You might have heard about CRM, maybe it sounds like just another fancy word consultants throw around, and you’re not really sure or convinced that your business needs it or what benefits you stand to gain from using a CRM solution.
This post will give you an overview of what CRM is about, and reasons why you should invest in CRM.
CRM is a system for recording and storing all information related to customer interactions. CRM solutions provide a standardized method for obtaining and sharing customer data, and also recording customer interactions and their behavior. It has been around for a short while (read: History of CRM), yet it has become a very important tool for engaging customers, managing relationships and even predicting their behavior.
Why do you need one?
For a lot of companies, they look at the initial cost of setting up a CRM solution and decide it’s the right choice to continue doing what they’ve been doing so far, which might involve using Excel spreadsheets to store customer data, amassing business cards, shared email folders, calendars etc.
All these tools work, but they lack powerful enablers that come with CRM, making it tedious to manage a large customer base which stunts meaningful business growth. Here are 5 reasons why you should invest in a CRM solution:
1. Employees are Human & Memory Is Not Perfect
How much can you remember about your last 10 customers? What was your last interaction about? Can you say for certain if each of them will be willing to buy your product or service again based on that?
It is not a good idea for any organization to limit their business to how much information employees can store in their memory. A CRM solution allows for storage of huge customer data with the necessary events and tasks in databases which can be easily accessed even on-the-go!
2. Important Metrics & Insights
No matter how many Rolodexes, Excel Spreadsheets or email folders you share with your team, they can never give the clear insights a CRM solution can offer at a glance. Yes some advanced Excel formula can reveal some interesting statistics, but the amount of time that goes into generating such reports is unjustified when a CRM can generate instant reports featuring multiple aspects of the business or customer.
All the data and insights that CRM solutions provide enable businesses to better understand and predict what future customer behavior might be.
3. Data Security
For businesses that still use excel spreadsheets, email folders, and calendars to store and track customer data, the odds are higher that they might lose the data at some point. One of the most common ways is sabotage by a disgruntled employee, then theft, hack attacks etc. but with a CRM solution, data will be stored in the cloud on servers. Sure servers can crash or get compromised, but with a credible hosting service and regular data backups, the data isn’t going anywhere.
4. Improved Business Collaboration & Organization
Since all of the data stored in a CRM is central and standardized, it is easily shared throughout the business. This data can be used by executives to create sales projections and reports, or by sales reps to engage customers, by courier teams to verify addresses, by the customer experience team to send out surveys and by the accounts department to create invoices.
The ability to access vital information from anywhere in the world and from any internet-accessible device will empower employees and give top executives valuable insights about the business. By being organized and storing vital customer data in a central location collaboration becomes possible.
5. Improved Customer Service
On a CRM dashboard, important information such as purchase history, past interactions, preferences, personal data, resolved & unresolved issues and more are displayed.
Having all of this information in one place makes it easy for service representatives to personalize their interaction, answer customer questions and resolve issues. Also, CRM makes it possible for anyone on the service team, to give the customer great service since the relevant & up to date information on each customer is accessible.
Trends In CRM
It is also important to note that CRM is one of the few markets that its growth wasn’t affected by the global economic meltdown, in fact, this Gartner article says Worldwide customer relationship management (CRM) software totaled $26.3 billion in 2015, up 12.3% from $23.4 billion in 2014.
The CRM market has also been predicted to further increase to a $36.5B worldwide market by 2017. Surely there’s a good reason why companies are investing in CRM.
This article was originally published here