What is customer relationship management?

customer-relationship-management

Let’s kick it off by defining the term of customer relationship management (CRM).

The term CRM is used to describe numerous technologies, strategies and practices used and followed by businesses when interacting with customers. In other words, CRM encompasses actions companies use to track, record and analyze customer interactions and data.

The CRM strategy has three primary goals:

  • Improving relationships between the company and its customers.
  • Providing assistance in customer retention.
  • Improving sales and enabling business growth.

In the end, CRM is used by companies to improve the overall experience of its customers.

What is CRM Software?

CRM software is a powerful tool used by companies in need of streamlining and automating their CRM efforts. The features of this software make it suitable for managing customer relationships, customer retention management, and other. All this thanks to the data gathered throughout individual customer life-cycles.

When it comes to gaining actionable insights and discovering trends in customer behavior and past interactions, the CRM software is the best possible solution out there. Thanks to the new technologies, the best CRM software vendors offer their solution as a cloud-based and on-premises one. Some of the CRM software vendors even have dedicated smartphone apps.

Main Features of CRM Software

In order to bring you closer to the functionality of the CRM software you must learn what built-in features a CRM system has. If you were wondering how to manage customer relationships, here is the list of the most common ones found in this solution.

  1. Lead management – this feature will help you to manage your leads. This encompasses all actions ranging from prospecting to conversions. With lead management you will be able to identify which stage of the sales cycle each customer is currently in. The customer lifecycle pipeline is very important, as each stage is very sensitive and demands specific actions to be taken. With this feature you can give your customers exactly what they want and when they want it.

  2. Contact management – this feature is the most basic one. It lets you gather all the information on a customer and store it in a centralized location. With a cloud-based solution the information is stored in an online server, making it accessible by your sales, marketing and service department, regardless of their location.

  3. CRM campaign management – this feature enables you to launch and manage a customized CRM campaigns. Thanks to the back-end analytics engine, you will be able to monitor metrics generated in real-time and measure the success of your campaign as it goes.

  4. Smartphone app – not all CRM systems have a designated mobile app. This feature extends the functionality of the whole solution, improves accessibility and increases the agility of field teams.

Advantages of Customer Relationship Management

Here are the major advantages of customer relationship management:

  • Improved customer interaction management – without a CRM system recording and tracking customer history and interactions is a daunting task. CRM software enables business to seamlessly keep tabs on their customers and access the information in just a few clicks.
  • Improved customer retention management – by identifying and tending to the needs of each customer individually throughout the entire customer lifecycle, businesses send a powerful message to their customers. Customer retention management becomes an effortless action when you have all the data right in front of you.
  • Enhanced customer service – With access to previous interactions and the entire customer history, businesses can custom-tailor their service for each customer. With CRM software you can develop a perfect follow up strategy, to resolve issues even before they are registered as complaints.
  • Enabled recruitment of new prospects – before you are ready to target new customers, you have to be sure that your current ones are completely taken care of. A CRM system will enable you to do so and even more. With CRM software you will quickly learn what your ideal audience is, which makes market targeting very accurate.
  • Increased sales – with an installed CRM system you will be able to respond to customers very fast. By giving them information on the spot your sales teams will be able to capture more sales.
  • Improves marketing – a CRM system will enable you to develop highly optimized marketing strategies. By identifying trends in customer purchasing behavior, you can utilize your marketing resources more intelligently.

TOP 5 Best CRM Software Solutions

Here are top 5 CRM software solutions that can help you streamline and automate your CRM efforts.

  1. HubSpot CRM – HubSpot is a CRM designed to meet the client relation management needs of business of all sizes. It is a cloud-based solution packing all of the most useful features (lead tracking and nurturing, powerful analytics, sales funnel management, interaction tracking, and more).

  2. AmoCRM – AmoCRM is also a cloud-based customer relationship management tool and it comes as the second best CRM solution on our list. AmoCRM packs features to help you with lead nurturing and scoring, contact management, and sales analytics. It can be integrated with Zendesk, Xero and Facebook.

  3. AgileCRM – AgileCRM is a perfect solution for small and medium-sized companies. It is a cloud-based solution. Beside the standard features, such as contact management and marketing automation, it comes with a landing-page builder. AgileCRM also has a built-in knowledge base tool.

  4. Nutshell CRM – This CRM solution was developed with small businesses in mind and comes with a plethora of features. Nutshell CRM supports integration with Microsoft Office and Outlook and can also be integrated with GMail and Google G Suite.

  5. Capsule CRM – Capsule CRM is a cloud-based CRM solution. Beside the expected features it comes with a built-in ticket management module. This functionality makes it a good choice for small and medium-sized businesses.

As you can see customer relationship management solutions offer a variety of features to help a business see through their CRM strategies. These solutions are also powerful analytics tools designed to help you discover new trends and custom-tailor your actions. By automating the majority of repetitive and boring tasks, a CRM system also enables service, marketing and sales departments to focus on the core business tasks.

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