A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform is specialist software that stores and manages a companies interactions with current and future customers in a central location making it easier to build and maintain relationships with your customers.
It often involves using technology to organise, automate, and synchronise sales, marketing, customer service, and technical support.
Features of a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Tool
The term CRM does get used quite loosely in call centres. In particular, it can mean anything from an excel spreadsheet through to full cloud-based platforms (aka SaaS – Software as a Service) that provides a single view of the customer.
But a CRM tool isn’t just confined to a contact centre.
Many, if not most, of the leading CRM tools are now hosted in the cloud and include many of the features below:
A customer lead can come from numerous channels – the website, the call centre, social media, retail, email campaigns and so on. A CRM tool will track the source of the lead and enable you to activate the lead all the way through to turning it into a sale.
Wouldn’t it be great if, when a customer calls your contact centre, that their entire history is displayed including their last complaint, last order etc to make it easier and faster for the contact centre agent to resolve their enquiry?
Well with the right CRM solution, you can!
Whether the CRM tool is integrated into your existing contact centre platform or the CRM has built-in contact centre functionality, Support Management with your CRM can transform your customer experience leading to increase satisfaction (which in turns leads to more profit and retention).
From reminders of when to call someone back, sending status or reminder emails directly to customers and more, your CRM tool can really help deliver a more efficient and effective outcome for your business.
From structured sales campaigns or simple communications like ‘your order has now been despatched’ emails a good CRM tool will provide your business with lots of flexible options.
Modern CRM tools can operate in a true omnichannel environment providing a central hub of information for all your channels. So regardless of whether the contact was made by telephone, SMS, email etc your CRM tool will be the one single source of truth.
Reports & Analytics
With all the data being collated, there is an abundance of Customer Analytics available with many CRM tools having built-in dashboards with a range of standard reports that enable you to manage your business.
Of course, you can also customise reports across any number of criteria with most CRM tools offering easy-to-build report templates.
Benefits of a CRM tool
Improved customer relationships
You’ll be able to offer a far more personalised experience as you will understand more about each customer and where they are at in your customer journey.
From prioritising calls from your important customers using CTI, arming the call centre agent with information like previous orders and so on, a CRM tool empowers your business to deliver a truly personalised experience.
The CRM tool doesn’t need to just be restricted to your call centre.
Whether it’s your sales or marketing teams, product teams, finance and more, your CRM will enable you to make informed decisions and plan how and when to communicate to your customer.
Track your leads from the moment they are created through to them becoming a customer and everything in between. A CRM tool is a great way to understand what stage of the pipeline your customer is in as well as providing you with knowledge, tools and processes to help continue to move them through the funnel, resolve an issue etc.
The more you understanding your customers, the more you’ll be able to offer targeted cross-sells and up-sells that solve their problems.
Improved Efficiency (and therefore cost savings)
The obvious efficiency gain from using a CRM tool is the ability to automate certain events but there is also one other great efficiency gain.
If everyone is using the CRM to record their customer interactions, then all other areas of your business are able to serve the client with the knowledge of what has been previously discussed with the customer saving valuable time for both you and your customer.
With knowledge comes power and a great CRM tool will provide you with comprehensive data on your customers for all your internal stakeholders including your customer service teams, sales team, finance teams, marketing and more.
Each time a CRM record is viewed, updated, actioned etc a full audit trail is created ensuring your business knowledge is secure at all times.
Stats on CRM Benefits
According to CRM tool Salesforce, implementing a CRM tool into your business can deliver:
- 44% more leads
- 37% increase in sales revenue
- 45% increase in customer retention
- 52% faster integration of business apps
What much does Customer Relationship Management software cost?
Most CRM tools these days are provided as a Software as a Service meaning you pay a per user, per month model with little (or no) set up costs.
Of course, each supplier has different commercial models but regardless of the model, the Return on Investment (ROI) is normally very strong for most businesses given the improvements to efficiency and increased ability to increase revenue through better customer management.
Where can you find a list of CRM Software Suppliers?
If you’d like to find the right CRM solution for your business we have a complete list of all the CRM Suppliers on the free CX Directory >>>