Business success is most often a result of a strong customer-base. A lot of emphasis is placed on good customer service, but in order to create a loyal customer-base it is equally important to provide and document a good impression of the company during all forms of company contact. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) describes the management of business-to-customer and business-to-business relationships. Automating CRM helps build and maintain long-term personal relationships with customers and improves customer retention. Effective management of CRM turns good service into great service. However, it requires hours and hours of dedicated input. Given that CRM is an integral in developing and maintaining company relations, software and apps have developed to automate CRM and it is a growing market. Gartner says that worldwide CRM software totaled $23.2 billion in 2014, up 13.3 percent from 20.4 billion in 2013 (Source).
The scope of CRM software
Initially, the primary function of CRM software was to maintain and organize a huge database of information associated with the customers. However, its scope has expanded beyond handling of a single relationship type (i.e. company and client).
Along with organizing contacts, CRM software today manage relationships between clients and the company and among other key players in sales, marketing and supplies (prospects, partners, vendors, media, employees etc.) automatically. CRM software automation helps understand and manage all internal and external communications of an organization by building an internal network that documents details on company contacts, tasks, previous conversations and beyond. Automating the CRM process eliminates possible errors involved in manual management of contacts and relationship history. Furthermore, CRM automation links related fields like a relational database model to ensure no contact information is ever missed.
Apart from their primary function of managing communications, CRM software can also help in the lead generation process. Through the use of tools like online lead form, CRM software can capture customer information and sift through them automatically. Furthermore, they can sort prospects (gathered internally or through external sources) into customized fields to pre-qualify them for the sales process using analytical tools.
An automated CRM system is vital to manage all connections that businesses develop. CRM software documents each aspect of the relationships and helps companies understand customers’, clients’ and prospects’ needs and behavior patterns to strengthen relationships with them. Focusing on relationships could enhance customer satisfaction, client satisfaction and increase prospect conversion rate and establish long term customer relationships. Similarly, low value customers can also be converted into high value customers by identifying customer preferences. Even though the concept of CRM initially started by managing customer relations the efficiency and advancement of CRM software allow them to manage all company relations to optimize customer and business relations.