Best Simplified Guide to Customers Relationship Management (CRM) Tools


Data is an asset we can only benefit from if we can manage it the right way. As companies grow, they need to manage their customer data and keep track of all transactions also grows.

It was easy to keep track of everything when a micro-company starts. A couple of employees can efficiently communicate with each other to give the best service to every customer. If you have a micro-business and a client wants to change an address, you can simply change it is a Google sheet.

What happens if a customer wants to change some more details the other employees have to know? Do you send it in a group chat to give everyone a heads up? What if a client has a very common name or multiple orders they want to combine as one? How long would it take you to find the client’s order details in a long list of customers?

Add to that, new client data can come in, and old information has to be updated every day. As the number of clients increases, you need an efficient way to manage their data and save your company from chaos.

A well-managed data is a key to high-quality service. It is the sure way to convert a one-time client into a loyal customer.

Your goal is to keep your customers happy and improve their lifetime value. And you can only achieve this if you keep track of everything. With smooth customer relationship management tools, you can give faster and more cost-effective services.

But not all customer relationship management is created equal.

What Exactly is a CRM Tool?

Customer relationship management tools can organize contact details and other information you will need to manage your customer relationship with current clients and prospects.

Imagine an old fashion merchant with a logbook. We all know a logbook is the heart of a growing company. Even if the whole store burns down, what will a seasoned merchant save first?

Should he or she save the raw materials? Should the cash register be carried first? Every successful business owner will know that a logbook with the customer list and contact details is the company’s most important asset. It is easier to rebuild an office from scratch than rebuild years’ worth of contacts and networks based on the analysed data.

Add to that, CRM tools are no longer just a digital address book. It is software where you can also integrate sales and marketing tools.

Here are the three basic types of CRM tools.

3 Main Types of CRM Tools Every Thriving Company Needs

Analytical CRM

We all know data is essential. But these will only remain as a bunch of numbers eating up your storage unless you analyze what these numbers tell you. You can say that this fact is undoubtedly “common sense” or universal knowledge. But Forrester revealed that 60 to 70 percent of data within a company is left untouched without any analytics.

In a generation where companies talk about big data, they have mastered data collection but not data analytics to interpret them.

An analytical CRM can collect data at a specific touchpoint. Then the tool correlates the data with a particular contact profile. Let’s say you have a website. The moment prospects to land on your homepage, the tool will record their Ip address. The next time they visited the homepage, they will be greeted with “Welcome back.”

Business Intelligence and analytics database management systems can also help segment your vast wealth of data. You can group your customers and prospects based on their demographic data. This way, you can create much-personalized marketing.

Let’s say, according to your analytical CRM, most of your target customers are parents. Then, your marketing can revolve around parenting-related sentiments.

Operational CRM

These tools can do tasks with minimal or almost no human intervention, take Microsoft Solutions as an example. There are automated tasks a CRM can help with, such as automatically tracking website traffic, sending personalized messages triggered by a specific action. It also lessens the burden of manual data encoding and incorrect data.

Operational CRM can help with business operations by reducing repetitive tasks. It allows your team to have more free time to do other tasks that need human intervention. A great example of this is auto-populating the customer profiles, initiating message responses based on triggers, and automatically saving previous concerns for future marketing efforts.

Collaborative CRM

Your company has different teams with various functions, and they will need a tool to help them communicate with each other.

Customers expect and appreciate seamless transactions. If they ordered a product online and needed its status, they would contact the company’s customer service team. The customer service agent will have to communicate with another department.

Imagine the customers’ distress if there will be some information the CSR can’t relay to them. It is also frustrating if the customers have to contact various teams to get the information they need. We all hate getting our calls passed around different departments to get a simple answer about our transaction.

A collaborative CRM can connect departments through shared dashboards, analytics, and tools. This way, a department can simply check the dashboard and see the information they need in real-time. But you can also choose which specific data a department can only access from another team’s dashboard.

What to Look For in a CRM

Well-Rounder

A CRM provider can provide more than one type of CRM package. In fact, Microsoft Dynamics 365 can provide all three types of CRM.

Whether your priority is to acquire more fresh leads, increase customer retention, and do more cross-sells to existing clientele, it is important to note that a unified data manager is vital.  With the help of Microsoft Philippines solutions, you can have a more systemic and efficient way to track, allocate and report the customer status and reported issues. It can help you provide more meaningful interactions and much seamless communication.

You can also consider tapping another third party to provide consultations. While there is a vast array of CRM tools that you can use, you don’t have to use all of them. Consider your business plan, workflow, company size, and KPIs to know which features you need.

Cost-Efficiency

Then, you also need to consider the costs. Remember that CRM tools are just one part of your company expenses.

If you are having a hard time tracking your expenses especially if you have a couple of CRM tools, you will need an expense reporting solution. SAP Concur Philippines can help you see if your CRM is cost-effective alongside your other company-paid expenses. If you have a couple of CRM providers SAP Philippines can give you visibility to every spent expense and recognize any opportunities for cost negotiation.

Some features to look for are: mobile access, email integration, call tracking, sales automation, product tracking, custom website forms, customer service management tools, ticketing tools, and document/data storage. These may not be present in one CRM tool. You might need two or more based on your business processes. Just remember to step back and check your expense data. Then you can choose a CRM that best fits your budget and growing needs.

Take the time to shop around. Every business wants to scale, and the last thing you would want is a CRM provider who has limited service that will restrict your company’s growth just because they can’t provide or keep up with your growing needs.


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Gabriel

Introvert, wanderer, blogger, foodie, a hip-hop music writer, and one of the co-founders of a tech start-up company called GigsManila.