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What is CRM?

In the 21st century, the best products are those that make a customer's life better, not those that are most profitable. Customers want organizations to be "transparent" and move away from being "product centric". CRM creates a sustainable competitive advantage based on relationships, not just products. Its real-time information from multiple sources is available for users centrally, thereby improving the customer experience at all interaction points.

Focusing on Customer Relationship Management

With human relationships at their core, businesses must exceed customers' expectations, thereby maximizing their satisfaction with their products and services. However, this task of managing customers efficiently is not easy and is very dependant on the implementation of a flexible and systematic CRM solution.

 

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Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a concept or strategy to solidify relationships with customers. With CRM you can align your strategy, processes and technology to manage customers and all customer-facing departments & partners, efficiently.

Impact of CRM

Any CRM implementation has the potential to provide strategic advantages to the organization, if handled correctly. Most CRM initiatives begin with a need for methodology to manage the process of handling customer related information more effectively. For beginners, it could simply mean better lead management capabilities or sales pipeline visibility. However, as organizations mature in their CRM initiatives, they begin to look at CRM as a tool to acquire strategic differentiators.

Successful CRM initiatives have a major impact on business growth through:

  • Shifting focus from products to customers
  • Increased "Share of Wallet" and lifetime value
  • Highlighting the competencies required for effective CRM processes

Future of CRM Solutions

Though the primary goals behind CRM still hold true, the technology and selling strategies fronting it are in an ever-evolving state. It's important to reinvent the ways we serve our customers through new learnings based on facts and figures.

 

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CRM in the 1990s, evolved from "Relationship Marketing" into a software that made business processes more effective through automation and inter-departmental co-ordinations. These were typically 'Operational CRMs' with a basic set of administrative, customization and integratiion capabilities to capture sales, service and marketing data with their related activities from different sources online and offline.

In the early part of the last decade, organizations worldwide started to realize the importance of "customer centricity" and its direct link to customer churn. This realization supported by hard facts, led to implementing 'Analytical CRMs' to spot bottlenecks, buying patterns, popular service requests and much more through reports, graphs and dashboards.

Today's 'Collaborative CRM' is a giant step in the evolution of customer relationship management - a "true holistic picture" of an organization's various relationships. Information from around the globe can be viewed and updated in real-time via computers, mobile phones or integrated systems.  It has a unique set of tools to create alerts, enforcements, validations, escalations, assignment rules and a lot more.

In a nutshell, 'Collaborative CRM' facilitates an organization's leads, customers, partners and suppliers to participate in designing and improving its products and services.