What is Customer Relationship Management? (CRM)

Every organization, regardless of size, shares one key priority. Its customers.

As such, each of these steps has proven to be incredibly important for creating a profitable business.

  1. Connecting with leads.
  2. Nurturing prospects.
  3. Converting sales.
  4. Maintaining ongoing relationships.
  5. Increasing customer life-time-value. 

However, this isn’t an easy process.

Admittedly, it takes a lot of work and often feels like a never-ending (sometimes impossible) job. 

Why? Well, without the right tools, audience segmentation and lead capturing can be time-consuming and tiring

Not only are your customers spread over multiple different platforms, but they each have a preference for their preferred method of contact and a completely unique idea of what a good customer experience would look like.

This makes relationship management a little more complicated, often requiring an extensive and comprehensive software system that allows teams to be “everywhere at once”.

What is Customer Relationship Management? Find out the answer through Userlane's helpful guide.

What is Customer Relationship Management (CRM)?

Customer Relationship Management (or CRM) refers to the technology platform that is used by companies to oversee every interaction and communication they share with their customers and prospects. 

Rather than requiring a marketing team to switch from Facebook to Outlook, to Google Ads in a manner of seconds… all of these user platforms can be managed in one place. For your employees, this means they don’t have to have hundreds of tabs open or be manually keeping track of potential leads. 

What is the Business Value of Customer Relationship Management (CRM)?

With Customer Relationship Management, employees across your organization can easily understand the progress of someone’s buying journey. They’ll be able to view past:

  • purchases
  • conversations
  • queries
  • complaints
  • issues

Therefore, that person’s shopping experience can be personalized according to their needs, resulting in an increased conversion rate. 

Customer Relationship Management also allows you to track the progress of leads, stay up-to-date with them, and explore key segmenting and targeting data that you can utilize to catch their attention.

What are the 5 Core Components of a CRM?

To truly address the important question of “What is Customer Relationship Management?’, you need to explore the crucial features offered by the majority of software providers. 

Each one is intended to support businesses in their journey to improve customer relationships and can make a big difference in the success of your marketing and sales efforts.

1. Customer Profiling

If you have a specific marketing department, they likely already have a good grasp of your customer behavior and their standard buying journey. 

This information can be reported through Customer Relationship Management to create lookalike profiles and better understand when is the right time to reach out to someone.

2. Data Analytics

Overtime, Customers Relationship Management systems will collect a vast amount of actionable data that will prove useful to you. 

It can inform you when and where to post an advert, or simply show you an overview of user engagement or conversion rates – which can be passed on to leadership teams and slowly improved.

3. Marketing Automation

Copy and paste. Copy and paste. Copy and paste. 

Speak to any marketing team trying to qualify leads and start conversations with multiple people, and you’ll find they are using largely the same copy for their target audience. 

Instead of wasting time with this inefficient approach, you can automate standard responses to FAQs, or create a strategic sales pipeline to guide someone down every time they sign up to your website.

4. Client Communications

As we’ve touched on, the main focus of all Customer Relationship Management platforms is to ensure timely and effective responses to your customers. 

Whether they have a query they need an answer to before a purchase, or a complaint that quickly needs addressing… having these notifications come through on one system (in an organized way) reduces the chance of missed opportunities.

5. Software Integration

Customer Relationship Management isn’t just a useful tool by itself. The majority of options will integrate with a variety of other software (such as Project Management) to create a smooth and overall enjoyable sales experience for your customers.

What are the Top Customer Relationship Management Platforms?

As our digital economy has continued to evolve, the world has become full of incredible and user-centric customer relationship management systems. 

This could prove useful to you going forward. Truly, you are spoilt for choice.  

The unique CRM systems have been designed to consider a variety of business needs (such as ease-of-use or scalability), leading to their claim of being among the most popular software services in the world. 

When browsing your options, you might recognise common household names like Salesforce or HubSpot, but there are other programs that deserve their time in the limelight. This includes:

  1. Zoho
  2. Pipedrive
  3. Nethunt
  4. Insightly
  5. Accelo

Before you select a Customer Relationship Management platform, be sure to take your time, do your research, and identify which will best fit your organization.

What is Customer Relationship Management (CRM)? – FAQs

Are you starting to understand the basics of Customer Relationship Management? Do you have a good grasp on how applying it could be useful to your business? 

If you are, but still aren’t fully confident, perhaps these FAQs can be of use.

  • Do I need a CRM?

Depending on the number of customers you have currently, the leads you have in your pipeline, and your growth plans, Customer Relationship Management could prove key to your success. From a small business to a large corporation, increasing your ease of access to your audience could only benefit you in the long term.

  • Why is Customer Relationship Management important?

As customers, we tend to get bored and distracted easily. We might follow a brand because of an advert we’ve seen, then soon forget what their name was or which products they sell. Over time, with no interaction or exposure from that company, we could easily go from a “warm” to a cold lead. This is a situation businesses should avoid.

  • What are the different types of Customer Relationship Management?

Generally, Customer Relationship Management is split into three categories: collaborative, analytical, and operational. Each has a different focus and could be applied in unique and interesting ways by a marketing team. However, the most popular at the moment would be “analytical” due to its focus on in-depth data.

  • What is the best CRM tool?

Salesforce is one of the biggest Customer Relationship Management systems in the world… for good reason. Its numerous features and unending updates demonstrate its eagerness to stay on top of evolving markets and provide its clients with a convenient solution to network with customers and leads.

What is Customer Relationship Management? A digital platform that allows you to track and convert leads.

Teach Your Employees About Customer Relationship Management through Digital Adoption Platforms

There’s a reason you needed to ask “What is Customer Relationship Management?”

It’s a complex idea to wrap your head around and can take years to truly understand. It’s not a skill that comes easily to everyone. 

So, if you make the important decision to onboard a platform where your employees can interact and reconnect with prospect leads, then proceed with caution.

You’ll need to provide intense CRM training to get them up to speed. 

Or, you can automate the entire software onboarding process through Userlane’s innovative and intelligent Digital Adoption Platforms (which provide real-time guidance to users as they learn how to navigate and use a new piece of software).

Ready to learn more? Request a demonstration today.

 

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