CRM, or customer relationship management, is a vital tool that is widely used by business, both small and large. You might even be using a CRM system in a basic form but not know how to utilize it to expand your business. It began as a way to compile customer information to build relationships and maintain their business, but like most technology and business structures, it has evolved tremendously. Nowadays it is an irreplaceable tool that not only allows you to collect and compile customer information, it is a marketing and sales tool. CRM not only houses your customers’ information, it organizes it and analyzes it.
What kind of information is collected using CRM? Great question. You can decide what information would be most beneficial for you to use to elevate your business, but there are a few basics that you should also explore before getting into more specific data. Names, phone numbers, and addresses are basic information that you are most likely already collecting in some capacity from your customers. You can also collect more specific information like demographics (age, location, and family size), habits online, interests, and even purchase histories. Once collected, this information can be used to maintain relationships with your current customers, attract new customers, and even win back past customers.
This information can be collected in a number of ways. Lead forms through social media, surveys, sweepstakes, and newsletter sign-ups are all viable options for collecting information. The capacity in which you collect information and the information you decide to collect can be tailored to your company in order to be the most beneficial.
Once collected, you can decide how you would like to use this information. The most common use of this information aside from maintaining the customer/business relationship is to put it to use for marketing. If you can understand your customer’s wants, needs, and interests, you can better market to them.
Customer relationship management can also improve customer service interactions, but knowing your customers and understanding what their needs are.
Once you choose the direction your company would like to pursue with CRM, you can begin to choose a software system that will work best for you. You’ll want to find software that is easy and simple to use, that is secure enough to house all of your customers’ information, and provides customizable features that will benefit you in terms of marketing and sales.