Customer Relationship Management or CRM is one of the most effective ways for businesses to connect with the consumer. Online CRM is the digital bridge between Internet users and businesses; questions can be answers, orders can be streamlined, and the information is exchanged on a more personal level. CRM has been around for over 20 years, but it has grown to a level of maturity that makes it impossible for a business manager to ignore.
Technology today demands that businesses make themselves available across multiple devices also known as the Internet of Things (IoT). CRM in 2018 is going to be at the very heart of IoT through analytics, cloud computing, social media, and mobile communications.
Online CRM will empower businesses in the following ways:
- Collect real-time data on consumers and the market
- Understand customer behavior
- Pinpoint location of customers
- Determine consumer needs and patterns
In other words, using an efficient and reliable CRM system will allow you to optimize your marketing strategies, have more profound customer data insights, and reduce dropped web visitors and inquiries by a considerable margin. In addition, you will be able to manage inventories and provide real-time information to customers without delay.
Furthermore, CRM can help automate operations, manage and oversee logistics, organize documentation, and company marketing and sales employees.
Based on recent studies, the number one reason why consumers try to get in touch with business before a purchase is to inquire about details, while the number one reason for the after-sales communications is customer experience. In both instances, the response and actions of your employees will determine whether the customer will recommend, be a repeat customer, or bad-mouth your business. According to a Walker study on customer expectation, by 2020 consumer experience will be more critical for a company than price or product since it is expected that by then consumers know they can always find a competitor for your business online.
Your business should also target a CRM multi-channel approach because companies with different options available for customers to reach out to them have an 89% greater chance of retaining the customers for repeat purchases compared to firms with limited channel options. However, even with a multi-channel CRM, it is possible for businesses to fail if customers are frustrated with the process. The target is for CRM frontliners to get the point as soon as possible and avoid asking customers to repeat the problem over and over again – which brings us full circle to automation and streamlined organization.