What is CRM – Customer Relationship Management?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. In general, Customer relationship management (CRM) is a term that refers to practices, strategies, and technologies that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle.

The ultimate goal of CRM is to improve business relationships with customers, assisting in customer retention and thus driving sales growth.

The purpose of CRM

CRM software systems are part of the big picture – the whole Customer Relationship Management process – and are designed to compile information on customers across different channels or points of contact between the customer and the company and will generally make some critical procedures easier to perform. Below are the functions of a typical CRM software system:

  • Accumulation of customer data – this can be centralized or decentralized, however, the data must always have good integrity so that it can be used for data mining purposes
  • Process implementation – registration, selling, marketing and other functions
  • Statistics and visualization plus reports – every company wants to see these!
  • Customer-specific decision making – how each customer should be treated, as well as what should be offered in each case, which, in turn, depends on the history of each customer

Why would our company need CRM software at all?

Firstly, let’s look at which category your organization belongs to. We will examine the differences from a “Customer Centric” versus a “Customer Driven” perspective. Both sound great but they make a huge difference when it comes to Customer Relationship Management processes and approaches.

Customer-centric organizations

Customer-centric organizations are externally focused.  They know what their clients need, they understand their clients’ challenges, and they seek to provide value.

In this case, A CRM system can be a great tool to automate your daily routine. Gathering data about your customers, registering purchases, issuing invoices, making sure the customer pays their bills, and so on. For customer-centric organizations it is also possible to use several distinct tools for performing each process separately, however, most likely you will struggle with data migration between those tools and all of that will use up your precious time.

For example, you may be gathering all your customer data in a spreadsheet but when you have to issue an invoice, you use some 3rd party tool, which is great, but then you need to copy the customer  information from the spreadsheet into the tool, and then add the invoice details manually by looking at your (yet another) database where you keep information about services you have provided to the customer. So, clearly, this will be a lot of manual work.

If these processes are implemented in a CRM software, then you have one single system which can automate the invoice creation based on up-to-date customer information and the service history. Even better – you can always extend the CRM by adding new crucial features to it, like creating a dedicated member zone for your customers, where they can update their company information and see their order history.

Customer-driven organizations

Customer-driven organizations are typically those in which a small number of clients represent a disproportionately large percentage of overall revenue.  When the client makes demands, the organization quickly mobilizes – often without first thinking it through.  When large clients are unhappy, the customer-driven company sounds the alarm and creates activity.

So, if your company wants to be more successful and works with a customer-driven approach, then, CRM software plays an even more significant role.

Why? Simple – it is easy for the system to remember the details and history of each customer and make the right decision, based on some general rules. For a human being, it is much harder to accumulate all this information in your head, to process it and then make the decision, based on historical facts.

A good example would be scenario-based email marketing campaigns. For you, as a human being, it would be virtually impossible to prepare personalized emails for different situations based on what your customer has done or hasn’t done before. A custom-built CRM system, however, can easily look at what has happened before with each customer and decide which email should be sent and when exactly it should be sent.

You can also make the system recognize your customer when they make calls to your support centre, and by doing so, the system can quickly display the relevant information about the customer on the screen, even before you pick up the phone. This way you already know what you are dealing with and how this customer prefers to be served.

In Summary

In either case, CRM software can have a huge positive impact by automating your processes and giving your organization the opportunity to:

  • Provide better service
  • Make fewer mistakes
  • Grow, by serving more customers
  • Become more popular and modern

Arkbauer have a great deal of knowledge and expertise in building CRM systems and relevant CRM tools, therefore if you are looking to invest in a CRM system, then please do not hesitate to contact us for help!

Please take a look at our project experience in this area:

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