What is CRM and why every business needs it
“Do what you do so well they will want to see it again, and bring their friends”, said Walt Disney.
From product-centric to customer-centric mindset, whether your business is in traditional fields such as energy exploitation and agriculture production or in newly emerging fields such as e-commerce and ride-hailing, customer service has more and more been proven to be the key of a business’ longevity. The unwritten secret to success is to treat all customers as if your world revolves around them.
Staff members who have the privilege to meet customers face-to-face in your company such as market researchers, salespeople and PR executives could spend thousands of hours approaching, connecting and maintaining a relationship with your business’ customers.
Each file of a customer, including basic information their name, age, gender, education, career choice, likes and dislikes, geographic location and past encounters with your company, adds up to a gigantic database that is more valuable to your business strategy than anything else. You cannot understand your customers any better without your hard-earned database.
As a result, the organization of your database — how you manage to store and gain access to such data — is the hinge of your business understanding towards your dear customers. How to efficiently and effectively manage your customer database and customer relationship? The answer lies in CRM.
- What is CRM
CRM stands for customer relationship management. CRM is a software system solution that gives business owners the freedom of managing and processing customer data so as to maintain your relationship with a large number of customers and to fetch customer insights that would further improve customer service.
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Majority of market leaders chose to have their own CRM system customized for their company based on their unique demand instead of choosing a pre-built CRM platform since each business possesses different issues and organizational structures.
A CRM system built per request is beneficial to a business due to security reasons since it is a must to protect the confidentiality of customer data. A well-respected business is a business who pays great attention to customer private information and commits to not revealing such discreet information for profit reasons.
-> Examples of companies using custom-made CRM system
Unilever: The market leader had their own CRM system tailored named SAP CRM, which allows them to improve call center’s quick response and problem-solving.
”It enables faster response time to queries and needs raised by consumers, provides for effective maintenance of customer database, and gives easy access to customer information for analysis and strategy development”, Efren Samonte Commercial Director, Unilever Philippines asserted.
Zara: The ‘hotshot’ Europe-based fast fashion brand utilized their custom-made CRM to track customer preferences and sales. Each customer who ever made a transaction with Zara would have a profile including their birthday, phone number and past purchases. This makes maintaining a close relationship with customers’ super smooth for Zara since fashion buying is about understanding customers’ needs as if you — a business owner — is their close friend.
Zara’s CRM system was developed with a new feature called digital assistants or DAs which store customer input and allow designers to map out next season’s style and rebuy existing orders based on customers’ request.
Amazon: The e-commerce giant selected an Oracle-provided CRM system that specialises in customising the micromanaging data of each customer, setting up automated personalised marketing newsletters to each customer with recommended purchases, expanding purchase panel with more items that might be of customers’ interests, saving cache so that customers could avoid the hassle of re-logging personal information at every check out and customizing the interface of customer feedback segment.
2. What CRM offers
So you wish to up your business’s ante in the game of positive and long-term customer relationship? Learn what a CRM system can benefit your business performance.
– Boost data collection
Time equals money times efforts at the right timing. Statistics and real-time information tracking help business owners and customer service representatives to gain access to each customer’s profile with a little lead given by asking the customer one or two questions before proposing solutions that satisfy customer experience. Difficult customers offer you the greatest chance of learning about them, so keeping tracking of their demands and feedback on their experience using your service can improve your sales and marketing teams’ performance, and in turn, sales performance.
A custom-design CRM system also helps you as a business owner to fast monitor customer feedback and save past interaction between your business and the customer such as call logs, emails and past purchases based on their preferences, making your future and potential encounters with customers a more satisfactory experience.
– Further manager your social platforms
Instead of micromanaging each social platform in a different place, Designveloper’s customer-design CRM software can enable the presence of your social posts in one platform, therefore, you can have a better comparison among your choice of social sites and make faster minor decisions in social activities and social interaction with potential customers.
– Forecast upcoming sales volume efficiently
Based on past sales performance on a daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly basis as well as current marketing trends and customers’ preferences that you already have acquired thanks to your custom-built CRM system, you can predict the upcoming sales performance. This also can help you make necessary changes to your overall business goals and make adjusts to a more attainable target or KPI of your campaign.
– Further understand who your customers are
Basic yet private information extracted from your customers such as demographics, shopping preferences, transaction logs and past interaction with customer support system, you can build a near-perfect portrait of who your customer is and thereby, allows you to put yourself into their shoes to understand where their demands come from. This should be the top priority for your business, especially if you adopt a customer-centric business target.
3. How to choose the right CRM system for your business?
No matter what scale your business is, bear in mind what the best is for your business’ operations and progress tracking on a daily basis. We would like to give you some pointers in choosing the right CRM platform for your business.
Easy to use
Let’s be real. The ideal situation is all of your staff members come from the same or similar educational background and possess similar work performance, showing the same adaptability to new systems. Training time to get used a management system is also counted as the amount of investment you spend on a new project. So the less training time the better as long as your employees are fully ready and thoroughly understand the new system.
A study on the difference between the usage in mobile applications and other smart devices in 2016 and 2017 featured on Harvard Business Review on May 1st, 2008 revealed a remarkable increase in visits from mobile devices (57% to 63%) and time on site from mobile devices (40% to 49%) over the course of a single year.
In addition, traffic from mobile devices reported rising swiftly from 2016 to 2018, respectively from 40% in 2016, 51% in 2017 and a full two-thirds of all traffic by the end of 2018.
Mobile access makes it easier to carry work tasks on the go and minimize the time of task response and problem-solving duration from the minute a complaint from a customer is filed till the problem is completely solved with the service satisfaction achieved.
Nobody should invest a large amount of budget on a platform that only stores data and keeps it safe. Microsoft Excel can help you with that thanks to its thousands of convenient calculating features.
An efficient CRM system must be able to carry out more than that. It must possess the ability to cleverly gather, consolidate, analyze and extract analytical reports that can help you unveil helpful customer insights, trends, patterns and help you predict the outcome of your upcoming campaigns or suggest you take up a new marketing trend that suits your customers’ preferences.
Real-time data tracking
A mantra to chant every day as a business owner — Time management in business management is financial management. Managing time effectively is the smartest way of budget allocation. An instant report on the current performance of your campaigns on two separate niche markets can be generated on the spot if you adopt a custom-made CRM system.
The majority of e-commerce start-ups that are based in Ho Chi Minh City has acquired the real-time tracking feature, showing the performance of your campaigns and real-time interaction with the users, e.g: through visits, clicks, hyperlink clicks, likes, comments, time spent on site, etc… No better way to keep your customers close and your competitors even closer than keep tracking of the operation at any second.
“Walking on water and developing software from a specification are easy if both are frozen” — Edward V. Berard.
Each business entity functions as a whole person, therefore the business personality has to be flaunted in a suitable way that helps the system users relatable to the platform they will use on a daily basis.
Customization lies not only in sleek and chic interface design of the new CRM system but also in the entire user experience. The best service for your customers must come from a team of people who have the best “user experience” themselves. You need to have a taste of your own services in order to provide one for others.
4. How to build your CRM? Pre-built platforms vs. Custom-built system
Had a special idea for your own CRM system in your mind but not sure how to pull it off? Here are top 5 suggestions of CRM building tools.
5. Subscription fee of CRM systems
While bouncing off decisions whether to choose a pre-built or a custom-developed CRM system, bear in mind that not every pre-built CRM tool suits your requirements for a new system such as real-time data tracking, overall statistics reports and internal communication among company employees.
Especially if you are planning to have a new CRM system fully equipped for the complexity of workflow in a medium- and large-scale company, it is strongly advised you seek professional help from a software development company and work closely alongside a team of designers and developers until the final product is born.
That being the case, you can totally negotiate the pricing plan with a software development company since your desired CRM tool would only require specific features.
This, in turn, would be more economical than you might think, considering the fact pre-developed CRM tools can lure users into their 30-day free trial following a surprisingly low-budgeted pricing strategy providing abundant features that are not in your interest.
Here is the price strategy of some popular CRM tools
– Free trial and quote-based plan depending on business scale and number of features needed to be developed in the new system
– Starting at $5 per month, to $35 for an online store and $120 per year for an ad-free site
– 30-day trial
– From $35 per individual user to $450 per business per month, depending on the number of users, amount of storage and the types of modules
– Entry plan: free
– With more paid features: $12, $25 and $49/account/month
– Basic plan: $5/account/month
– Premium plan: $65 to $300/account/month
Adopting a new CRM system could be overwhelming if you have no clear objective set beforehand and a budget plan for this type of investment. Having observed the current marketing trends and consumer behavior, people at Designveloper offers insights into the upcoming trends in CRM.
– Mobile first: the number of users conducting transactions on their mobile devices are rapidly rising, challenging business owners to quickly adopt customer-centric approaches to enhance the customer experience in order to take the lead in the competition.
– Analytics-driven decisions: more on-point customer engagement and positive customer experience are acquired based on predictive analysis and machine learning. Statistics and a bit of entrepreneur intuition would lead to successful campaigns, positive brand awareness, more empathy from customers and more sales volume.