What exactly is CRM?
Phil Callaghan, IT Specialist
Just the other day I spoke with a business owner who asked me "What is CRM?" It's a question we come across a lot and we are always happy to explain.
Customer Relationship Management or CRM is many different things to different people, and it can revolutionise your business. Really!
Many successful organisations are developing new strategies to strive for growth and competitive advantage, and CRM is certainly a great way to generate differentiation in the marketplace.
CRM is a business strategy to:
Acquire profitable customers
Retain and maximize existing customers
Gain efficiencies by improving operational performance through a CRM strategy
It's all about freeing your teams from time hungry processes, and giving them the information to do their jobs more efficiently.
It's about getting the right information, to the right person, at the right time.
CRM solutions have been around since the 1980s, and since then the solutions have evolved and developed to drive powerful successes. Over the years, following loads of research by Gartner and Forrester, it has been shown that if CRM is matched to processes and business strategy, CRM will give pretty amazing results.
To get the results from CRM its best to look at it as a business strategy rather than CRM technology to start with. The strategy is the methodology of how you want to do business, with the CRM technology giving you the platform to deliver that strategy.
Customer Relationship Management is all about the relationships between the organisation and its customers. Customers are the lifeblood of any business be it a sole trader or an international corporation, and customer relationship management is the same in principle for both of these types of organisations - it's just the scope of CRM which varies.
CRM will help Sales, Marketing and Customer Service functions deliver higher levels of understanding and service.
We would say to begin look at what do your customers want and need. How can you raise your customers' satisfaction through sales, marketing and customer service functions? This is the basis for your CRM strategy. Mapping this into a customer journey or a process, and using CRM technology to propel this strategy, is where real success lies.
The ultimate goal of CRM, like most business initiatives is to increase profit. Using CRM you can provide a better service to your customers, and deliver a far superior service over your competitors. CRM will reduce your costs and minimize wasted time and effort, gaining business efficiency.
What exactly is CRM?, 14th September 2013, 4:41 AM