Benefits of Customer Relationship ManagementThe current economic conditions have made customer service even more important. So says the Global Customer Service Barometer.

9 out of 10 consumers find customer service to be important. In fact, 6 out of 10 consumers have decided never to do business with a company as a result of poor customer service.

Customer Relationship Management enables you to manage customer relationships better. Capturing and organising customer information can give you the edge you need. It will help you identify, understand and support your customers better.

Read on to learn about 10 Benefits of Customer Relationship Management.

10 Benefits of Customer Relationship Management

Your Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) procurement might turn on a small number of key benefits. These are unique to your business, customers or competitive environment.

The benefits could be many more than you first imagine. They offer you the opportunity to leverage a greater return on the investment.

1. Better Customer Service

Adding a personal touch to your customer contacts means you can customise your service. Using customer profile information stored on the CRM, you can enhance the customer experience.

Your customer expects that if they have communicated to you about a need that you know about this. It does not matter to them that you may be dealing with many contacts, you may have many team members or that it might have been some time ago.

Capture, share and act on this need. The result is more consistent and error-free service delivery.

2. Find New Customers

Capturing data about existing customers provides the basis for profiling of customers. Exploit these profiles to identify potential new customers who also fit this profile.

Records of contacts who have not been converted into customers can provide important information. How often do you waste effort contacting prospects who are never going to buy your product or service? Many more potential customers don’t get a call?

3. Increase Sales

Co-ordinating marketing activity, don’t target customers who have already purchased a specific product. This means effort is on real prospects.

A CRM can be used to target loyalty programs at good prospects based on previous history and previous buying patterns. Previous customers offer you the best opportunity for future sales but only if you know what they want and when they want it. Use your hard-won market information to your own best advantage.

4. Faster Response

Customer leads and enquiries can be di

rected to relevant sales teams and followed up promptly. An enquiry can be converted into a sale simply because of the speed of response, a key competitive advantage.

Remember when you last made a purchase enquiry and then had to wait for a call from the sales team. Did it make you feel like your call was important or that your business was wanted? A fast response, with all the relevant information at hand, so it didn’t need repeating by you, was a great customer experience.

Customers may also remember the speed of response and value this when making their next purchasing decision.

5. Cross and Up-selling

With a CRM analysis of customer enquiries and purchases give opportunities for selling associated products and alternative higher value products. Offers can be made to customers providing greater sales and profits. Also, customers get a better product or service fit.

6. Improved Process

Integrated CRM systems can link customer communication, websites, inventory systems and more. The efficient flow of information orientated around the customer improves their experience.

When implementing the CRM, consider the business processes and peoples aspects, as well as the CRM system itself.

7. Call Center Effectiveness

Centralised customer data makes call center activ

ity more targeted. Records provide the call center personnel with relevant information to establish and maintain a good customer relationship, target sales activity and customise the customer experience.

A CRM can reduce wasted calls, improves conversion rates and enables the capture of call center generated customer information.

8. Identifying Key Customers

Profile information and sales data on the CRM can help identify your key customers. This allows you to manage the key accounts in a way that is commensurate with their importance to your business.

Additionally, this is one way in which you can identify customers who may be useful references for new customers looking for reassurance about you as a supplier. Your best customers can be your best sales force. Personal recommendation is worth so much more than an advertisement or sales visit.

9. Internal Collaboration and Communication

With different departments or members of a team sharing information on the CRM, the team will work better together. Time spent trying to coordinate information will be shared and is reduced and internal relationships will improve.

You don’t need spreadsheets in different parts of the organisation, managing different parts of the customer relationship. The whole customer lifecycle is within one, shared system.

10. Clear Accountability

Without a CRM, managing the customer relationship can be open to failures. Lost information, unclear responsibilities, and poor communication can result from lack of systems support.

A CRM system can attribute accountability for each part of the customer journey. With date stamped records and action, it is clear who is to do what and when. The old adage “what gets measured, gets done” applies here.

Are You Ready to Take the Leap?

You might have already identified a handful of benefits of a CRM. Having read the 10 Benefits of Customer Relationship Management, you can take a broader view. Evaluate these benefits against the costs of purchase and implementation.

The wider benefits may well have persuaded you that there are many more reasons to take the leap. These benefits come with effective implementation. People, process, and systems working together.

You won’t be alone. Gartner predicts further growth in CRM. Using analytics around customers will be key to customer excellence in the future.