Customer Relation Management (CRM) is invariably one of the most important and popular concepts that can be found in both literature and business practice. Despite this, it is often perceived incorrectly – first of all through the prism of an IT system of CRM class. The strategic aspect of CRM philosophy is omitted. It would be worth emphasizing these differences at the beginning of this article:
CRM strategy is a philosophy of the company, putting the customer at the centre, taking into account his individual needs and behavior, and consequently leading to increased customer satisfaction, and bringing benefits to the company such as acquiring new customers, maintaining (long-term) current customers and returning lost customers with simultaneous optimization leading to lower customer service costs and increased profitability.
CRM system – as an information technology – should be understood as a tool supporting and enabling the implementation of the business strategy of customer relationship management to the departments in contact with the customer using multiple communication channels in order to create customer value and value for the customer.
Therefore, the implementation of the CRM system will enable a more effective implementation of the CRM strategy primarily through the collection, organization and management of customer information. The main benefits and changes resulting from the implementation of the CRM system are presented below:
Strengthening customer relations
This is the main benefit resulting from the implementation of the CRM system. An incorrect practice in the operations of many companies is a lack of interest in the customer after the sale or an attempt to reach it on a general level, not a personalized one. And yet, the more data we have, the collection of which is supported by the system, the more we know about the customer, the easier it is to take care of his needs. Keeping a customer is cheaper than getting a new one, which is usually difficult and expensive. The implementation of the CRM system will enable control over the customer’s life cycle – increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty through personalized activities in the area of Marketing, Sales and Service. In addition, it will help to respond to needs in real time, and thanks to the multi-channel communication, the customer can choose the most appropriate way of contact, so that the company can take care of building relations with him/her.
Increasing the effectiveness of sales and after-sales (service) activities.
The CRM system enables more efficient activities at the operational level by providing system users with the necessary tools and a single data source. Moreover, automation of some business processes allows to increase their efficiency and shorten the time of work with the system.
Comprehensive data analysis
It should be noted that the data itself is not a value if it is devoid of analytics. It is thanks to the possibility of forecasting and reporting that it is easier to make and implement strategic decisions, as well as to verify current operations and, if necessary, to implement appropriate actions.
Increased effectiveness and optimization of marketing activities
Using the collected information on the needs and behavior of customers, it is possible to identify more accurately the markets and reach the customer with a personalized offer. Today’s customers expect that they will receive an individual offer instead of many unnecessary advertising materials (nobody likes spam). Thanks to CRM systems it is possible to carry out such activities more effectively by presenting individualised promotions to customers.
However, let’s not forget – none of the above benefits will be achieved by the implementation of the CRM system alone. It is important to prepare the organization for the implementation of the strategy and philosophy of customer relationship management. Along with the system, business, organizational and procedural changes have to take place – but this is the subject of the next article.