Implementing CRM (Customer relationship management) Can Help Your Business Succeed!
Question: What is Customer relationship management (CRM)?
Answer: Customer relationship management (CRM) is a system for managing a company’s interactions with current and future customers. It involves using technology to organize, automate and synchronize sales, marketing, customer service and technical support.
Characteristics of CRM
A well-designed CRM includes the following characteristics:
- 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 centres that help customers solve their questions.
- 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 solutions, and to provide KPI (key performance indicators).
- Sales force automation – This feature can implement sales promotion analysis, automate tracking of a customer’s account history for repeated sales or future sales, and also coordinate sales, marketing, call centres, and retail outlets in order to realize the salesforce automation.
- 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.
Implementing CRM in the organisation
There are numerous steps companies should follow while implementing CRM system. The Project Manager is responsible for the success of this process. Some conditions need to be checked by the company before starting implementation directly:
- Make a strategic decision concerning the CRM desired goal: to improve or to change the business processes of the organization?
- Choose an appropriate Project Manager: usually it is the IT-department that is responsible for CRM system implementation. However, it is reasonable to hire the manager with a customer service/sales and marketing business focus as there are a number of decisions that are related to the business processes rather than to the hardware, software or network
- Executive sponsorship: provide the top management support and systematic introduction to the Project Manager
- Project team commitment and training: make sure team members have enough time and authority to complete project tasks and are committed to its success
- The implementation partner selection is a very important step: The solution implementer should know the business and prove expertise track record
- Define KPI metrics
- Use phased approach: work towards long-term enterprise with a series of smaller, phased implementation
- To implement the customer relationship, we need to understand the customer expectations
Selecting a CRM program means finding the software that fits the company’s needs. CRM software comes with many features and tools, and despite the fact that many of CRM products offer similar feature sets, there are some unique tools in each one. Programs can be divided into categories by several criteria. Features mean how well it integrates with other applications (ex. Outlook, Gmail, iCall etc.) and how accessible information is. It covers everything from calendar alerts and to-do lists to mobile access and synchronization capabilities. Contact information ranking outlines the program’s ability to store specific information for each contact.
Business world is fast-paced, so managers need to be able to access customer’s information quickly. Sales and marketing tools designed to help and maintain current clients and gain new ones. Important that these tools help find campaigns with positive Return on Investment (ROI) and those that are not performed. Ease of use is about application design. Programs are checked on clean, quick navigation and easy-to-locate of the most important items. Help and support is about what support CRM software manufacturer provides for their product.