Customer Relationship Management | Importance, Process and Objectives

Customer Relationship Management
Nowadays, in the global or domestic or digital market, there is cut-throat competition among various companies offering the same kind of services or products. Therefore, customer retention became a hard nut to crack. In this circumstance, customer relationship management (CRM) plays a vital role in sustaining and building the customer. 
 
In this article, we will elaborate on some significant concepts regarding  Customer Relationship Management.

Customer Relationship Management:

Customer Relationship Management refers to sets of activities or process or approach to develop or sustain the relationship between the customer and the organisation.”

In other words, Customer Relationship Management is a programme or strategy that are implemented to acquire new customers as well as retain existing customers for using the company’s product or services. CRM facilitates the sales representative to build a strong relationship with the key and potential customers so that they may add some value to the sales objective.

Many companies utilise various technique to collect customers data from different sources such as website, customer care number, social media, live chat, email, sales executives to identify the potential customers. Depending on the previous history of customer queries, interest and desire, the organisations approach to those customers for building relationships so that they could cross-sell or up-sell other products.

Customer Life Cycle:

customer life cycle infographics
 

In CRM, Customer Life Cycle refers to the different phases through which a customer goes before or during purchasing the company’s products or services. There are such 5 different phases in the customer life cycle that are explained below.

  1. Identify
  2. Acquire
  3. Nurture
  4. Retention
  5. Advocacy

1) Identify: 

The first phase of the customer life cycle is Identify the new customer or we can say Customer Selection. Customer selection criteria are very important before you make any deals. According to the specifications of separate products or services, separate customer should be targeted. Ask yourself the following question based on your product specification.

  • Whom to target?
  • What would be the value of product or services?
  • How to approach?
  • When to approach?

Depending upon the products or services one should filter the audience by age groups, the value of the product is to be sold, the medium of approaching like by email or mobile or personal meeting and the time of the meeting should be predetermined.

2) Acquire:


The second phase is customer acquisition in which you should sell the right product to the right customer because the customer must satisfy with your product or service otherwise he may switch your product to others.

Moreover, the acquisition cost should be minimum as well as should provide optimum service or product quality to the customers.

3) Nurture:

Once the customer acquisition is done one should keep in contact with the customer for getting the feedback and to build the strong relationship with the customer so that in case of any complaint you may take immediate action to resolve the issues.

4) Retention:


If you are in touch with the customer and call or text him on a regular basis, he can contact you for other product or services of even higher value. Keeping in contact with the customer develop a positive impact and trust on the company’s products or services.

The better customer support system is a key strategy to influence the customer to sustain with the company. This phase of sustaining the customer is known as Retention.

5) Advocacy:


A customer who is using any product or service for a long time will always advocate that product. Therefore, when customer retention is done you need to focus on making the customer loyal to the company. This can be done by offering the best possible service quality to the customer and once he becomes loyal to the company, he won’t hesitate to recommend the products or services to his friends or relatives.

Thus the loyal customers will also promote the company’s products or services which contribute additional value in revenue of the company.

Objectives of Customer Relationship Management:

The main objectives of CRM Program are explained in detail as follows.
  • The main objective of CRM is to increase sales and increase market share and hence profit for the company.
  • Most of the well-reputed organizations have their own call centres and by CRM system a company objective to make their call centre more effective and efficient.
  • The company can improve customer service by CRM to gain and retain more customers.
  • To get in touch with old customers and discover new referral customer and to enhance customer base in each territory.
  • To cross-sell newly launched products and services, or product according to customer’s unspoken need more easily and immediately.

Advantages of Customer Relationship Management:

There are so many benefits of customer relationships management programme, some of them are explained below.
  • Customer Relationship Management is a process through which an executive can maintain the personal data of his customer so that he can better know his customer desire, attitude, nature and most importantly his need or interest.
  • Once we have the detailed of our customer we can focus on his need and describe our product according to his need.
  • Rather than blindly detailing about the product, when we detail product description according to customer need, it can provide more customer satisfaction by using our product.
  • Once we have all the details of customer we will be able to go closer to the customer, suppose we have data about his marriage anniversary or his date of birth, we can present a gift on his marriage anniversary. By this activity, he will be obliged any may start to use your product. 
  • By customer relationship management program you can discover a new opportunity for selling a new product or newly launched product.
  • Thus we can increase sales of product and increase market share ultimately profit to the company.
  • By implementation of the CRM program, we can increase the revenue of the company. 
  • By understanding our customer behaviour, need and desire we can give better customer satisfaction. 
  • It also helps the salesperson to close deals faster than regular deals.
  • Enhanced customer satisfaction because they are getting exactly what they want.
  • Enhanced customer loyalty.

Significance:

  • Always Try to get new orders and make as many new customers as possible. keep the database of prospective customers which could be future customers.
  • Adopt best-practices to ensure customer loyalty. The customer brings revenues. Loss of customer is a loss of revenues.
  • Try to give personalized attention to customers.
  • Use the right marketing mix.
  • Keep enhancing product portfolio and offer complementary products that a customer would like to purchase to increase the share.

Importance of Technology in CRM:

Every business works for its customers and to ensure success and growth so we need to focus on the needs of the customers. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)  helps an organization to organize and analyze customer data and hence helping to understand customer preferences. Through
understanding their preferences one can build long-lasting relationships with the customer and can gain new customers too.By storing all customer-related data securely in a central location, CRM tools provide easy access of information of the customers anywhere and anytime and with the help of this information, an executive or manager can built strong and personal relationship with the customers. Thus more customer will be retained and that will help a company to maximize its Return on Investment (ROI).

   
CRM tools also play an important role in managing various business activities like:
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Billing and Expense
CRM

Tips for getting CRM Application for a Business:

Choosing the right business CRM solution may not be easy, therefore,  first of all, you should identify and analyze your need that can become key to selecting the right CRM.

Here are a few tips that help you to choose the best CRM application for your company.

 
  • Look for a CRM solution that is risk-free and gives you value for money.
  • First, the software which you are using must suit your marketing needs, whether it can effectively generate reports, evaluate customer trends, preferences etc.
  • Pick an application containing all the necessary features to manage your business and tools to improve customer relationship.
  • For a small or medium business, online CRM may be the best solution.
  • Make sure that your tool is user-friendly
  • Must ensure if the software allows upgrades or add-ins according to your requirements.
  • Most companies want to use customer information to get higher sales and better service.
  • To do that, information technology (IT) must provide the sales and marketing team with data they can actually use.
  •  Here’s how the two teams can work together to create valuable business intelligence from raw data.
  • Most companies want to use customer information to get higher sales and better service.
  • To do that, information technology (IT) must provide the sales and marketing team with data they can actually use.

Role of Information Technology and Tools in CRM:

Here’s how the two teams can work together to create valuable business intelligence from raw data.

  • Your customer relationship management (CRM) system contains gold information that can help your sales and marketing department spot underserved markets, reward your best customers, fine-tune advertising campaigns, and predict new opportunities.
  • Without advice from IT through your marketing department is like an explorer without a compass, certain of where it wants to go but without the tools to get there will be difficult.
  • And without guidance from sales and marketing, your IT department is like a prospector without a map, surrounded by terabytes of data with no idea where to dig for treasure.
  • Information enters your CRM system every day. You can’t use all of it. These guidelines will help business and IT work together to determine what’s meaningful.
  •  Know the question before you look for answers.
  • CRM data-mining projects should start with a joint planning session. First, the marketing department tells IT it’s objective—for example, to promote a new product to existing customers.
  • Next, IT helps marketing shape the objective into a clear, specific question (such as, “Which of our current customers are most likely to buy this new product?”). IT and marketing can determine what types of data are most relevant, based on past customer behaviour. Finally, IT pulls that data from the CRM system for analysis and creates a report with simple, straightforward answers.
  •  If IT does not understand the marketing objectives and the analysis focuses on the wrong data or overwhelms the business side with extraneous information, you’ll waste time and money. Regular meetings through the project will keep IT and marketing aligned as the strategy evolves.
  • The new tools are designed to integrate the CRM solution with Microsoft SQL Server, avoiding the time and expense of a systems integrator, Pedersen explains. They also make CRM data mining less intimidating to end-users. The software reports into Microsoft Office Excel spreadsheets display the results in Microsoft Office Outlook, and places automatically updated key performance indicators (KPIs) on a Microsoft Office SharePoint Server page, so reports are easy to understand and share. Use the right kind of data, not just a lot of it.

Final Words:

Hope you would have understood the significance of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) in the growth of sales. CRM programmes are being utilised by the various companies whether they are product offering or service offering company. In fact, plenty of companies compete in offering better CRM to their customer. 
 
Thus Customer Relationship Management simplifies the process of acquiring and sustaining the customers for the long term period with the company. 
 
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