An In-Depth Look at Customer Relationship Management
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) involves analysing data about customers and using it to improve customer service. It is also used to get new customers and increase sales.
Data collection, and how it is analysed, is a very complex topic. It’s enough to say that there is a lot of data that can be analysed – and lots of ways to do it. This has created the need for CRM systems.
A CRM system is an online tool to help you create strategies. These include:
- Strategies to improve customer service and relationships with customers.
- Strategies to manage business relationships and improve B2B services
- Marketing strategies to get new customers and establish new relationships.
The data used by CRM systems comes from collecting information about customers. Some of this information is supplied by the customers themselves. Existing and new customers provide information through things like sign-up forms, feedback forms, questionnaires, preference and marketing surveys.
Other data comes from social media profiles.
A third set of data comes from online ‘user behaviour’. User behavior shows what your customers like and what they buy. This data comes from how people browse websites, what they click on and how often. It also comes from what they don’t click on, and what they don’t buy, and what they respond to negatively.
The CRM system uses all of this data to build a profile of customers and their preferences – from products to communications. These profiles help a business to target products and services at different groups of people (customers and potential customers), in the best way.
These are all crucial aspects of Customer Relationship Management.
Improving Customer Service and Relationships
There’s more to customer service than a big smile at the checkout counter. You want to keep your customers coming back. Customers also expect a lot from companies. You need to meet these expectations.
CRM is also especially important when you market online – because your competitors’ may have the same online reach as you. So, you have to ‘go the extra mile’ to get and keep customers.
Your customers may be consumers. They may also be other businesses. When CRM is B2B (or Business to Business) it involves improving business relationships.
Managing B2B Relationships
CRM is especially useful when used to manage who your business interacts with other businesses that use your services. Improving business relationships means managing your contact with the people in those businesses, as well as providing the best B2B service.
CRM is also used to manage a businesses’ relationships with suppliers. It can inform organisational processes and human resources management. This all contributes to better customer service and business relationships.
Marketing and Establishing New Relationships
For a business to grow, it needs to increase sales. This means getting new customers. It also means reinventing what it offers both potential and existing customers. CRM systems help business come up with ways to:
- Target potential customers using the existing customer demographics.
- Target new marketing campaigns at existing customers.
- Design expos and other events for existing and potential customers
When relationship building is a core part of marketing and growth for a business, people need to meet in person. In this case, CRM is used to design events campaigns.
Events for Customer Relationship Management
- You can use CRM to design an industry ‘meet and greet’, conference or similar event. The data you have collected can be analysed to generate ideas for more successful events.
- You could do an expo for the public – knowing who will likely sign-up with you or buy.
- You can do private expo events for existing customers.
Customer Relationship Management systems take the guesswork out of event planning.
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