Customer Relationship Management: How to Choose One?
⏱ Reading Time: 8 minutes
The appearance of the customer relationship management system is justified by the demands of the changing market. Namely the ever-increasing competition and the persistent struggle for each customer. Also, the growing requirements of customers for the quality of goods and services. Additionally, storage of all the necessary information to retain old customers and attract new ones. Along with increasing the efficiency of employees.
All those components had become essential for every company striving to keep up with competitors! All necessary methods and tools for this aim are implemented within the customer relationship management framework.
However, the choice of CRM implementation should be twice examined because this deal is quite risky. Of course, the profit of its adoption is huge since well-organized customer relationship management may greatly increase sales and raise your business to a new level. But at the same time, it is worth remembering that in case of failure you will probably take losses. Impossible to neglect the fact that not all CRM adoptions are successful.
If ready to face a challenge, then put efforts into choosing the type of CRM which will best suit your company’s needs!
Meet Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Imagine a table where you can see all the client data: number of purchase orders, accountants, number of calls, and messages. Each customer has a separate card/file, which contains all data related to him. When a sales manager calls a customer, he writes down everything related to that call in the customer file. That way, every team member can access this data and can be in the know! Apart from this, all the information remains in one place, and you don’t have to search for different tables.
Customer relationship management (CRM) is a management approach or model that:
- places a client at the center of a company’s business processes and working methods
- supposes that the organization has a customer-centric philosophy and culture intended to perform in the marketing, sales, and service field
- makes it possible to close the gap between the current and potential work efficiency with clients, which can be a great boost to the profit of the company
Picture 1. CRM Business Tasks
Customer Relationship Management Types
1. Operational CRM
Most existing solutions include this type. The main purpose of an operational customer relationship management tool is to increase the client’s loyalty during close contact.
Operational CRM can:
- register incoming traffic
- present in the database data about clients, requests, transactions, tasks, etc.
- automate the document flow within the company
- record the promotion of transactions by the purchase funnel
- remind of scheduled calls, letters, meetings
- set the tasks
- control the employees` work
Operational CRM fits if you:
- have a linear sales process
- are engaged in a sales and marketing business
- tend to automate the workflow and prefer the software to do routine administrative work
Analytical customer relationship management not only documents the client’s transaction records as operational ones but also helps to trace sales patterns. The purpose of analytical CRM is to analyze gathered information about customers and sales to build a more effective strategy!
Analytical CRM can:
- segment the customer database
- determine the client’s value
- analyze client`s cost-effectiveness
- check client’s behavior at each stage of the transaction
- show transaction distribution by the purchase funnel
- analyze trends in sales
- analyze the effectiveness of marketing tools
- forecast sales volume
Analytical CRM fits if you:
- have a finance-driven management style
- your end users are bent on data and values
Picture 2. Successful CRM implementation
This type of CRM can develop communication with clients to collect customer feedback. The information obtained from collaborative CRM helps to make the adjustment of product/service range, price policy, and customer service. For instance, the call center of an insurance company calls clients, asking questions about service quality, and takes down the answers. Following the results of the survey, the company builds further engagement.
Collaborative CRM fits if you:
- you have a few stakeholders and different departments on the same platform
- your company is situated in different locations or not attached to a place, the interaction takes place online
Campaign Management CRM
Campaign management CRM is a combination of operational and analytical systems. This type of CRM is used for storing and processing the results of the actions taken. But also for creating statistical databases.
Campaign management CRM fits if you:
- want to define the target groups
- need to get into two-way communication with clients through advertising messages and various information materials
- use diverse channels at your company: traditional and electronic mail, telephone communication, SMS
Strategic CRM is a type of customer relationship management system where customers are the most essential part of business attention. This type of CRM separates and uses client data and market trends to organize the most favorable trade offers. The client’s opinions and needs are among the most critical elements in the life cycle of a company.
This strategy involves constant analysis of the client’s needs, lifestyle, and interests. On top of that, using the strategic CRM, the company constantly tracks trends, adapting all work processes to them.
Strategic CRM fits if you:
- want to optimize the electronic client feedback system
- search for new ways that improve the quality of work with customers and use of various elements
4 Steps for Selecting Customer Relationship Management for Your Business
1. Define Problems That the CRM System Should Solve
Problem: You spend a lot of time taking down all the client data and putting them in one table. The net result is that some parts of the data are lost, and you don’t remember what kind of contacts the client did.
Solution: customer relationship management system that automatically collects clients in a funnel and stores their data in one place.
2. Make a List of CRM Systems That Fit Your Needs. Test Them Out!
Choose 5-7 programs and take advantage of the trial period — usually, it lasts for 14 days. During this time you will find out if this function and service are suited for you.
3. Analyze Systems!
Make a table with the criteria by which you will evaluate CRM systems (or download ours!)
Picture 3. Make sure you make a list of criteria your system should comply to!
4. Set Up a Service
Sometimes you don’t know what CRM functions you need. Describe the problems you would like to solve to the CRM company and they will help you choose the necessary functionality.
! REMEMBER TO DOUBLECHECK !
Is the tech support paid or free? What is it responsible for? Is there a possibility to order additional functionality? Is it possible to set and implement a CRM on a turnkey basis? Can you close the data from individuals?
The choice of a customer relationship management system is a long and hard process. Even if you think the first software you find suits you, take your time to think if it is worth choosing it. Our advice is to find the time and test a few before committing. And bear in mind the most important thing: CRM itself will not make the business more efficient. It’s just a tool that you have to make the most out!
Isabelle Jordan is a business and marketing journalist. She writes for different news
portals and thematic blogs on the website that help her stay at the heart of the travel
and insurance news. Such work gives her the opportunity to write articles on the
most relevant topics of today.
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