Customer Relationship Management

CRM

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.

 

Featured News

  • 4 Steps that will Fortify Local SEO Results

    SEO

     

    Much like the larger category of search engine optimization (SEO), the rules for local SEO (aka LSEO) continue to change, which can turn the determination of a starting point into a daunting task. There are, however, several steps that you can take now that will fortify your local SEO results regardless of the changes that may take place with the search engines’ ranking algorithms. These steps include:

     

    1.          Setting up business pages on Google, Yahoo and Bing – While it’s true that Google still dominates search, setting up your business pages on Yahoo and Bing can round out your presence on the three big search engines, which can prevent searches for your business from coming up empty. For example, Yahoo offers a search box on its email pages that allows people to search their emails or the web for queries. For Yahoo email users (the most recent stats show over 80 million accounts in the U.S.) this allows web searches without leaving the email page, but if you haven’t set up a Yahoo business page even searches for the specific name of your business will not return information about your company. Be sure to optimize these mini-sites with pictures and relevant information, specifically the name address and phone number (aka NAP), as well as the business categories that accurately describe your operations.
    2.         Optimizing your website’s pages for local search – Defining your location for searches that specify your geographic area is as simple as adding NAP information to each page on your site. Location-based images on your site’s pages can add even more clout to your local listings.
    3.           Going with responsive design for your website – The number of searches for local businesses using mobile devices ranging from smartphones to tablets is escalating each year. Rather than displaying your website in a single format designed for desktop computers, responsive design tailors the viewing experience to the size of each device’s viewport to deliver content that is easier to read, displays of larger images, and an easier navigation process.
    4.          Getting social – Establishing social media pages can help with your local SEO efforts while also getting your business in front of local customers. Look for pages on these networks that have been set up as local resources and affiliate with them by friending, following, etc.

     

    The search engines are in a constant state of changing the game in terms of local SEO. Regardless of the changes that the search engines may implement, however, these steps can increase your company’s visibility as well as its presence in your local market. 

  • 3 Steps to Upgrade and Update your Ecommerce Site

    e-commerce

    While an increasing number of consumers are migrating to the web to make purchases, the competition between ecommerce sites for those dollars continues apace. One of the key changes in this environment is that the web has flattened pricing structures, making it difficult to compete by offering ever lower prices without eroding profit margins completely. Absent the ability to compete on price, many ecommerce sites are now making changes to offer the best shopping experience possible from the point of arrival to the completion of  the checkout process.

    These changes include:

     ·        Rolling out the red carpet for mobile consumers – Mobile access is the future of the vast majority of ecommerce sites and making upgrades to offer an enhanced experience on smaller screens is now mandatory. Rudimentary interfaces and minimalistic mobile experiences are now being replaced by responsive design architecture that allows much of the same functionality as that of desktop screens. One aspect in particular is the ability to zoom in on images which, on smaller screens can be a critical step in the buying process. Additionally, mobile users are increasingly attuned to the sites that cater to their interests and are more likely to leave sites that are still trying to offer a one size fits all experience. Upgrade to responsive design architecture now.

     ·        Adding videos – While talking about the fantastic new features on a product is fine, showing them on video is better. When incorporating videos in your ecommerce site, avoid the temptation to “sell, sell, sell” and instead offer video content that gives consumers the information they need to make an informed buying decision. Additional videos on how to use and/or optimize specific products can instill added confidence by displaying post-purchase product support.

     ·        Enabling purchases without a long application process – Let’s face it, many consumers that are buying from you may assume that the purchase they’re about make will be their only transaction on the site. In these cases, requiring a drawn out sign up process prior to making a purchase can have them looking to buy products elsewhere with less upfront work. Instead, streamline the purchasing process and allow your customers to decide if and when they want to start an account.

    Ecommerce is evolving as fast as or faster than any activity on the web. By integrating these changes, you can ensure that your site offers a high quality customer experience, whether the interface takes place via a desktop computer, a smartphone or a tablet.

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