In the twenty-first century, there are many buzzword acronyms that promise to work wonders for business. Recent decades have seen numerous technological developments that have led to ongoing upheavals in business processes, leaving them unrecognisable when compared with the recent past. One of these new concepts is CRM (customer relationship management), which has only come into common use in the last ten to twenty years. The CRM market is growing, and is expected to be worth more than $80 billion by 2025. CRM has become an almost indispensable aspect of business for a number of reasons.
Another essential asset to businesses of all sizes is tech support, which can take the strain off an in-house IT team and provide a range of valuable services. EC-MSP, an IT support company in London is an excellent option for UK-based SMEs.
What is CRM?
As the name suggests, customer relationship management is the approach taken to the interactions that a business has with its customers. This includes all customer history and communications, and using data analysis to find ways to make improvements in customer and business relationships. Usually when CRM is spoken of, it refers to the software tool that is used to deal with contact management, sales management, as well as the overall productivity of an organisation.
The benefits of CRM
There are various ways that CRM can help small businesses increase productivity and expand their horizons. These include the following important benefits.
Know your customers
CRM is the most relevant for companies that have longer sales cycles and products that are more complex. Data collection on a perpetual basis allows CRM to make improvements to customer interactions continually, while customer behaviour data is recorded and analysed constantly so customer decisions can be understood more clearly. This can be used in marketing, design, sales and email campaigns.
Improve customer service
CRM directly informs customer support with various sets of information for each customer. CRM software organises customer data and makes it accessible from one central location, meaning customer service can directly respond to it, showing an interest in personal needs and tastes. This means that CRM tools considerably improve customer experience and increase the customer retention rate within the existing customer base. Research has shown that 86 percent will pay for a better customer experience, proving that customer service makes a big difference. It has also been shown that a 5 percent increase in customer retention rate can increase profits by 75 percent.
CRM software include useful features and capabilities, such as sales enablement tools, CRM reporting, process automation, project management capabilities, as well as easy access to large sets of customer data. All this represents shortcuts that help to improve the efficiency of tasks and business processes, and allow the business to create tidier workflows. It means that important customer information will not be lost, and communications within the organisation will be more informed and clearer.
Most importantly, CRM helps to improve sales by as much as 29 percent. It achieves this by enabling businesses to take more leads from the company website and follow them during the sales process. New contacts can be targeted with emails and any leads can be prioritised by the sales team. CRM can help to show which leads are producing the most sales, and how sales forecasts are looking for the future.
Incredible returns on investment
Due to the streamlining and automation of business processes that CRM makes possible, it can offer excellent returns on investment (ROIs). According to figures from Nucleus Research, ROIs for CRM are as much as $8.71 for every dollar spent. This allows staff to spend less time on repetitive tasks and focus more on strategy, marketing, customer interaction and building brand loyalty.
There are various different CRM software programmes to choose from, but some are better suited to smaller businesses than others. The first consideration in choosing a CRM solution may come down to pricing, as many are low in cost and even free, such as Zoho, Hubspot, and Agile.
Many businesses will prefer to opt for CRM packages that are easy to learn and use, so no expert guidance is required. Customer support is another consideration to make, in order to avoid any problems that might come up throughout the implementation phase.
Some software solutions are more customisable than others, and some may integrate more smoothly with other software, such as certain email marketing or e-commerce platforms. For example, Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM solution can be used seamlessly with other Microsoft products.
CRM solutions have become an unavoidable service for modern businesses by providing various advantages that most businesses cannot be without. CRM helps to streamline operations so that staff can concentrate on the parts of business that matter the most. For those that have yet to implement this useful tool, the transformation is likely to be immediate and significant. But businesses should be quick to take up on this new technology, or they may be left behind.