“The goal as a company is to have customer service is not just the best, but legendary,” said the greatest American entrepreneur Sam Walton. With a view to delivering the highly satisfactory services to a business’ customers, a fantabulous approach of management came into existence which is popularly known as Customer Relationship Management (CRM). The real objective of the CRM is to manage the current as-well-as potential customers of a business. It uses widespread data analysis tools to improvise the business relationships with customers to retain them for the future. Whenever we talk about CRM, it’s not only about a single tool or software it is the bunch of technologies and business tools. It integrates various communication channel on a single podium including live chat support, all communication logs with customers, real-time order tracking etc.
About CRM, one myth is prevalent in the market that is, it is suitable only for the large-scale business organisations and not for the small & medium businesses which are not so true. CRM is equally relevant for these small and medium scale businesses as much for the larger ones.
Here are five major factors, which should be kept in the mind while choosing a perfect CRM for your business:
In-House Developed Vs Cloud Model
As shared earlier, CRM is equally important for all size of businesses. One of the main characteristics of the cloud is the least installation cost which is pretty much suitable and expedient for the small and medium business enterprises. But, with the cloud model, these businesses have to lose additional customisation options as-well-as they may have to compromise on the data security. Whereas in the case of in-house developed CRM, only large-scale business organisations can invest such a huge amount on this radical software. The in House CRM offers advanced features along with a robust security system. But the chief issue with in-house developed CRM is that it requires a dedicated and well versed IT team to manage this entire infrastructure. Going with in-house developed CRM or buying a ready-to-use CRM depends on the financial budget, an organisation is carrying with it.
When it comes to the providing the customer support services and handling their queries, there comes the role of automation. When a business has a large number of customers irrespective of the fact whether they are small or big but the real-time acknowledgement and response always gives an extra edge in today’s perfect competition markets. One can compare this with a normal e-commerce and a leading e-commerce website in which the leading one will provide real-time & automated response and status of customer’s order from all the means including emails, SMS, phone call, mobile applications etc. The lack of automation in a CRM may become the reason for its or the entire organisation’s failure.
Integration with Social Media Channels
As the entire thrust of the CRM is to improvise the level of customer satisfaction, then it should be linked up with all social media channels. Readers can relate this factor with Amazon’s or Flipkart’s instant response on the complaints lodged on the social media platforms because these large-scale organisations are very well concerned about the customer’s gratification, they know that one unsatisfied customer can spoil their brand image before hundreds of other customers. So, in today’s world of social media, the organisation’s CRM must be actively engaged and linked up with major social media platforms.
Interactive User Interface and Real-time Update
Information not available on right time to right people is completely irrelevant when it becomes available. CRM which an entity is trying to implement in its business environment must receive proper support from its people. The information feed by the employees must be on a real-time basis and it is only possible by simplifying the newer system. CRM must have an interactive and user-friendly interface so that the people of the organisations do not feel any kind of inconvenience to use it properly.
After Sale Service
The organisations which are using ready-to-use CRM software must pay special attention to the after sale vendor support services. Because the CRM system is not a one-time process, it’s an ongoing process which requires continuous upgradations and fixing the bugs from the vendor’s side. The enterprise which has chosen the readymade CRM software as a customer satisfaction and retention tool must consider this factor while making the selection of the CRM software and its vendors.
“All change is hard at first, messy in middle, and so beautiful at the end,” remarked one of the excellent business leader and author Robin Sharma. So, whenever a new technology or system is tried to be implemented in an organisation there will always be a group of employees and other users who will reluctant to such change. But, gradually they will start embracing it. The end result of the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) approach has always been astonishing. Make sure you have considered all the above major factors, before selection and implementation of an appropriate CRM in your business environment.
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