In today’s competitive marketplace, one of the keys to successful business development is to build, manage and expand profitable long-term relationships with both key customers and potential new clients.
For this reason, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has become one of the hot topics in the business world in the last few years.
It’s not only important to implement CRM but the key challenge is to do it right.
When done in a proper manner, it not only makes companies more responsive and targeted in the way they interact with customers, but also makes them educated and smarter about extending product and service offerings.
The right CRM solution isn’t just designed for the company which acquires it but is also meant to provide the best industry experience to that company’s clientele. If they find satisfaction in dealing with an organization that remembers them, interacts with them and memorizes and keeps all of it’s commitments to them, they will have a satisfying customer experience, and they will be back with more business.
The following six points can help you to select the right CRM solution for you –
1. Focus – Find out what your existing, profitable customers want, so that their needs can be met. This helps in finding the business’s focus – whether in customer service, marketing campaign management, sales order management, call center sales, interactive voice response (IVR) systems or field force automation.
2. Deployment – The appropriate CRM solution depends upon how it will be deployed in the company – whether it will be set-up as a traditional solution, an on-premise installation, a hosted service, or a hybrid solution that blends the two. Citing an example, a large industry that already has an on-premise CRM solution may decide that a hosted solution is the perfect way to rapidly extend access to CRM capabilities to a remote division. Or, a small but fast-growing organisation may choose a hosted CRM solution that allows it to gain access to market-leading CRM features and functionality without having to invest up front in infrastructure.
3. Functionality – For organisations that view CRM as a key business strategy, embedded real-time and historical interactive analytics are vital. A CRM solution is incomplete when it cannot provide critical insight regarding historical trends to identify root causes of consumer issues. Without analytics, an organisation can be hindered in its ability to make the right decisions.
4. Vendor – It is also important to select a vendor that has deep experience and is focused on helping customers achieve desired business outcomes.
5. Hosting Infrastructure – For hosted CRM solutions in particular, it is important to evaluate the hosting infrastructure that encompasses the people, processes, and technology responsible for assuring application performance and reliability:
6. Re-evaluate – It should be remembered that CRM is a process itself. One needs to evaluate the strategy and processes on an ongoing basis to meet the changing needs of the company.
Making the decision to implement CRM is not easy, but the payoff can be significant. By focusing on underlying business processes and cautiously assessing the choices available regarding deployment options, functionality, vendor experience and hosting infrastructure, each organisation can drive successful business outcomes with CRM.