A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system integrates marketing initiatives, customer information, and business operations to deliver an optimal customer experience while uncovering revenue generating opportunities for the business. The integration of data that is normally stored in and viewed by separate divisions into a single access point within a business provides a holistic view of all customer interactions with the business. Information in this format provides several advantages, including:
- The discovery of customer preferences – Knowing customer preferences as revealed by previous purchases can open conversations regarding related and add-on purchases.
- Increased efficiency in marketing efforts – This same knowledge can help target the customers that will be most receptive to marketing campaigns for new and/or related products.
- The aggregation of customer information in a single location in real time – This allows for customer service personnel to provide fast responses to inquiries regarding backorders, shipping, exchanges/returns, etc.
- Improved customer retention – Positive experiences in terms of purchasing, tailored marketing, and customer service will keep customers coming back time and time again.
Empowering your personnel with the ability to view integrated customer data on a single screen can take your business to the next level in terms of sales, marketing, and customer service.
Here are the three different aspects of CRM systems.
Analytical – Analytical Customer Relationship Management describes the primary function of all CRM systems, which is to gather what can be disparate points of customer data, integrate it, and then use the information to make faster and more informed decisions and responses relating to sales, marketing, and customer service.
Collaborative – Collaborative Customer Relationship Manage systems integrate customer data with the objective of enabling different departments within a company to communicate with each other while viewing the same sets of information. This aspect of CRM is a critical element in the optimization of the system for enterprise-sized businesses.
Operational – Operational Customer Relationship Manage systems are those that are focused on automating customer contact processes. An example would be a phone system that prompts callers through a menu of services. Another example would be data mining customer information to determine the best opportunities for marketing leads, sales prospects etc.