Customer Relationship Management System
Customer Relationship Management System or CRM is a process driven system to acquire and manage relationships with customers, clients and vendors to optimize productivity. The System was developed in the 80s but its growth took off in the late 90s when large organizations started implementing them. Now it’s widely used by institutions big and small.
For companies, it’s important, but difficult to analyze each customer or client individually. With CRM, a company can find out how it’s attracting customers, the cost that has gone into it, how efficient the sales process is and how happy customers are with the support provided to them. This is significant as customer acquisition is more expensive than customer retention.
For companies of any size
CRM is used by both business that are B2B and that are B2C. In the former case, the company uses it to track its engagement with various clients and vendors. In business selling to customers, CRM has wider utility because of the high number of customers. CRM is size-neutral and especially useful for small businesses and even freelancers as it helps them to grow their business with limited resources.
Types of CRM
There are broadly three types of CRM. They are strategic, operational and analytical systems.
1. Strategic CRM
In Strategic CRM, the management develops a process that’s fine-tuned to consistently deliver high customer satisfaction. If a company has customers who are fiercely loyal, or if a company is consistently rated as customer friendly in various studies, they can be said to have a finely developed Strategic CRM.
2. Operational CRM
Operational CRM builds synergy out of the various wings in a company, including sales, marketing, research and development and customer support, and integrates them to create and automate operational efficiencies on a constant basis. All the different units will have a clear idea about what’s expected of them and others, to provide customer satisfaction of the highest levels. This is important as a company expands or spreads geographically.
3. Analytical CRM
Analytical CRM analyses information about customers and their expectations and experiences collected from multiple points so that customer support can be consistently improved. This tells a company more about a typical customer journey, what works and what doesn’t, increases productivity and helps eliminate unnecessary acquisition costs like unproductive marketing programmes.
Overall, CRM has grown from merely improving customer support to now become a mission critical system to deliver the right products to the right customers at the right price with the right support.