If you belong to the "I am planning to implement CRM in my company" group, or the "I have no idea what CRM is" one, you will most certainly find a plethora of useful information. You will learn, what CRM is and why it is in your best interest to dive into managing relations with your costumers, discover the best CRM strategy and see the main types of CRM systems. At the end, you will find out, what steps to take to implement CRM into your company.
1. Defining CRM: Do you know what CRM stands for and why you should not miss it?
CRM stands for „customer relationship management“. This approach is focused on building long-term relationships with the current costumers (usually called Customers) and with the potential costumers (usually called Leads).
Why are those relationships so important and how will CRM help? Thanks to costumer relationship management you can:
- Reach more people,
- sustain your clientele and createregular costumers,
- elevate yoursales rate,
- increase your income.
How does it work? First step towards successful marketing isspreading awareness about your company. The more people you can reach, the higher is the probability, that you will reach those who will find your company useful. In other words, more people reached equals more potential costumers.
Even if you are able to build a stable clientele, that is not anywhere near the end. The key is, to be able to retain your clientsin the long run. You should do anything that is in your power, to keep your clients from going to the competition or leaving because of preventable issues they can encounter, such as unpleasant costumer support team, high prices and many others.
Thanks to retention, that is focused on the improvement of the loyalty of clients and eliminating the causes of their dissatisfaction, you will discover, that your current clients will keep buying your goods and services, which will, in return, help you to increase your overall sales and consequently your income in the long run.
2. Why we should manage and build relationships with our costumers?
Now that you know the basic principles, we can look more deeply into the management and building of relationships with your costumers. Why should you even deal with such a topic?
Building relationships with your costumers is a part of every aspect of your business. Let it be the marketing, sales, costumer support or after-sales service. In all these areas, you are, one way or another, dealing with the customer. In marketing, you are trying to communicate with them, to ensure the long-term development of the company and therefore higher company income. In sales, you are focused on selling your products or services to a specific costumer. In the costumer support and after-sales service, you are dealing with follow up conversation regarding technical and personal issues.
All the aforementioned can therefore, most certainly, gain a lot frombuilding stronger and longer-term relationships. Thanks to CRM, you will not only be able to grow your company, but you will have feedback from your costumers, that will help you gain important insight, that will, in turn, serve you in defining the goals for the next period.
Now, that you are, with high probability, pretty sure, that building of relationships with your costumer will significantly influence your outcomes. Are you interested in the best way to start? Before you can implement the customer relationship management, you need the right CRM strategy.
3. Create your own CRM strategy
Every company has, in the current situation, their own issues to deal with. Sometimes it is related to marketing, on other days, it is an issue of costumer support or sales. Creating your own CRM strategy will be only possible after you answer the following questions:
- What bothers you the most in regard to your company?
- In which areas of marketing, support or sales are you getting stuck the most?
- What is your main goal?
The first step in creating your own CRM strategy is defining where you are at this moment and what is your current state of the marketing. How well is the marketing communicating with costumer support and sales? Where can we find the biggest drawbacks that are currently in dire need to be dealt with?
After answering those questions, it is important to set a fixed target. Where would you like to get? How would you like it to look in the future?
After you have an idea about your current situation and the ideal one you want to reach, what you need is to dive into the most important part, that is, discovering the steps you need to take to move from the current state to get as close as possible to the ideal state.
Do you know by now, that you company cannot exist without CRM?
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4. CRM as the building block of modern marketing
In this technology-filled day and age it is becoming harder and harder to form a strong relationship with a costumer. One of the main reasons is, fast growing competition and the constant pressure to lower prices. On the other hand, this also helps to create new possibilities. Modern marketing consists of many technological advancements, that will help you to gain a competitive advantage.
Building personalized relationship with individuals
Thanks to modern technology, most of the communication with the costumer is happening in the digital environment. Be it the exchange of information via e-mail, online store, mobile apps or classic web pages, it is very important to never forget building relationships via those channels.
CRM is working with a fact, that every costumer has their specific needs and opinions regarding products or services. The art of building those relationships is entwined with obtaining useful information, that will help both, you and your costumer to reach the most effective cooperation. This information can be, in return, used in several ways. For example, to create a customized product display, that the costumer can see in your online store, or to understand, how a certain costumer was able to reach you, where they learned about your company and what you can do, to meet all their demands.
Personalized communication with the costumer enables you to build a long-term relationship not only via digital marketing, but it can help you to start a face to face conversation.
This poses a question regarding storing these data, how to store them, where to store them and how to work with them. Solution: the aforementioned technologies - CRM systems.
5. Why does CRM mean, in most cases, CRM system?
Most conversations regarding CRM, are talking specifically about, so called,CRM system. The CRM systems are one of the basic and most important parts in the costumer relations management as a whole. Their goal is to provide all abovementioned activities is a form, that provides access all information about the costumer, that you have, in every moment of your communication with them.
Classic CRM offers the following possibilities:
- Storing data of costumers
- Monitoring events and activities
- Business cases
These basic functions will provide you with the needed tools, to unify data from all channels, such as physical offices, online stores, in-person meetings, public events, and more. That means, that you will have all complete data, that you need, available at every one of those channels.
Retention of customer data
The epicentre of CRM system consists of information and costumers. Therefore, every CRM system has its own database, where it can store all data, that are needed for a given conversation. Usualy, those are contact details of clients - phone, email and address and customer relationship records with other customers or vendors. It is also useful to create notes or monitor the overall history, starting with the first contact with the customer.
Monitoring of events and activities
Subsequently, information about events and activities, associated with the customer, is stored. It is primarily about:
- phone calls,
- personal visits.>
You can monitor other activities, such as the history of purchasing products or services.
Very important aspect is also the follow-up, in other words – future contact with your costumer. Key is, to build a relationship without interruption and communicate with customers regularly according to their needs. In this step, you can use your already obtained data, which will help you to customize further communication with the client.
You can use data even during planning for your next communication with the client. That usually goes two ways. Either costumer decides to contact you, or the other way around, you will contact the costumer. Thanks to CRM, you will be able to see the possible roads you can take in your next communication:
- Should you wait for the costumer to contact you in the future?
- Is there a plan to contact your client in, let’s say, half a year and agree on a personal meeting?
- Do you need to make a two year after-care service appointment with this client?
Planning will enable you to control, what will your next contact with your costumer be like. Therefore, you will be able to have a clear vision of the desired communication pattern and what you can expect.
In a situation, where costumer is interested in your services or products, that are, in some way, personalized, use Business cases. This function comes in handy every time, when there is a slightly more complicated process needed to fulfill the order. This can be, for example, a draft of mortgage agreements, the position of a custom kitchen or the tailoring of a suit. All these products/services are linked to specific customer requirements, that are needed to be stored, to ensure, that the product will arrive in the exact state, as the costumer desired.
To ensure a long-term growth, it is advantageous to use Leads, whether direct or indirect. Your costumers can provide you with new potential clients, aka Leads. Thanks to the Lead monitoring in the CRM system, you can get an overview of these potential customers and ensure that they learn about your company. You can easily contact them and arrange a personal meeting, which could for example, lead to acquiring a new customer.
If that will not be the case, and costumer will not be interested in your products or services at that given moment, CRM will enable you to store such information and plan your next step - agree on future contact, or on the recommendation of other potential customers.
6. What are all the different CRM types and how we can use them
There are many ways of building relationships with your costumers. Be it the CRM or the CRM system, we can usually pick out of several types, that provide us with the tools we need for specific issues.
Nejčastěji CRM dělíme na:
- Operational CRM
- Analytical CRM
- Collaborative CRM
These types are used primarily to classify CRM (and CRM systems and possibly their modules) into groups that have a given goal. Each of these types focuses on a different outcome depending on what it is intended for.
This type of CRM focuses on sales and marketing automatization, which allows you to get an idea of the path, that your customer has walked/ is walking on. So the main goal is to get the whole process of marketing and sales under control, give it such a structure from which it is easy to read the entire costumer contact history.
Unlike the operational CRM, focusing on gaining overview of costumers and their hisory, the aim of analytical CRM is mainly data collection to provide information, on the basis of which an important decision can be made. It can be the results of sales for a given quarter, the results of ads and the achievement of their conversions, or, for example, the creation of future expectations (forecasts) according to historical and current data.
While mentioning collaborative CRM, we are talking especially about an internal (or external) use of customer data. This type of CRM is most often used by companies that offer services or products tailored to the client, where collaboration between the seller, manufacturer, importer, etc. is needed.
7. What is the best process of CRM implementation
The last question remains, that is, how to use and implement CRM . Nowadays, as already mentioned, the term CRM is often equivalent to a CRM system. This is because CRM systems can efficiently and quickly solve the entire customer relationship management process and are the best way to monitor and plan communication with the client. All this, without the need for complicated creation of custom internal systems (although it is also possible solution, it is one of the most expensive ones). All you have to do is finding a CRM system that meets the above functions and suits your needs.
So what would we recommend? Start by creating your strategic CRM plan, in which you define your current situation and your future goals. This is the only way to find out what type of CRM you really need. Subsequently, review the market offers and find the best solution for you. How? Ideally, by trying several CRM systems and applying the solution that best meets your requirements in the company.
Now, you know almost everything you need to know about costumer relations management. So it's time to put the new knowledge into practice. If you feel, that CRM could be the shoe that finally fits your company, don't wait for anything and start testing individual solutions. You can start, for example, with our Operational CRM, which solves the storage of customer data and allows you to automate sales and marketing. Take a look at right here, or just go straight to contacting us.