HIGH PROFILE CLUB
Why should businesses use CRM?
By Mireia Contreras on July 23th
Today I will explain the functionality of CRM (Customer Relationship Management), an application that for entrepreneurs, medium or large companies, will be handy to improve your business.
If a few years ago, I had asked you to send an email or call a customer, you would probably lose time searching for their phone number in a contacts calendar. Today, thanks to technological advances, searching for contacts, is the fastest and easiest it’s ever been. You can get hold of information all in one platform, whether that’s a Word document or a spreadsheet.
Due to the large volume of customers that companies have nowadays, the most important thing is to maintain a network of contacts under the same database. This tool will allow us to offer better services and keep all the information stored in the same program.
What is CRM?
CRM is an application that uses a single database to manage all interactions between a company and its clients. This also includes prospective clients. CRM usually relates to three essential areas: commercial management, marketing and after-sales or customer service.
It allows businesses to share and maximise their knowledge of a client to understand their necessities, so they can be anticipated. Also, the application collects all information on commercial management maintaining a detailed history in their unique database.
The CRM implementation is divided into several phases before it can be used correctly to start gaining the benefits.
All of the different participants within the project get involved so that precise strategic decisions can be put into operation. This is the most crucial part, as all employees within the company must learn about the functionalities offered by the CRM.
Within this phase the needs of different direct users (commercial, marketing, customer support) and indirect users are evaluated. Each team creates their reports. The database is able to contain information for all clients from a variety of different areas.
This phase implies the configuration of the application and the introduction of these reports previously created in the database.
At this stage, employees must evaluate the implementation and make precise adjustments to adapt into their business.
5. Manage the transition
Employees are able to keep track of the database, support users and manage maintenance in a corrective and evolutionary way. This is the most crucial phase, it is vital to maintain order and clarity within the database. Companies can not afford to keep customers who do not give feedback. Instead they must establish a user clean-up criterion to be able to update and generate better relationships.
Advantages and disadvantages of CRM
Advantages of CRM
Time-saving; CRM software allows process automation, eliminating the need to perform routine and repetitive tasks.
Updated and complete information.
Knowledge of behaviours and guidelines of consumption.
A lot of communication channels (Internet, landline, mobile, etc.)
The foresight of future behaviours.
An approach of more effective marketing campaigns that have a very positive impact on sales.
Disadvantages of CRM
Resistance: The resistance to innovation is less every day but you may have to devote time to motivate staff to accept, adapt and use CRM as a tool for customer benefit, workflow, employee performance and the growth of the company.
Learning curve: a period of familiarisation with the program is required, including staff training, to learn how to use data and interact with customers and prospects.
The acceptance of customers: the possibility of some resistance in some sectors to share information.