What is CRM and why do I need it?
Being the acronym for Customer Relationship Management, CRM is all about customer communication. Broadly defined, it means using technology to manage, organize, and automate a company’s interactions with current and potential customers. CRM software can help a company streamline marketing, customer service, sales pipeline, and more. However, over time, CRM has moved away from merely referring to the technology involved, and more toward an overall business philosophy. Rather than being thought of as a way to “manage” clients, it is now more about you and your employees using technology to improve your human interactions with them.
In a recent article on diginomica.com, author Paul Greenberg, CRM industry influencer, proposes a new definition of CRM for 2013: “CRM is a business science with a defined philosophy and a set of strategies and programs, supported by systems and technologies, designed to improve human interactions in a business environment. Its purpose and its value are to make the customers experience with the company good enough to provide a mutually beneficial outcome over time, even as expectations change.”
So what does this new definition mean for your company? Will you benefit from implementing the modern CRM approach? The answer is ‘Yes’. CRM software can be critical to your business function. It can compile facts and figures in seconds that would take humans days of data mining. It will analyze your customer’s behaviors, predict their purchasing patterns, and recommend ways for you to use this information that will help instill loyalty in your clients. However, you would never want your company to come across to its customers as automated. Contacts need to be personalized in order to give them meaning and make your clients feel special. Your employees are needed for their intelligence, insights, and commitment to your brand. Ultimately, well-informed person-to-person contact will help you achieve maximum results.