Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – Get to Know your Customers

by Michael on February 18, 2013 · 0 comments

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Customer relationship management (CRM) covers all activities that aim for long-term and improved customer retention. CRM involves the maintenance of customer relations, satisfying customer needs and communication with them. The data regarding the customers are collected, managed and maintained. These data are particularly helpful in marketing, sales and customer service when conversing with customers. The aim of CRM is to exploit customer potential by using marketing strategy analyses to observe purchasing behavior. This optimally increases customer satisfaction and buying frequency.

Communication with customers is a priority for CRM. In-depth customer data makes it possible to gain a more personal level of interaction, for example, conversation by telephone often strengthens customer loyalty. It is particularly useful for sales to record what items were bought, so they can deduce which products would be of interest to their customers (Cross-selling.)

Customer Loyalty

The existing customers are contacted at regular intervals by the company and are asked if anything can be done for them. The majority of this contact will be coupled with new offerings. Show your customers that you genuinely have an interest in them and that you look after them: offer your existing customers special rates, rely on the help you offer, advice and good public relations through which the customer will notice the value of the company.

CRM Software

In general, companies use a specially tailored piece of software; a CRM system. This software provides a data bank in which customer data is automatically safeguarded, structured and can be recollected at a later date. The main cost factor in CRM is not acquisition. The maintenance of the data stored, updating of software and implementation of features is usually more expensive. This aspect should be considered before selecting which software to buy. CRM software is available in a wide variety and an array of price categories, but all offer solutions to adapt to your individual needs.

The huge amount of data that results from CRM is a major drawback. A large amount of data often leads to poor quality, which can be circumvented by “dirty CRM approaches.” The data quality in this approach doesn’t play an enormous role, only saving specific data, such as e-mail addresses. The type of company and its objectives determine what specific data is stored. CRM mainly saves contact details, as well as private information, such as hobbies, family situation, political views etc. The advantage of this data is transparency. Customer characteristics are easy to evaluate and the revenues and costs of a customer can be quickly recorded.

CRM is a very important tool for large companies as well as SMEs. Those without a customer, are without a company!

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