Good customer relationship management is essential to any business. The Customer Experience Impact 2010 report in the United States indicates that 82% of customers go to the competition, not because of price or product/service, but because of non-existent or unsatisfactory customer service. In addition, customers tend to share a bad experience with their loved ones, which can damage a company’s reputation.
Cultivating customer relationships is therefore of paramount importance. Improving the customer experience is now made easier with CRM. This tool has become essential for all companies. By 2025, spending in this area will reach 80 billion dollars, compared to 18 billion dollars for the period 2008 to 2016. But what are the real advantages of using this solution and how to get the results you expect?
What is the use of a CRM?
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a way to collect customer and prospect data from different channels. The information is essential for establishing an effective marketing and sales strategy, improving the customer experience and building customer loyalty. The data is also stored in one place for easy access by marketing, sales and customer service departments. This centralization allows these different departments to better coordinate their activities since the information is updated automatically.
A CRM tool can also automate various time-consuming tasks and free up employees’ time so that they can devote to higher value-added activities. It also facilitates customer segmentation and therefore makes it possible to adapt approaches according to their profile or path in the sales pipeline. This personalization improves customer retention, prospect conversion and consequently increases sales. This increase in sales would also be more important with a mobile CRM.
A CRM solution can also have an analytical function. Reports can be used to determine the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, sales tactics or customer service and to correct them. It is also a scalable option that can be adapted to the growth or specific needs of a company. This is especially the case with open source CRM.
Licensed or cloud-based CRM?
A CRM tool comes in two versions:
The licensed software also called on-premise is installed on the company’s workstations. It then becomes its property for an unlimited period of time. An on-premise CRM may therefore require updates, generally carried out as part of the tool’s evolutionary and corrective maintenance.
In this case, the software is installed on the publisher’s server and the client company has access to it via a cloud. It remains the property of the publisher, but its customers access it via a subscription or through other pricing methods. A SaaS CRM is accessible everywhere and benefits from an automatic data update.
The 4 key steps to implement a CRM
You want to turn to a CRM tool to improve your customer relationship management? The success of such a project involves many parameters and must pass through different key stages which are :
First, you need to prioritize the different actions to be taken and their timeframe. In addition to a well-detailed schedule, you must also consider your data, particularly its quality and availability. It is also essential to define the roles of the different users, but also to set up the team responsible for the implementation of your CRM project.
The definition of the needs
CRM tools are very diverse. Some customer relationship management solutions are only operationally oriented with functionalities for contact and lead management, sales management and customer service. Other software have more advanced analytical functions while others are more suitable for optimizing communication between teams. There are also versatile CRM tools that integrate all these modules. To facilitate the choice between the products on the market, you must define your needs. It is also essential to ensure that the solution is compatible with existing systems, but also that it can be integrated with external systems via the Internet. Is mobile software more suitable for you or is an on-premise solution more suitable? This is another point to check.
The actual implementation
This is the most technical part. You have to determine the means to connect the different CRM data sources. Then comes the configuration of parameters such as dashboards, security, reports or certain processes. Once this step is completed, it is time to move on to testing. Only when the test phase is validated do you have to train the various users.
The deployment of the CRM solution
Real-time user support is essential to ensure optimal use of the CRM tool. The CRM implementation team must also listen carefully to questions and comments in order to make the necessary changes. The identification of assets for a possible reinforcement of skills should also be considered.
The 2 challenges to ensure the success of your CRM
Equipping yourself with a CRM tool is one thing, but you must also ensure that it is installed efficiently, which involves two major points.
Setting up the CRM software correctly is not enough to guarantee its effectiveness. You should not only focus on the technical aspects, but also take into account the human factors. Some target users may indeed be reluctant to change, which can lead to the failure of the implementation. Testing and training can help them get used to the idea that this transformation is unavoidable.
KPIs or Key Performance Indicators are used to evaluate the effectiveness of a CRM. The performance of the strategy can be measured by taking into account the customer churn rate, but also the customer retention cost, by considering the renewal rate obtained by crossing the growth and acquisition rates of new customers.
The growth of a company goes hand in hand with customer satisfaction. The collection of customer data by the CRM tool allows to take care of this customer relationship. It lists the customer’s history from email and call exchanges, but also invoices, etc. The integration of a CRM solution in your business strategy is not limited to the choice of the tool.
First and foremost, you need to define the reasons why you want to use this solution in order to choose the most suitable one among those proposed by the editors. It is also important to consider your company’s human resources, a point that is usually omitted and that can lead to the failure of your CRM project. You must give your target users time to get used to the use of this tool and accompany them throughout its implementation. To make this task easier, entrust your project to Gestion BSP.