CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software allows you to manage customer relationships in a more effective way. It is an increasingly popular solution that can be applied in the areas of sales, marketing, customer service, and after-sales. Thus, it includes tools to manage touchpoints: any interaction between customers or potential customers and the company, from the first contact to the post-sale information, can be recorded.
Its generalization responds to a paradigm shift among companies: today, customers are not passive recipients of messages and products, but their opinion counts for any phase of production.
However, and although the acronym CRM normally refers to certain software that facilitates the relationship with customers, the reality is that a CRM is more than a program: it is a work philosophy and a business culture that draws on the alignment of teams and objectives.
In this sense, we must bear in mind that, before implementing a CRM software, we must go through a previous phase of process analysis, planning, the definition of objectives and involvement, and coordination of the teams (marketing, customer service, and sales, usually). Specific software is only the tip of the iceberg.
A CRM facilitates customer acquisition, but places special emphasis on loyalty: according to statistics such as that of the Invesp portal, it is five times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain one who has already consumed a company’s products. With more centralized information and at the disposal of the teams, it will be easier to retain customers.
Basic rules to adopt a CRM philosophy
It should be adopted by all members of the organization or team, and promoted from above.
A prior assessment of the satisfaction and needs of the employees involved in the chain is required. Without a clear analysis of this point, we will not get them involved.
Training in new processes and in the technology required to carry them out. It should be emphasized that, once the training process has been completed, all departments will benefit, since all will have more data to carry out their work correctly.
Promotion of interaction between teams and transparency: customer information must reach all members of the organization, so that, for example, marketing knows which of its actions have helped close a new customer or reach a certain billing target. In the same way, a salesperson can know, before calling, what other interactions that customer has had with other colleagues.
Choosing a CRM software that offers interesting features for all departments.
Establishment of periodic controls to check the alignment of the teams and the correct performance of the strategy.
Advantages of using a CRM software
More automatic and optimized processes. We can collect information about contacts that are in a specific phase (for example, undecided) and program a message that allows them to move towards purchasing the product or contracting the service.
The monitoring of variables allows you to make informed decisions. CRM software offers a global vision to know how the different departments are working in meeting objectives.
Application of segmented marketing. Marketing teams gain access to valuable customer information through CRM. Thus, they are capable of generating automated campaigns that target specific population segments, so that they are oriented to their particular needs. According to the email marketing platform Mailchimp, segmented campaigns get a much better response.
Customer loyalty. The CRM stores the information of each client so that the person who attends them at all times knows their preferences and needs. In this way, personalized customer service is achieved that makes a difference and achieves loyalty. It is possible to delve into the details: have information about previous communications, rejected offers, unanswered calls … In short, it collects interactions to learn from mistakes and improve the system.
Fluid communication between departments. The global vision that CRM allows facilitates the coordination of actions between different teams. In this way, the transfer of reports from one team to another is largely avoided because the information is already available in the CRM.