Customer Relationship Management - CRM

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a system for managing a company’s interactions with current and future customers. It often involves using technology to organize, automate and synchronize sales, marketing, customer service, and technical support. CRM products come with many features and tools and it is important for a company to choose a product based on their specific organizational needs. Most vendors will present information on their respective websites:
Features These are what the product actually does and what value it can provide to an organization.
Support Many CRM vendors have a basic level of support which generally only includes email and/or access to a support forum.

Pricing This will be shown either per-user or as a flat price for a number of users. Vendors charge annually, quarterly, or monthly with variable pricing options for different features.

Characteristics Of CRM

1. Relationship management is a customer-oriented feature with service response based on customer input, one-to-one solutions to customers’ requirements, direct online communications with customer and customer service centers that help customers solve their issues.

2. Sales force automation. This function can implement sales promotion analysis, automate tracking of a client’s account history for repeated sales or future sales, and also сoordinate sales, marketing, call centers, and retail outlets in order to realize the salesforce automation.

3. Use of technology. This feature is about following the technology trend and skills of value delivering using technology to make “up-to-the-second” customer data available. It applies data warehouse technology in order to aggregate transaction information, to merge the information with CRM products, and to provide KPI (key performance indicators).

4. Opportunity management. This feature helps the company to manage unpredictable growth and demand and implement a good forecasting model to integrate sales history with sales projections.

5. CRM in developing and maintaining client relationships.

6. Increasingly CRM is expanding outside of the core sales and marketing areas and systems are available that incorporate support and finance data also into the CRM view that a user gets, enabling a wider holistic view of a customer from one screen for a user.

7. Customer relationship management systems track and measure marketing campaigns over multiple networks. These systems can track customer analysis by customer clicks and sales.

CRM Products

CRM products come with many features and tools and it is important for a company to choose a product based on their specific organizational needs. Most vendors will present information on their respective websites:


1. Features: These are what the product actually does and what value it can provide to an organization.

2. Support: Many CRM vendors have a basic level of support which generally only includes email and/or access to a support forum. Telephone support is often charged in either an annual or ad hoc pricing strategy. Some companies offer on-site support for an extra premium.

3. Pricing: This will be shown either per-user or as a flat price for a number of users.[6] Vendors charge annually, quarterly, or monthly with variable pricing options for different features.

4. Demonstration: Periods Many vendors offer a trial period and/or online demonstrations.

Implementing CRM In A Company

The following are general guidelines on implementing a CRM system.

1. Make a strategic decision on what problems you want your CRM system to address, what improvements or changes it should bring in the business processes of the organization.

2. Choose an appropriate project manager. Typically IT will be engaged, however a manager with a customer service/sales and marketing business focus should be involved, as the impact of the project will be mainly on the business side.

3. Ensure executive sponsorship and top management support.

4. Empower team members with the required authority to complete the tasks.

5. Select the correct implementation partner. They must have both vertical and horizontal business knowledge, as well as technical expertise.

6. Define KPI's that will measure the project's success.

7.Use a phased approach. Work towards long-term enterprise-scale implementation through a series of smaller, phased implementations.

Types

1. CRM in customer contact centers


CRM systems are customer relationship management platforms. The goal of the system is to track, record, store in databases, and then determine the information in a way that increases customer relations (predominantly increased ARPU, and decreased churn). The CRM codifies the interactions between you and your customers so that you can maximize sales and profit using analytics and KPIs to give the users as much information on where to focus their marketing and customer service to maximize revenue and decrease idle and unproductive contact with your customers. The contact channels (now aiming to be omni-channel from multi-channel) use such operational methods as contact centers. The CRM software is installed in the contact centers, and help direct customers to the right agent or self-empowered knowledge.[9] CRM software can also be used to identify and reward loyal customers over a period of time.


2. CRM in Business-to-Business (B2B) market


The modern environment requires one business to interact with another via the web. According to a Sweeney Group definition, CRM is “all the tools, technologies and procedures to manage, improve, or facilitate sales, support and related interactions with customers, prospects, and business partners throughout the enterprise”. It assumes that CRM is involved in every B2B transaction.

Operational CRM

Operational CRM generally refers to services that allow an organization to take care of their customers. It provides support for various business processes, which can include sales, marketing and service. Contact and call centers, data aggregation systems and web sites are a few examples of operational CRM. If your company has a high customer turnover, or perhaps high service costs, Operational CRM Solutions is a tool that can help you solve your problems. The high tech expertise of CRM gives you access to information about your customer as well as giving you a clear view of your customers needs.

Analytical CRM

As online companies continue to add new and often faster ways of interacting with customers, the opportunity and the need to turn data about customers into useful information has become a necessity. As a result, there are a number of software tools that have been created to analyze customer data. As one of the most dynamic customer management tools, we at Straight Marketing utilize Analytical CRM, as it addresses the analysis of customer data for a host of different purposes. In general it is used to design and execute targeted marketing campaigns that optimize marketing effectiveness. Analytical CRM takes into account product and service decision-making as well as pricing and new product development. Try to imagine how efficient your business would be if you knew what customers wanted and could quickly act on those needs.

Strategic CRM

The aim of strategic CRM is to concentrate and enhance the knowledge about customers and use this knowledge to improve and customize the interactions with customers to maintain a long-term relationship with them.