Daily managers struggle to find best assets to manage customer relationships. Some of them focus on innovative approach only, others stick to old-fashioned ways like spreadsheets, business cards, email base and regard them to be the best. All of these ways work, though there is one thing they all miss – continuous collaboration with customers and their stories. And you need it.
You see, it is a must for to store this information one place! What you need is need a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Nothing new. However, sometimes companies using a CRM system have no idea how to make a good use of it. This is another pain that goes along with the proper customer management assets. In fact, things are much easier than it may seem. What you need is:
- Customer information
- Collaboration stories
- Automation of day-to-day sales & marketing activities
- A decent workflow
- All In One Place.
Most of CRM systems can help you with that, though choosing any system would be wrong. If you want to care only development of your customer relationships and don’t waste time on setting up your CRM, check if your system has several important features. Let’s check them one by one.
Business Process Automation
A CRM system should automate business processes. Although it is up to each company to decide which tasks will benefit most from automation (not every integration will be profitable for every company). The time and money saved with less data entry or better reporting will bring benefits, including an improved relationship with each customer.
Tracking Partners & Product Support
A CRM system should effectively collect information about partners and product support. This information helps manage the customer experience, since you receive the information about when, why, where, how, the client was dissatisfied with a product or service.
Flexible Security & Access Permissions
A good CRM system not only keeps data secure, but also gives the role-based access to various information. It should have an obvious way of allowing specific users access, without compromising data security.
Billing & Invoicing Functionality
A well-equipped CRM system should also track billing and invoicing status of each customer. This keeps your financial information organized and reviews things such frequency or timeliness of payments.
Integration with External Applications
A key feature of any CRM system is its ability to integrate with external applications. Integration with an organization’s existing ERP is crucial when you try to collect and maintain accurate customer information.
Integration with Social Media Platforms
Today a randomly appeared in a timeline post can bring you a project or positively affect company reputation. For that reason, integration with social media is valuable. Besides, it can be quite difficult to track social media activity of potential and current clients, but when you have it at hand maintaining good relationships can be much easier.
CRM VoIP Telephony
A good CRM system should provide built-in calling opportunities. This allows to capture the conversations, automate call center workflow and call reporting. CRM telephony is a good way to optimize calling.
Entering and organizing the data is a key function of CRM solutions. Still, a truly effective CRM system will also help analyse the existing data. Without a data reporting component, it will be hard to find customer behavior trends or to understand which actions need to be taken to improve a customer relationship. Exporting, compiling and analyzing marketing data or customer billing analysis tools are all part of effective CRM software.
A wisely chosen and set up CRM system is the most valuable asset for interaction with customers. Many companies choose to use ready-made CRM solutions from recognized providers as PipeDrive, Infusion, Salesforce, Sugar CRM and some others.
However, in most cases, companies need a CRM to fill some specific business needs. That is why companies often customize those systems. It is crucial for the CRM system to be fully integrated and customized. Otherwise, the information collected through the system might not show the big picture about the customer and needs.
The article by Diana Kontsevaia