If you are the one in charge in the marketing or sales, you’ve most probably heard about CRM or Customer Relationship Management.
What is CRM? Why does your company need it? And how are you going to execute it in your business? If you haven’t really known about it or never heard about it, wonder no more. Let’s elaborate it in this business blog post.
What is CRM?
CRM or Customer Relationship Management, is a term to describe a business marketing strategy and practice to manage its relationship with customers. It lets a business recognize more about its customers and in result, improve customer satisfaction, customer retention and drive more sales.
CRM has existed long before computer system and application became normal standards in business operational. Though it’s not that popular, old time businessman used to write down about his customer data manually in a notepad or book. It is not that efficient however, especially when the business grow into bigger corporation with thousands of customers. Missing information has been one of the problems that occurred most of the time.
The digital age has bring much more effective way to manage this information. There are various software from free to paid application you can use. CRM systems are designed to collect and compile information regarding customers across various channels.
The capabilities of CRM software varies between system, but there are standard features available in all of them such as personal data and purchase information.
Personal data includes name, birthday, phone, email and address. Purchase information includes purchase history, buying preferences and other relevant data. This data can be used to analyze customer behaviour and increase customer interaction.
More sophisticated system has the ability to log calls, sent emails, schedule meetings, predict future sales and even pull customer’s social media profiles.
Why Your Business Needs CRM?
The competitive world of business increase challenges to capture market and make more sales. Every business owners are working toward growing its business.
It has became increasingly difficult to engage with customers, analyze past customer activities and tracking the sales performance. Your power to grow the business really depends on enabling the whole resources to perform maturely. Some simple examples are the automation of system to send birthday greetings to customer, contact customers at the right place and time or sending relevant information such as sales offers and promotions.
Your business needs CRM system to make it more effective and efficient in servicing your customers. You can capture interest, improve customer satisfaction, increase competitive advantages in multi channel environment and create repeatable successful marketing process. CRM systems can assist in increasing relationship and improve services.
How Are Your Going to Execute CRM?
You definitely need resources, whether it’s human resources or system and application. As a business owner, you are not going to be doing everything yourself, especially when you are not the guy who understand system and software implementation. It’s best to hire employee, outsourcing partner or a company who can handle the implementation and let you know how to operate the system.
There are many CRM software out there, free and paid. If your business is an SME and haven’t had such budget, you can opt to use free and open source CRM software. But if you have the budget, there are various paid CRM software with more features. You can find them in the following list:
Free and open source CRM:
- SuiteCRM – Open source CRM
- Zurmo – Open source CRM
- HubSpot CRM – Free CRM
- Fat Free CRM – Open source CRM
- Agile CRM – Free for 10 users
How to Decide Which CRM Software to Use?
The above list is just some of the CRM software available. There are still a lot more out there. To decide which one to use, you need to understand your business needs.
- Does your company dealing with B2B or B2C?
- Does your marketing and sales people have special requirements?
- How does your company interact with customers?
- What is your future communication plan?
- How are you going to manage customer support?
- And many other questions you might need to write down based on your business requirements.
After you’ve came out with the list of requirements, try to explore more on the software. Most probably, you need to learn yourself if you plan to use free and open source CRM software. But if you plan to use paid CRM software, you can try to contact the company’s sales person to discuss.
Customer Relationship Management or CRM is what you need if you intend to grow your company. Good service, personalized experience, nice support, pleasant communication and fast response are ultimate ways to delight your customers and help you grow your business.
If you have other thoughts or opinions regarding CRM, please comment below. If you find this business blog post useful, do share this.
Wahidin Wong is a digital marketer. He is also a jazz and bossa lover.