CRM ( Customer Relationship Management System ) has to be one of the biggest and most used softwares by the enterprise today collectively. So much so that the leading CRM company in the world – Salesforce- is a billion dollar company today and the leading open source CRM company ( SugarCRM) just raised a lot of money!
But that apart, CRM has a place in every company’s life. We conducted a simple Hallway/walkway test in Mumbai & Bangalore about what people perceive about CRM and these are the statements we got from people.
CRM is about maintaining records
CRM is used for sending Diwali Greetings to customers
CRM is a very expensive software that consumes a lot of time and resources to maintain
CRM is a part of SAP which only big companies can think of using
The truth is neither of this is incorrect, nor is anything close to being correct. Yes, CRM is a record maintaining tool, and is used for sending greetings, CRM tools can be expensive depending on what you choose and CRM would be a part of a custom made SAP integration in big companies. But CRM is much, much more than this.
In my opinion, a Customer Relationship Management system is every employee’s and entrepreneur’s best friend. I shall tell you how – read on –
1. CRM should be a record of every interaction with customer – A business may interact with a customer at different points of time under different circumstances. Today’s popular customer touchpoints include – SMS, Email, Office Visit, Telephone, Website visit, Website click, Website Product request, Facebook Page interaction, Twitter Interaction and so on. This itself would be great preparation for the next possible interaction prediction with customer.
2. CRM can help identify patterns – At the end of the day, for maximizing revenue, one has to hunt for specific patterns from within a CRM. For example, for a telecom firm, patterns such as ‘Customer who changes caller tune once every two weeks is a beautiful pattern . Accordingly, offering exciting offers based on those patterns is the way to milk that customer even more.
3. CRM helps proactively identify pain points – For example, a customer’s monthly usage of ebanking website has gone down. A CRM can help track down this and send a custom mailer to such customers asking them for the problems they faced. Such personal care means a lot for customers, who then become more loyal towards your brand.
In the next part, we shall look at CRM in more detail, with case studies.