CRM Key Benefits
What exactly is a CRM
More businesses than ever are using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software or services to optimise their businesses. But what is the purpose of a CRM and how could your business benefit from investing in one?
CRMs have been around for decades, but early versions were often complicated to learn and provided as bolt-on modules to expensive enterprise platforms.
As technology has advanced and competition heated up, CRM software has become smarter and more intuitive. The widespread adoption of cloud computing has levelled the playing field further, offering SMBs the chance to access the kind of data storage and processing power once limited to the biggest companies.
In an effort to appeal to a wider user base, CRM developers have improved interoperability by integrating their products with other popular cloud-based services. Meanwhile, machine learning and other types of artificial intelligence continue to push the boundaries of what can be done with customer data.
One of the best ways to think about the modern CRM is as a hub that connects different parts of your business together via a shared database of contacts. You can install a CRM as a stand-alone piece of software, sign up for a cloud-based service or even outsource CRM responsibilities to a third party.
Most commonly, CRMs are accessed by the sales, marketing and customer service teams to make it easier to share customer profiles, purchase histories and conversations. Most CRMs bring together customer interactions that have occurred over the telephone, SMS, email and live chat and some even include social media conversations in the mix.
There are several advantages to using a CRM but two key benefits are improving customer relationships and reducing costs.
Building better business relationships
As the name suggests, the chief function of a CRM is protecting and improving the relationship between your business and its customers.
It mainly does this by providing an easy way for any member of staff, be they a sales rep, marketing manager or customer service agent to understand the context of any customer interaction.
By consulting the CRM, any of these employees can see what your customer’s business does, which of your services they use and why, what their last conversation was with your company and how they experienced that interaction.
The next time the customer types an email, opens up a live chat session or calls customer support, the agent will have all the data they need to provide the best service possible. Over time, this will lead to increased trust and the customer is likely to become loyal to your brand and business.
Without a CRM in place, customer interactions can instead become a series of disconnected conversations. This can lead to frustration and relationship breakdown.
Cutting company costs
Following on from the previous section, it is easy to see how using a CRM can lead to reduced churn. This in turn leads to increased sales productivity because it is a lot less expensive to sell to an existing customer than to acquire a new one. This increase can be as much as 25%!
A CRM can also tighten up processes across the business. With in-depth understanding of their customers, developers can be more responsive and efficient when creating new services and products.
With richer data, marketing campaigns can be more finely tuned, reducing advertising costs and improving the quality of leads into the sales pipeline. Meanwhile sales reps can prioritise the hottest of those leads, reducing travel costs and phone bills while increasing their conversion rates.
At the same time, customer support costs can be slashed by as much as 22%. With all the information they need at their fingertips, agents can close tickets faster and resolve issues in one call. As more customers experience frictionless service, retention rates will increase.
As you can imagine, combining the benefits of improved customer relationships and increased business efficiency can only have a positive effect on business outlook, something which is much needed during these tough times.
Did you know that Intrflex provides a CRM as a core element of our flexible business system? What’s more, you can store as much data as you need to maintain and build high quality relationships with your customers while minimising the cost of acquiring leads and serving customers. Sign up for our free trial today!