CRM is a strategy for businesses to stay in control of all prospective, existing and, in some cases, former, customers.
Being ‘customer -centric’ can no longer be an empty promise: the rise of CRM.
The term ‘customer-centric’ has been used by businesses for a while. Often referenced as a unique selling point, claiming to put customers first has been seen as a relatively easy way of promoting one company over a competitor. Yet, in the majority of cases, it has often been an empty promise, a two word sales pitch that held no truth in regards to how many actually operated – the organisation’s requirements were the priority.
However, as markets become ever-more competitive, consumers have greater choice than ever about who they do business with. The business-centric approach no longer works, and enterprises are truly having to place the needs of the customer at the forefront of their thinking in order to establish lasting relationships. Delivering the right message, at the right time, using the right method, has never been more important, and businesses are utilising customer relationship management (CRM) as a result.
CRM is a strategy for businesses to stay in control of all prospective, existing and, in some cases, former, customers. It enables them to see the current status of the relationship so they know who to engage with next and with what message. For example, if a customer is nearing the end of their contract and renewal discussions are yet to take place, they may begin to feel undervalued if led to believe that their business is no longer important and subsequently leave for a competitor. CRM tools will not only flag such customers, but will also indicate the communication channel that will generate the most success.
CRM also has a positive effect on sales, which is especially good for smaller businesses that need a strong sales pipeline to ensure growth. It provides full visibility of the sales cycle, allowing the sales team to identify the hottest leads and the current stage of any potential deal. It can also track interactions across multiple-channels, removing the complexities that arise when customers are contacted using a variety of methods.
Ultimately, CRM empowers businesses to implement truly customer-centric communication strategies. Customers feel valued as they are receiving personal and relevant information, at a time and in a method which suits them. Yet, it undoubtedly provides real benefits for businesses as well. With the ability to manage all relationships, organisations can ensure that they are engaging their customer base when and how it matters, aiding business performance and fuelling growth.
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