Customer relationship management is a cloud computing technology used by an organization to manage interactions with both the current and potential customers. CRM is useful in helping organizations to improve customer service, build customer relationships, streamline processes, increase sales, and profitability. The main goal of CRM in any organization is to improve business relationships.
CRM combines technologies, strategies, and practices for managing and analyzing customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle in the organization. CRM improves business relationships by compiling customer data across various channels and points of contact between the company and its customers. Such points of contact may include the company's social media, website, direct mail, live chat, and telephone (Kaul, 2017). CRM also helps in providing essential customer information such as purchase history, customer's personal information, and purchasing interests or concerns.
Components of CRM
There are various components of a CRM system that assist in consolidating customer information and records into a single database that is easy to access and manage. Each component has a specific function to perform (Soltani et al., 2018). Some of the primary functions performed by the CRM include automating workflow processes such as alerts, tasks, and calendars, recording customer interactions over the phone, email, or social media, and enabling managers to access and track productivity and performance. Given the functions as mentioned above, the following are some of the main components of CRM.
Marketing Automation. CRM tools have helped companies to automate their marketing capabilities. CRM tools such as sales prospects have the exceptional capability to automatically send prospects marketing materials via social media or email (Kaul, 2017). As a result, the company can turn a sales lead into a customer (Thakur & Workman, 2016).
Salesforce automation. The CRM sales force automation tools have high capacities to track and manage customer interactions. They automate certain functions to help in the customer cycle, such as generating sales leads and creating beautiful features that attract customers to the company's products (Soltani et al., 2018).
Contact Center Automation. CRM tools automate repetitive tasks to make the work of a customer's agent more convenient. The everyday repetitive contact center tasks include managing prerecorded audio to disseminate information and help in problem-solving without necessarily having to talk to the customer agent in person. CRM software tools help reduce service time and significantly simplify customer service processes (Soltani et al., 2018).
Geo-location technology. CRM tools help in determining the physical location of customers. The sales team can, therefore, facilitate location-based campaigns that are relevant to the customers in every location of interest. The geo-location technology helps companies to facilitate proper networking and location-based product marketing.
Workflow automation. CRM tools enable automation of typical workloads to optimize business processes. As a result, employees have opportunities to focus on a high level and creative tasks (Thakur & Workman, 2016).
Lead management. CRM tools track sales lead to enable sales teams to carry out in-depth analysis, track, and input the leads data in just a single place.
Human resource management. CRM tools help the company to track relevant employee information such as performance review, benefits to the company, and contact information. Therefore, the human resource department of the company can use this data to manage better the internal workforce (Thakur & Workman, 2016).
Analytics. CRM system provides suitable tools that analyze user data to help the management know more about the tastes and preferences of its clients. The management can, therefore, make necessary adjustments to the existing services to suit the customers' concerns. As a result, this creates better customer satisfaction. CRM analytics tools can also be used to facilitate targeted marketing campaigns (Soltani et al., 2018).
Artificial intelligence technology. CRM platforms are currently integrated with artificial intelligence technologies such as Salesforce Einstein to automate repetitive tasks and monitor purchasing patterns of customers (Kaul, 2017). Making such vital predictions helps companies to know future customer behaviors and make adjustments to achieve the expected outcome.
Types of CRM Technology
The following are three types of CRM technology.
On-premises CRM technology. CRM software resides in the servers of the company. The host company assumes the costs of all upgrades to the software. The technology is typically used by companies with complex CRM needs. The benefit of on-premises CRM technology is to put the onus of control, maintenance, security, and administration of information and database on the company using the software. The host company has to buy an upfront license. The technology might require a prolonged installation process to enhance the full integration of the company's data (Thakur & Workman, 2016).
Cloud-based CRM technology. It is also called on-demand CRM or software as a service (SaaS). The technology applies data stored on an external server. Employees of the company can access the data anytime and anywhere using an internet connection. Sometimes, installation and maintenance services are provided by a third-party service provider. Cloud-based CRM technology is considered as the most cost-effective option because of its convenient subscription plans. However, data security is one of the pressing concerns because the company does not physically control the storage and maintenance of its data (Soltani et al., 2018).
Open-source CRM technology. The technology avails the source code to the public and enables companies to make necessary changes to their data without the cost. It also allows employing companies to add and customize data links on social media channels, enhancing social CRM practices (Kaul, 2017).
Kaul, D. (2017). Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Customer Satisfaction, and Customer Lifetime Value in Retail. Review of Professional Management, 15(2), 55-60. http://rpmndim.org/index.php/ropmj/article/view/124637
Soltani, Z., Zareie, B., Milani, F. S., & Navimipour, N. J. (2018). The impact of customer relationship management on the organization's performance. The Journal of High Technology Management Research, 29(2), 237-246. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1047831018300282
Thakur, R., & Workman, L. (2016). Customer portfolio management (CPM) for improved customer relationship management (CRM): Are your customers platinum, gold, silver, or bronze?. Journal of Business Research, 69(10), 4095-4102. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0148296316300625
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CRM: Improve Business Relationships & Increase Profits - Research Paper. (2023, May 09). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/crm-improve-business-relationships-increase-profits-research-paper
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