Customer refers to an entity that acquires or consumes goods or services from a desired firm (through the process of purchasing or renting) for a mutually decided price and has the ability to choose between different products and suppliers. In this sense a customer is also known as client, buyer, purchaser or user of the products/services delivered or provided by a firm or organization also called the supplier, seller or the service provider.
Relationship in business refers to a state involving mutual dealings between people or parties. It involves interactions with customers or prospects to better understand their requirements and to build an expectation through different channels of communication. The more one interacts, the more chances of building a strong business relationship on the grounds of proper understanding of customers.
Management refers to managing of customer interactions. This does not merely mean customer support but in its true sense aims at mobilizing the entire organization towards management of all interactions with the customers, thus involving a customer-centric thinking and acting.
CRM is often misunderstood as an application or a tool, but in the real sense of the term it is a way of doing business. There can be innumerable reasons for businesses to implement CRM. However, let’s take a look at few of the most apparent benefits of using CRM.
- 360 degree view of business
- Reduce cost on customer acquisition
- Improved customer support
- High rate of customer retention
- Increase revenue at low cost
- Organizational-level data sharing
- Centralized customer interaction
- Increase customer satisfaction
- Boost new business
Thus CRM is becoming increasingly important among businesses. With an ever increasing customer expectation there is a need for organizations to adopt new business services and strategies – CRM provides this versatility in enhancing sales, customer support and success in business.
Realizing the investment towards any CRM initiative, it is crucial to all businesses to have a CRM evaluation method or CRM metrics in place. The prime concern of a CRM system is to improve relationship with customers and generate higher revenue. Therefore, it is necessary to identify if your CRM is to track the efficiency of sales and marketing team or is it to build a strong relationship with your customers? This would help determine the focus of CRM performance. Once the objective of CRM implementation is clearly defined, you can go ahead evaluating the best CRM for your business. This would help to judge how good or bad your CRM initiative has been?
Here are a few major points that can guide you in evaluating a CRM system at its face.
Provide tangible and measurable ROI
Help calculate the real business benefits
Enable accurate budgeting and reduced resources
Flexibility to change the default CRM setup
Provision to mould the CRM to your business process
Provision to rollback to the default CRM setup
Simplify customer relationship and business process
Provide a user-friendly interface
Allow ease of CRM navigation
Provide well-defined integration architecture
Enable cross-application business process
Reduce implementation time for custom integration
Perform the various tasks easily
Present simplified workflow logics
Encourage easy adoption by users
Reference documentation for users
Ready on-line support
Notes and tutorials to complement documentation/li>