate potential deals or new product opportunities that are relevant to that individual customer.
A CRM system, if correctively used provides a credible platform for all business areas to engage with their customers and fulfil all their needs and wants effectively and therefore; on their way to build relationships that are long lasting and profitable.
The benefits of a CRM System
There are many benefits associated with a CRM System including:
Customer Satisfaction leads to increased sale and profit
Having a good CRM system in place allows you build and cement relationships with existing customers which may result in increased sales, because you can identify and anticipate customer needs and demands through historic sales trends.
Increased customer retention and loyalty
Customers need to feel connected to actively engage with your business. Delivering a more bespoke and personalised offering enables businesses to be more proactive – meaning that you are going the extra mile to make sure that your customer is not only satisfied; but you are exceeding their expectations. If most customers are satisfied, your business is successful. Your most loyal customers are your biggest advocates, they are so happy with your business, you will not only retain them, but they will be active promoters which in turn, may generate new prospects into new leads and sales.
Track business enquiries
Even though there will be some leads that will not convert into sales, you still have their details saved on the CRM system; allowing your business to still engage with these contacts via offers, incentives and content relevant to them.
A CRM system can highlight customer buying behaviour and identify which customers are profitable. Which leads to more effective marketing by focusing on tailored messaging specifically for that customer base.
As mentioned earlier, customer data is stored in a central location allowing all relevant users to access. For example, if an employee is off sick or has left the company another employee can easily access this data.
Users can create customer follow-ups
A CRM solution allows the user to act and resolve issues more quickly and efficiently by enabling users to create follow-up notes tagged to that customer. The users then will be prompted by the CRM system to email / call back that specific customer in good time.
Increased departmental efficiency
A CRM system allows more fluid and open communication; resulting in departments like sales and marketing to be more aligned and essentially ‘singing from the same hymn sheet’. Also, there is unlikely to be duplications of information, as data is stored centrally.
Once your business, has walked a mile so in the customer shoes and fully done their homework on what they need and want from your products, you can now proactively develop new and improved products/ services that add value to your customer and profitability to your business.
The benefits mentioned above should really magnify the huge importance that Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a priority to any business and not just a tick box exercise.
Above all, a good CRM strategy will allow your entire business functions to work smarter, not harder.
You need to know what your customers want and need, and a CRM system provides that information in an organised format. It facilitates communication, organises data and improves customer service.