This handbook has been developed to help Further Education (FE) Colleges and Higher Education (HE) Institutions in their Customer Relationship Management. Learn what a CRM app is, the different types of CRMs, how much they cost, how you can use one for customer relationship management, and. DSC. The Complete. Customer Relationship. Management Handbook. Peter Flory. T h e. C o m p le te. C u sto m e r R e la tio n sh ip. M a n a g e m e n t. H a n d.
Stage 1 - Collecting information The priority should be to capture the information you need to identify your customers and categorise their behaviour. Those businesses with a website and online customer service have an advantage as customers can enter and maintain their own details when they buy.
Stage 2 - Storing information The most effective way to store and manage your customer information is in a relational database - a centralised customer database that will allow you to run all your systems from the same source, ensuring that everyone uses up-to-date information.
Stage 3 - Accessing information With information collected and stored centrally, the next stage is to make this information available to staff in the most useful format. Stage 4 - Analysing customer behaviour Using data mining tools in spreadsheet programs, which analyse data to identify patterns or relationships, you can begin to profile customers and develop sales strategies.
Stage 5 - Marketing more effectively Many businesses find that a small percentage of their customers generate a high percentage of their profits.
Using CRM to gain a better understanding of your customers' needs, desires and self-perception, you can reward and target your most valuable customers. Stage 6 - Enhancing the customer experience Just as a small group of customers are the most profitable, a small number of complaining customers often take up a disproportionate amount of staff time.
If their problems can be identified and resolved quickly, your staff will have more time for other customers. Potential drawbacks of CRM There are several reasons why implementing a customer relationship management CRM solution might not have the desired results. There could be a lack of commitment from people within the company to the implementation of a CRM solution. Adapting to a customer-focused approach may require a cultural change. There is a danger that relationships with customers will break down somewhere along the line, unless everyone in the business is committed to viewing their operations from the customers' perspective.
The result is customer dissatisfaction and eventual loss of revenue. Poor communication can prevent buy-in. In order to make CRM work, all the relevant people in your business must know what information you need and how to use it.
Weak leadership could cause problems for any CRM implementation plan. The onus is on management to lead by example and push for a customer focus on every project. If a proposed plan isn't right for your customers, don't do it. Send your teams back to the drawing board to come up with a solution that will work. Trying to implement CRM as a complete solution in one go is a tempting but risky strategy.
Customer Relationship Management - CRM Software Guide
It is better to break your CRM project down into manageable pieces by setting up pilot programs and short-term milestones. Consider starting with a pilot project that incorporates all the necessary departments and groups but is small and flexible enough to allow adjustments along the way.
Don't underestimate how much data you will require, and make sure that you can expand your systems if necessary. You need to carefully consider what data is collected and stored to ensure that only useful data is kept. Avoid adopting rigid rules which cannot be changed. Rules should be flexible to allow the needs of individual customers to be met. Therefore it is vital to choose your supplier carefully.
Making the wrong choice could be expensive and even jeopardise your business.
Good Practice in Customer Relationship Management
Before implementing a solution based on CRM technology, you might want to ask any potential suppliers the following questions: How long has the supplier been established? What are the specific costs associated with the product, i.
Does the supplier offer any form of evaluation software so that you can try before you buy? How much is charged for technical support?
Does the supplier provide consultancy and, if so, at what rates? Is the system scalable? If your customer base grows will the system expand to cope? Can the supplier recommend any third-party developers that make use of their core CRM products? Is there an active independent user group where experience and ideas can be freely exchanged? Can the supplier provide references for businesses in your industry sector using their software? Does it offer training in the CRM solution and, if so, at what typical cost?
Many CRM solutions offer a number of features and add—ons to attract a wide range customers, and you should identify those you believe to be most important for your business. Below you will find a comprehensive review of the most popular CRM software features. Reporting and Analytics Reporting and analytics can help both for profit companies and nonprofit organizations, as these functions enable you to collect, manage, and manipulate customer data to get a comprehensive, real—time view of your business.
Through the use of customizable dashboards, you can track business functions such as sales activity, monitor employee productivity, or isolate key trends in your business. This type of information lets you make more informed business decisions, improve your marketing campaigns, and better target consumer groups appropriate for your business. Automation Automation allows you to design and run back office business processes such as lead management, sales forecasting, and order fulfillment automatically.
In addition, automating routine tasks can promote real—time collaboration within your organization, which will eliminate redundancy and help your staff align goals. This tool provides the most help to sales teams, who can use the automation feature to reduce administrative tasks. This lets them focus on creating leads, closing deals, and building customer relationships, all of which drive performance and profitability.
Third Party Integration Third party integration refers to the partnerships between the CRM software developer and other service offering providers. The integration of CRM with additional tools and applications adds value to your CRM investment by offering you add—ons to enhance performance and encourage productivity. Typically, add—ons and integrations offered by third party providers include tools like lead capturing, desktop productivity, email marketing support, web services, and business mana gement applications.
Data Management Data management features allow a business to store documents and other file types associated with their clients and customers in a consolidated database. Data management facilitates real—time collaboration with other authorized users internally across your business, and externally with customers. Also, as part of the collaboration process, you can set up alerts to notify you when changes to a file has been made. Data management can be utilized by all types of businesses.CRM Customer Relationship Management) Software Introduction
Although email integration greatly helps businesses which conduct sales, marketing, and support activities, it can be beneficial to all business types and sizes. The email integration feature allows you to send emails, synchronize your calendar, and track client activities without having to change the way you work or toggle between various applications, so you stay productive. Learning Curve The learning curve refers to the amount of time it takes for a specific skill to be mastered.
If your employees are used to using spreadsheets and handwritten notes, implementing a new system, even an intuitive CRM solution, will take time for them to adapt and transition.
By implementing CRM software that integrates with familiar applications such as Microsoft Office or Microsoft Outlook, you can significantly reduce the learning curve while introducing them to all the beneficial tools and features of CRM.
Security and Administration Security and administration offers the functionality and authentications of a security system within your organization, helping you control access to information. Enabling security and administration features allows you to define authorizations based on quantifiers such as employee role, group, territory, or user profile. Managing security and administration helps all types of businesses and organizations, but if your company has a large network, you must define role—based permissions and authentications to keep data secure.
Support If you operate a call center or run a service department, the support feature of CRM software can be configured to track the support information important to your organization. It can also help you centralize the product—based solutions you offer through help lines, tech support, and customer care to your clients, prospects, distributors, and dealers. The support feature can also enable your support technicians or customer service representatives to track and manage details related to a support or service request more efficiently.
Customer relationship management
Workflow Management Workflow management lets you streamline process like sales, marketing, and customer support. If you are in sales, this feature can be quite beneficial, as it allows you to create automatic lead assignments so your prospects are automatically funneled to employees most qualified to handle them. Using workflow management tools can also help you improve the efficiency of your sales teams by removing the redundant steps in your business processes, which can result in reduced operating costs and increased business growth.