CRM Systems Explained
Customer Relationship Management system, or also known as a CRM system, is used by many companies to assist in the management of customer information. Communication amongst departments is greatly improved, sales management is assisted, and social media integration achieved. CRM systems can often be cloud-based which enables them to be used independently of a physical location.
What is a CRM system?
A CRM System facilitates businesses to maintain up to date and correct information for all customers, which is accessible from one system. Every customer transaction and contact can be logged, with the aim of continuously building on and creating new customer relationships.
Companies interact in many ways with their customers daily, be it face to face, over the phone or by email, to name but a few. With so many means of communication in the modern age and the potential for such large volumes of data to be received, a CRM system is the solution to allowing all staff access to the latest data, often regardless of their location.
Gone are the days where a person is expected to recall all the information received and log it on a laptop, notebook or even store it mentally. It had been all too easy to forget to make the call back promised to a customer, follow up on that lead or mislay the information completely. Companies traditionally had relied heavily on certain ‘key staff’ who stored this information, without sharing it with others. This meant that when a team member ceased employment, the information walked out the door also.
What does a CRM system do?
A CRM system allows businesses to collect, store and monitor customer information and activity from a selected place. Providing customer data in an up to date and speedy manner to the business’s employees, in many cases whenever and wherever needed.
Once embedded, the system will log all communication, each phone call, email, and meeting held with your customer. A feature of the CRM system allows notes and reminders for follow-ups and to ensure an opportunity is never missed to grow a customer relationship or seal a deal. Whether you have staff travelling or on the go from Ireland to the UK for example an effective CRM system means they can log in at any location to gain access to customer info. CRM systems are especially needed for recurring payments such as subscriptions and monthly bill payments.
In addition to all communication between you and your customer being recorded, past orders/service requests, preferences and queries are instantly available to you as well. This allows you to predict and plan for future orders/services requests, recognise trends emerging from customer patterns and respond to these in a timely manner. New sales leads can emerge along with opportunities to increase sales by Up-selling.
CRM systems generally include the below:
What do you need to look out for during CRM system integration?
There are three different CRM systems available, depending on your size and type of business you run, the system you select should be the one that best meets your needs.
The first system you may like to consider is a desktop system. A popular CRM system for smaller companies, with even one or a small number of users, who simply need an electronic copy of customer data.
With the above CRM system, most suited towards small companies, we can see the popular CRM system choices for larger businesses being either server or cloud-based systems.
The initial set up of the CRM systems requires:
- A single computer is needed for the desktop system.
- All users are required to have access to pre-installed software on a device such as a laptop or desktop, granting access to the server system where the server stores the centralised database.
- In the case of a cloud-based system, a third-party provider hosts the cloud-based system online. Regardless of location, any connected device can gain access to the database.
Let’s look closer at both server and cloud-based systems and how these popular CRM strategies can differ.