Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is composed of business practices that revolve around its three main objectives. Incorporating the internet with these CRM
practices has evolved into online CRM.
Most if not all businesses tend to be customer centric. The reason behind this is simple. Customers keep the business running. Without them, there is no profit. Worse, without them, the business will cease to exist.
CRM’s three main objectives:
- To retain current customers
- To acquire new customers
- To enhance customer experience
Online CRM benefits
Online CRM can be practiced through getting third party providers or developing the company’s own programs. It is much easier nowadays to get customer service. One does not even have to stay on the phone for hours waiting for someone to answer. Through online CRM, chat and email support is made possible.
It is also through online CRM that certain promotions can automatically be emailed to existing clients. Certain information or promotions for new products or services can easily be disseminated through the internet.
Every single visitor to the website can be seen as “leads.” This is good for companies that have active sales departments. Leads can grow from cold to hot until they turn into actual customers.
Centralization of all the collected data is also doable with online CRM. Through centralization of data, different departments can work together much better. It just takes careful programming or good customization if the service is from a third party provider.
Call customer service in the United States and it is not out of the ordinary for someone in India or the Philippines to be on the other end. This is also done through online CRM. It does allow for location and device independence. As long as a customer, employer or employee can access the programs and information, they’re good.
Often enough, implementation can pose as a big problem for companies who have established rules and procedures. If it is not customized well, it can also result in more confusion and dissatisfaction on the part of the customer.
It is vital to conduct a study beforehand and see how it can be implemented. Training will also be an added cost. It will actually take some time for everyone to get used to it. Time and considerable effort will also have to be spent in this training process.
Having to transfer all the existing data into one database can also be time consuming. There are actually third party providers that help with this. However, for companies implementing the system on their own, it can get a bit difficult as well.
All in all, if implemented well, online CRM can be of great benefit to the company. In a lot of ways, it takes care of customers. Through feedback, they can even work out some existing issues for further improvement.
The possibilities are actually limitless. It does depend on how good the software works and how successful the implementation process turns out. Some may argue about losing the human touch in customer service. It doesn’t necessarily have to.