Customer relationship management refers to the tools and practices that companies utilize to organize their customers with hopes of strengthening their relationships. There are many different strategies employed by companies to find value in customer interactions.
Customer relationship management often uses technology to compile information about customers into a database. This information may include the customer’s purchasing habits, buying preferences and personal information. The main goals of customer relationship management are to improve relationships with customers to help drive sales and retain customers.
Customer Relationship Management Software
Customer relationship management software can allow a company to manage information about their customers in ways that would have otherwise been nearly impossible. Customer relationship management software collects and compiles customer information into a comprehensive database. This gives a localized compilation of customer data that business users can use to manage customers and build relationships with them. Some of the most common data that is stored in customer management software includes social media interactions, customer concerns, emails, customer information and more. This software can also work to automate certain processes making it a very cost-effective tool.
Customer relationship management type of software may be installed on-premise or may be a cloud-based solution. Costs of either service vary greatly. It is important for a company to ensure that the service they are working with features high security to protect the privacy and confidentiality of their customers.
Customer Relationship Management Software Features
Customer relationship management software has many different features and functions. Some of the most common features of customer relationship management software include:
- Marketing automation
- Customer relationship management software can help to save costs and time by being able to automate certain marketing tasks. Email marketing and social media marketing can be automated generating new sales leads. Marketing automation can also be customized based on the customer’s purchase history, geographic location and preferences allowing companies to target and retain customers.
- Contact database
- A comprehensive customer database can go a long way for a company of any size. Customer relationship management software incorporates an up-to-date contact database that can be accessed by administrators from anywhere. The contact database can chronicle all customer interactions including purchase history, customer service inquiries, home address, phone number, email address, zip code, customer memberships and more. This information is vital for a company to create and grow customer relationships through marketing efforts, customer service and forecasting.
- Lead Management
- A company can help to determine sales leads using customer relationship management software by tracking purchase history and utilizing previous sales for future forecasting. There are many different ways that customer relationship management software can help a company to generate leads, initiate sales and close deals. Lead management can also help a company to guarantee that they have the right amount of inventory available.
- Customer Support
- Customer relationship management software can certify that customer inquiries, issues and complaints are resolved in a timely fashion. This software can encompass all of a company’s customer data including when the customer’s issue was first received and when it was resolved. This can provide valuable data about how to effectively solve similar issues in the future. By providing superior customer service, customers will feel satisfied and will become a loyal customer.
Customer relationship management software may also feature:
- Campaign management
- Lead scoring
- Product catalog
- Social media integration
- Email marketing campaigns
Keeping customers satisfied is the best way to ensure their business in the future. It can be difficult to manage all aspects of customer relationships without the proper customer relationship management software in place. A business that effectively manages their customer relationships can expect growth by retaining customers, referrals and earning a solid reputation.