Overview of Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Customer relationship management (CRM) is an approach to managing a company's interaction with current and potential customers. It uses data analysis about customers' history with a company to improve business relationships with customers, specifically focusing on customer retention and ultimately driving sales growth.

What Is CRM Software Used For?

CRM (customer relationship management) software is mainly used to increase business revenue through the improvement of a business’s relationship with its customers. A robust, modern CRM is also used for the following:

  1. To consolidate all company data into one central space. CRM acts as a hub for all team members to access needed information including, contact information, communication history, and customer history. With the ability to update data in real-time, the chances of duplicate data entry and inaccurate information dwindles.

  2. Increase sales opportunities. With CRM’s ability to automate many time-consuming tasks, sales teams are able to spend more time on the road meeting with current and potential clients. CRM also helps sales representatives with building a sales process, creating a step-by-step map on closing deals, and reducing sales cycle lengths.

  3. Shift and maintain focus on your customers. By placing all information into one central space so that customer needs are tended to and sales teams can quickly move through their sales cycle, CRM keeps the focus on the customer, who are the heartbeats of every business. CRM helps businesses anticipate customer needs, which improves customer service experience.


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How do CRMs work?

Maintaining solid customer relationships is essential, but with hundreds, maybe thousands, of customer touchpoints, it is nearly impossible to remember every detail of every conversation. CRM fixes this.

Customer Relationship Management software stores customer information, interactions, and analytics within a central database that users can access anywhere, anytime. In more detail, CRM systems assist with: Sales, Marketing, Services, and Analytics.

Sales:

Sales automation work with all stages in the sales cycle, from initially entering contact information to converting a prospective client into an actual client. It implements sales promotion analysis, automates the tracking of a client's account history for repeated sales or future sales, and coordinates sales, marketing, call centers, and retail outlets. It prevents duplicate efforts between a salesperson and a customer and also automatically tracks all contacts and follow-ups between both parties.

Service:

Service automation is part of the CRM system that focuses on direct customer service technology. Through service automation, customers are supported through multiple channels such as phone, email, knowledge bases, ticketing portals, FAQs, and more.



Marketing:

Marketing automation focuses on easing the overall marketing process to make it more effective and efficient. CRM tools with marketing automation capabilities can automate repeated tasks, for example, sending out automated marketing emails at certain times to customers, or posting marketing information on social media. The goal with marketing automation is to turn a sales lead into a full customer. CRM systems today also work on customer engagement through social media.



Analytics:

The role of analytical CRM systems is to analyze customer data collected through multiple sources and present it so that business managers can make more informed decisions.[16] Analytical CRM systems use techniques such as data mining, correlation, and pattern recognition to analyze customer data. These analytics help improve customer service by finding small problems that can be solved, perhaps by marketing to different parts of a consumer audience differently.