What Is Customer Relationship Management?
Today’s marketplace is becoming more and more competitive, and businesses of all sizes across all industries are challenged to boost revenues and expand market share by finding new, more effective ways to attract, acquire, support, and retain customers.
Additionally, they must improve profitability and increase shareholder value by maximizing operational efficiency and minimizing overhead costs. That’s why so many companies are turning to customer relationship management solutions.
Customer relationship management solutions are a family of tightly-integrated software applications that span all client-facing operations throughout a company.
Comprised of modules for contact management and sales force automation, marketing campaign automation, call center or contact center management, help desk automation, and advanced business intelligence, customer relationship management solutions are designed to coordinate and streamline the disparate, repetitive, manual processes that often exist across multiple divisions and business units.
Additionally, they can help consolidate and centralize the common company-wide data silos that can lead to errors and inconsistencies in service delivery. As a result, the efficiency and effectiveness of all customer transactions is dramatically improved, and service quality is optimized at every single touch point.
With customer relationship management solutions, companies can enhance the accuracy, timeliness, and success of all customer interactions and related processes. This includes enabling:
- Marketing teams to understand the behaviors and preferences of their target audience, intelligently plan and execute sophisticated and personalized campaigns and promotions through multiple communication mediums, and closely monitor and analyze the results.
- Sales representatives to efficiently prioritize and manage hundreds of new leads, prospects, and opportunities by better coordinating activities, more rapidly finalizing and closing existing sales cycles, and boosting the value of each deal.
- Call center agents to provide a convenient experience to customers by quickly answering their inquiries and providing them with the information they need. Customer relationship management solutions can also transform these cost centers into profit centers by helping staff to actively participate in up-sell and cross-sell initiatives, and other sales and marketing promotions.
- Support staff to promptly address customer issues by leveraging a comprehensive knowledge base, coordinating and dispatching field resources when needed, and tracking the progress of every problem from the time a job ticket is opened, until it is resolved and closed.
- Management to achieve full visibility into all customer-facing activities across multiple departments, so they can accurately assess performance, and ensure that all client interactions are handled in the most responsive and professional manner possible.
But, most importantly, customer relationship management empowers these various teams to collaborate, share timely and accurate information, and work together toward the common goal of expanding market share and increasing customer loyalty. With customer relationship management, these once fragmented sales, marketing, and service departments can work in synch to build a stronger, more lucrative customer base.
Customer relationship management packages are also designed to work seamlessly within a current infrastructure, so businesses can continue to leverage their existing technology investments while creating a company-wide culture that enables more efficient execution of customer-facing workflows. For example, customer relationship management applications can link to and share data with other business systems that store vital customer information, such as accounting and e-commerce packages.