Hopefully a customer relationship management software comparison chart helped you understand what CRM is right for you. But if you want to know more, this wiki entry has all the additional information you might be looking for.
Customer relationship management (or “CRM”) software is used by thousands of companies in every industry around the world. It’s a very powerful tool which helps you manage your relationships with your customers by tracking their interactions, providing one point of access to all your customer information, and automating repetitive tasks.
Customer relationship management software (CRM) is a type of software used to manage and maintain relations between customers, clients or other individuals that have dealings with the company. Some CRM tools are generalist tools providing broad functionality, while others are designed for a specific industry or business function.
Customer Relationship Management Software Wiki
Customer Relationship Management Software is a business application that allows companies to manage their customers. It is typically used by large organizations, but it can also be used by small businesses.
CRM software helps companies keep track of all their customers, including their contact information and preferences. The software also allows businesses to send personalized emails and text messages to their customers based on their interests.
The CRM system allows companies to keep track of their sales leads, which will help them increase revenue. The software also makes it easier for businesses to create marketing campaigns based on what they already know about their customers’ preferences.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is a business management tool that allows companies to manage their customer interactions. It can be used for customer relationship management (CRM), customer service, and marketing.
There are many different types of CRM software available, including those that are cloud-based or downloadable, and those that are designed for small businesses or large enterprises. Some CRM tools are designed to help you manage your sales team, while others have functionality that helps you manage your customer service team.
If you’re looking for a solution to help you manage your customers and grow your business, consider using this type of software. This guide will explain how it works and provide some tips on choosing the right product for your needs.
Customer Relationship Management Software Wiki is a comprehensive guide with the purpose of helping you learn what customer relationship management software is, how it works, and how to choose the best CRM software.
It is important to understand what customer relationship management software is before deciding whether or not it’s right for your business. CRM can help businesses improve their customer service, streamline their operations, and ultimately increase profits.
The wiki is a place where you can learn all about CRM software. There are different types of CRM software, which can be used for different purposes.
You can use the wiki to find out more about the different types of CRM software that are available on the market today, as well as how they work and what they do. You may also want to find out more about a specific type of CRM software, or even just one in particular. You’ll want to know what it does, who it’s made for, and how much it costs.
The wiki will give you all this information and more!
Customer relationship management software (CRM) is a computer application that helps businesses manage customer data. CRM software helps businesses manage their customers and sales leads, enabling them to have a better understanding of their customers, improve customer service and ensure increased sales.
A CRM system may also be used to manage other relationships with important business partners, such as vendors, suppliers and distributors. The term “CRM” is often used interchangeably with “customer relationship management”, although they are not the same thing. A CRM system is one way of managing a company’s customer relationships; other methods include paper-based systems and manual processes.
Customer relationship management (CRM) is a term applied to processes implemented by a company to handle its contact with its customers. CRM software is used to support these processes, storing information on current and prospective customers. Information in the system can be accessed and entered by employees in different departments, such as sales, marketing, customer service, training, professional development, performance management, human resource development, and compensation. Details on any customer contacts can also be stored in the system. The rationale behind this approach is to improve services provided directly to customers and to use the information in the system for targeted marketing and sales purposes.
While the term is generally used to refer to a software-based approach to handling customer relationships, most CRM software vendors stress that a successful CRM strategy requires a holistic approach. CRM initiatives often fail because implementation was limited to software installation without providing the appropriate motivations for employees to learn, provide input, and take full advantage of the information systems
From the outside, customers interacting with a company perceive the business as a single entity, despite often interacting with a variety of employees in different roles and departments. CRM is a combination of policies, processes, and strategies implemented by a company that unify its customer interaction and provides a mechanism for tracking customer information.
Types of CRM
CRM includes many aspects which relate directly to one another:
Front office operations — Direct interaction with customers, e.g. face to face meetings, phone calls, e-mail, online services etc. Back office operations — Operations that ultimately affect the activities of the front office (e.g., billing, maintenance, planning, marketing, advertising, finance, manufacturing, etc.) Business relationships — Interaction with other companies and partners, such as suppliers/vendors and retail outlets/distributors, industry networks (lobbying groups, trade associations). This external network supports front and back office activities. Analysis — Key CRM data can be analyzed in order to plan target-marketing campaigns, conceive business strategies, and judge the success of CRM activities (e.g., market share, number and types of customers, revenue, profitability, etc.).
There are several different approaches to CRM, with different software packages focusing on different aspects. In general, Campaign Management and Sales Force Automation form the core of the system (with SFA being the most popular).
Operational CRM provides support to “front office” business processes, e.g. to sales, marketing and service staff. Interactions with customers are generally stored in customers’ contact histories, and staff can retrieve customer information as necessary.
The contact history provides staff members with immediate access to important information on the customer (products owned, prior support calls etc.), eliminating the need to individually obtain this information directly from the customer. Consequently, many call centers use some form of CRM software.
Operational CRM processes customer data for a variety of purposes:
‘Managing Campaigns’ Enterprise Marketing Automation Sales Force Automation
Sales Force Automation (SFA)
Sales Force Automation automates sales force-related activities such as:
Scheduling sales calls or mailings Tracking responses Generating reports
Analytical CRM analyzes customer data for a variety of purposes:
Designing and executing targeted marketing campaigns Designing and executing campaigns, e.g. customer acquisition, cross-selling, up-selling Analysing customer behavior in order to make decisions relating to products and services (e.g. pricing, product development) Management decisions (e.g. financial forecasting and customer profitability analysis) Analytical CRM generally makes heavy use of data mining.
Sales Intelligence CRM
Sales Intelligence CRM is similar to Analytical CRM, but is intended as a more direct sales tool. Features include alerts sent to sales staff regarding:
Cross-selling/Up-selling/Switch-selling opportunities Customer drift Sales performance Customer trends Customer margins
Campaign management combines elements of Operational and Analytical CRM. Campaign management functions include:
Target groups formed from the client base according to selected criteria Sending campaign-related material (e.g. on special offers) to selected recipients using various channels (e.g. e-mail, telephone, post) Tracking, storing, and analyzing campaign statistics, including tracking responses and analyzing trends
Collaborative CRM covers aspects of a company’s dealings with customers that are handled by various departments within a company, such as sales, technical support and marketing. Staff members within the departments can share information collected when interacting with customers. For example, feedback received by customer support agents can provide other staff members with information on the services and features requested by customers. Collaborative CRM’s ultimate goal is to use information collected by all departments to improve the quality of services provided by the company.
Geographic CRM (GCRM) combines geographic information system and traditional CRM. Geographic data can be analysed to provide a snapshot of potential customers in a region or to plan routes for customer visits.
Several commercial CRM software packages are available, and they vary in their approach to CRM. However, as mentioned above, CRM is not just a technology but rather a comprehensive, customer-centric approach to an organization’s philosophy of dealing with its customers. This includes policies and processes, front-of-house customer service, employee training, marketing, systems and information management. Hence, it is important that any CRM implementation considerations stretch beyond technology toward the broader organizational requirements.
The objectives of a CRM strategy must consider a company’s specific situation and its customers’ needs and expectations. Information gained through CRM initiatives can support the development of marketing strategy by developing the organization’s knowledge in areas such as identifying customer segments, improving customer retention, improving product offerings (by better understanding customer needs), and by identifying the organization’s most profitable customers.
CRM strategies can vary in size, complexity, and scope. Some companies consider a CRM strategy only to focus on the management of a team of salespeople. However, other CRM strategies can cover customer interaction across the entire organization. Many commercial CRM software packages that are available provide features that serve the sales, marketing, event management, project management, and finance industries.
While there are numerous reports of “failed” implementations of various types of CRM projects, these are often the result of unrealistic high expectations and exaggerated claims by CRM vendors.
Many of these “failures” are also related to data quality and availability. Data cleaning is a major issue. If a company’s CRM strategy is to track life-cycle revenues, costs, margins, and interactions between individual customers, this must be reflected in all business processes. Data must be extracted from multiple sources (e.g., departmental/divisional databases such as sales, manufacturing, supply chain, logistics, finance, service etc.), which requires an integrated, comprehensive system in place with well-defined structures and high data quality. Data from other systems can be transferred to CRM systems using appropriate interfaces.
A well specified system is of vital importance before starting any implementation, as it can lead to a significant reduction in the time and cost of implementation, as well as highlighting any unrealistic expectations.
Failure of CRM system starts when the prime users – sales reps are not comfortable with the system. Too many data entry points will make the usage painful. The data entry points should be minimal and the integration between various modules involving the customers should be efficient enough to pre populate values based on a unique customer code. Data integration from other systems, like, daily currency exchange values inducted into the CRM system are more beneficiary to the end users. The system should be closely linked to frequently used software like MS Word / MS excel etc.
The design method should be bottom up to make the system user friendly than management friendly. Users should be periodically and extensively educated with the updates and added functionality to increase the adoption rate – as old habits die hard.
Sprint To Help Customers Understand Their Phones
Sprint Nextel Corp. is making a big push to help customers understand their phones, creating a formal program to make store employees available to explain their products and set them up for buyers. The campaign to be announced Tuesday is the first official program for in-person help by a cell carrier, but is similar to moves in the wider consumer electronics industry to demystify gadgets through one-on-one contact.
Sprint closed all of its 1,219 stores on Sunday Aug. 17 to train its employees for the “Ready Now” program. The goal is that customers should leave stores with their phones “completely set up and personalized,” said Kim Dixon, Sprint’s senior vice president of stores.
Customers “have got these really great devices … but they just don’t know how to set it all up,” Dixon said.
Employees will now set up e-mail access, move over contacts from an old phone, connect Bluetooth headsets and explain other functions.
Customers who don’t have time for the 10-minute to half-hour sessions can make appointments for later visits. These free sessions will be available to existing subscribers as well, even if they aren’t buying a new phone or accessory, Dixon said.
The company tested the system in St. Louis and Pittsburgh in July, and customer satisfaction improved so much that the company rushed it into a nationwide launch, she said.
“Not only will the customer be more satisfied, but as a business, we expect to reduce the number of returns,” Dixon said. Over the holidays, as many as 20 percent of “smart” phones Sprint sold were returned because the customer didn’t understand them.
Apart from reduced return rates, the company saw signs that the uptake of data services like e-mail and mobile Web access improved in the trial cities. As competition has cut into margins on the voice side, cell carriers are looking to data services as the new way to improve profits.
The program is reminiscent of the “Genius Bars” of Apple Inc.’s stores, where customers go to get help with their Macs and iPods. On Friday, Microsoft Corp. said it plans to deploy its own customer-service representatives, called “Gurus,” at retailers like Best Buy Co. and Circuit City Stores Inc. to help people with their PC purchases, but they won’t offer technical support to people who have already bought.
Best Buy Mobile has run campaigns called “Walk Out Working,” under which store employees set up select gadgets for customers. It currently applies to smart phones.
Components of CRM
At the most basic level, CRM software consolidates customer information and documents it into a single CRM database so business users can more easily access and manage it.
Over time, many additional functions have been added to CRM systems to make them more useful. Some of these functions include recording various customer interactions over email, phone, social media or other channels; depending on system capabilities, automating various workflow automation processes, such as tasks, calendars and alerts; and giving managers the ability to track performance and productivity based on information logged within the system.
- Marketing automation. CRM tools with marketing automation capabilities can automate repetitive tasks to enhance marketing efforts at different points in the lifecycle for lead generation. For example, as sales prospects come into the system, it might automatically send email marketing content, with the goal of turning a sales lead into a full-fledged customer.
- Sales force automation. Sales force automation tools track customer interactions and automate certain business functions of the sales cycle that are necessary to follow leads, obtain new customers and build customer loyalty.
- Contact center automation. Designed to reduce tedious aspects of a contact center agent’s job, contact center automation might include prerecorded audio that assists in customer problem-solving and information dissemination. Various software tools that integrate with the agent’s desktop tools can handle customer requests in order to cut down on the length of calls and to simplify customer service processes. Automated contact center tools, such as chatbots, can improve customer user experiences.
- Geolocation technology, or location-based services. Some CRM systems include technology that can create geographic marketing campaigns based on customers’ physical locations, sometimes integrating with popular location-based GPS (global positioning system) apps. Geolocation technology can also be used as a networking or contact management tool in order to find sales prospects based on a location.
- Workflow automation. CRM systems help businesses optimize processes by streamlining mundane workloads, enabling employees to focus on creative and more high-level tasks.
- Lead management. Sales leads can be tracked through CRM, enabling sales teams to input, track and analyze data for leads in one place.
- Human resource management (HRM). CRM systems help track employee information, such as contact information, performance reviews and benefits within a company. This enables the HR department to more effectively manage the internal workforce.
- Analytics. Analytics in CRM help create better customer satisfaction rates by analyzing user data and helping create targeted marketing campaigns.
- Artificial intelligence. AI technologies, such as Salesforce Einstein, have been built into CRM platforms to automate repetitive tasks, identify customer-buying patterns to predict future customer behaviors and more.
- Project management. Some CRM systems include features to help users keep track of client project details such as objectives, strategic alignment, processes, risk management and progress.
- Integration with other software. Many CRM systems can integrate with other software, such as call center and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems
CRM software Wiki is simple, powerful and organized. It’s designed for all business professionals to post their own guides on the subject, rather than reading through a CRM software Wikipedia article or manual to figure it out.
The purpose of this wiki is to list and rank the best customer relationship management software in use today. We have taken into account overall reputation, customer satisfaction, usability, as well as the availability of useful supporting documentation, when compiling our rankings. Good software is always going to be a subjective process that requires lots of consideration, but we hope you will find this helpful when choosing CRM software for your business.