Customer relationship management (CRM) is essential to any business process flow. It includes a series of processes that business owners take when interacting with customers.
Key Takeaway - Every business needs a great CRM solution. It doesn’t matter if you run a B2C, D2C, or B2B eCommerce business. A CRM will help your eCommerce team manage all external interactions and relationships.
CRM serves to enhance your brand's customer experience management strategies. Ultimately, customer relationship management aims to assist in customer retention, increase sales, and improve customer satisfaction.
What, then, is customer relationship management? How do you manage customer relationships? Let’s find out!
What is Customer Relationship Management?
Customer relationship management is the term that describes the methods, tactics, and technology that businesses employ to manage and analyze customer interactions. CRM processes track consumer data throughout the customer lifecycle.
eCommerce businesses can improve profitability, process efficiency, and client retention of a CRM system. Customer relationship management (CRM) is the umbrella term for the values, procedures, and standards a company adheres to when communicating with its clients.
Your CRM system is not just a technology that helps you understand customer behavior and data. Instead, the system streamlines how you manage customer relationships and helps your team create consumer-efficient business systems.
A CRM gathers all data (form fills, phone calls, emails, texts, and meetings), documents, quotes, transactions, and tasks related to each lead and client. CRMs link all customer information, and sales lead data in one location. This makes it easy for your entire team to access the data and make informed sales and marketing decisions.
Using a customer relationship management software will help you know who your customers and potential customers are. In addition, you can identify consumers’ expectations and position your brand to fulfill them.
A customer relationship model strengthens a company's and its customers' bond. There are various stages of building a great customer relationship, and integrating CRM software with your business processes will help your team monitor these stages more effectively.
Here’s an overview of the customer relationship management model:
- Brand Awareness: The first time your niche market comes into contact with your brand.
- Discovery: When customers understand what your brand does. The discovery stage is also when your team identifies the needs and requirements of your potential customers.
- Evaluation: At this stage, potential customers compare your products and offerings with your competitors.
- Intent: Prospective customers at this stage are ready to purchase from you.
- Purchase: At this stage, the prospect makes a purchase and becomes a customer.
- Loyalty: This stage determines if your customers will do business with you again or not. Send follow-up messages and ask for referrals.
As customers progress through the different stages of the CRM model, your CRM software, when integrated with a customer experience management software, automatically updates their information and data. This will make it easier for the sales and marketing team.
5 Benefits of CRM to eCommerce Businesses
Here are the benefits of customer relationship management to eCommerce businesses:
- Increased Sales Opportunity
CRMs store and analyze sales data in a centralized system. This makes it easier for your sales team to evaluate consumer behavior. For example, with a CRM tool, you can establish a lead generation and sales process for different customers according to their stage in the funnel.
Additionally, customer relationship management helps you build a sales pipeline and automate basic sales processes. Integrating CRM technologies, like voice response and live chats, will make it easier for the sales team to get new leads and conversions.
- Improved Customer Service
Customer relationship management tools help you interact with customers better. Using a CRM system, you can keep track of your business connections and preserve vital data from all possible angles, such as their demographics, past transactions, and interactions.
Thanks to a CRM system, anyone in your company can easily access this data. As a result, every time a team member from your business interacts with a customer, there is a chance to raise customer satisfaction.
Keeping a repository of each customer's profiles allows it to treat each client individually rather than collectively. With the help of this system, each employee can comprehend the particular needs of their customers and their transaction history.
- Better Customer Retention
CRM solutions make it easy to turn new customers to repeat customers. The beauty of a CRM system is that it can segment customers in different stages of the acquisition lifecycle. CRM helps you send the same message to all your customers, but in a way that speaks to them the most. For instance, delivering the best omnichannel customer experience will streamline customer acquisition strategies and improve customer retention.
Your customer relationship management system gives you all the necessary information to convert leads to repeat customers. In addition, you can send follow-up messages automatically after the customer acts.
By enhancing customer service, a CRM can increase client loyalty. It can track activity, automate customer service, and perform sentiment analysis. As a result, you can spot problems before they become more prominent. Keep customers returning by using a CRM to enhance general customer care.
A customer relationship management tool can assist you when identifying issues. The CRM will include sentiment analysis, automated ticketing, customer service automation, and user behavior tracking that can help you solve consumers’ problems promptly.
- Streamlined Marketing Efforts
One thing a CRM solution gives you is knowledge. A customer relationship management tool will help you know who your customers are, what they want from your brand, and how they react to each marketing campaign you send.
With information comes power and your CRM tool gives you just that! CRM allows you to create targeted eCommerce marketing campaigns for different niche markets depending on their specific needs.
You can design more specialized marketing campaigns based on your customer's unique requirements. So, in addition to creating new products and services that your customers genuinely need and want, CRM enables your company to build a more customized approach to its communications.
- Automated Reporting and Analytics
CRM tools come with in-built analytics that contextualizes data. eCommerce KPIs and metrics like eCommerce conversion rate, the open rate for eCommerce email marketing campaigns, and demographic data can be pre-set and used to measure the success of a marketing campaign.
You can see your audience in its entirety with CRM. Understanding your customers' purchase habits will enable you to develop a strategy suited to their requirements.
You can boost engagement by developing a personalized eCommerce marketing strategy with a robust reporting system. As a result, the interaction between your company and its customers is personalized. Customers enjoy the eCommerce personalization experience and engage with your brand better.
3 Types of CRM
Customer relationship management tools offer all these benefits and more. However, there are various types of CRMs. Let’s take a look at what they do.
- Collaborative CRM Systems
This type of CRM is sometimes referred to as strategic CRM. Collaborative CRM enables your company to disseminate customer information to different functional areas of the team, such as marketing, sales, support, technical support, etc.
Collaborative CRMs guarantee that all teams have access to the same current customer data. The use of collaborative CRM enables various divisions to work together toward improving customer service.
For instance, customer support team members receive up-to-date information on client interactions over email or message channels. Likewise, when engaging with a potential customer, the operations team can access data gathered by marketing and sales teams.
Collaborative CRM also helps retain current customers and attract new ones through increased sales. In addition, companies with the B2B business model utilize collaborative CRM so that different organizations can work together on product development, market research, and marketing.
- Analytical CRM Systems
The main goal of analytical CRMs is to assist you in analyzing the customer data you already have to get crucial insights. Thanks to digital tools and platforms, gathering vast amounts of information is now simple.
Data analysis, however, is a challenging task that must be accomplished to transform that data into something usable for your business. Statistics imply that more than half of the data gathered by companies is never utilized.
An analytical CRM offers tools to leverage your data to spot customer behavior patterns. CRM analytics can determine a customer's genuine value to a company by understanding their behavior.
This enables your business to approach customers with valuable information and ideas that meet their wants and work to satiate them. As a result, consumers receive quick, customized solutions from this kind of CRM.
- Operational CRM Systems
Operational CRM automates business operations, sales, and marketing procedures in addition to business processes. The main goals of operational CRM are generating leads, turning them into contacts, collecting all the necessary information, and providing service throughout the customer lifecycle.
This type of CRMs assists businesses in streamlining their customer relationship management procedures. They offer capabilities to visualize and manage the entire client experience more effectively, especially when it involves many interactions.
Typically, operational CRM solutions offer automation features. Automation in marketing, sales, and service relieves part of the workload from your staff.
Here’s how operational CRM automation works:
- Sales Automation: Sales automation streamlines information so companies can better serve their consumers' requirements and requests while boosting B2B sales leads. Sales automation aims to assist a business in automating the sales process. Its main goal is to set organizational standards for working with potential new and current clients.
- Marketing Automation: Finding the best solutions for presenting products to potential customers is the primary goal of marketing automation. It also covers the most effective technique to pitch things to potential customers. The primary component of marketing automation, campaign management, helps companies choose the best ways to interact with their target audiences.
- Service Automation: Service automation includes issue management, which addresses customer issues, and customer call management, which manages incoming and outgoing customer conversations. By enhancing the relationship and improving the quality of the service, automation helps businesses retain their current customers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Customer Relationship Management
Customer relationship management is not a one-time process. Consistency is crucial. CRM tools can help businesses improve their sales and high ROI. Let’s answer some common questions about customer relationship management.
What are the Four Main Components of Customer Relationship Management?
The four main components of customer relationship management are:
What are the Key Principles of CRM?
The key principles of CRM success include:
- Set your goals
- Create growth strategies
- Conduct market research
- Focus on alignment
- Decide on user-friendly models
- Keep it simple
- Measure your success with preset KPIs and eCommerce metrics
What are the Stages of CRM?
The stages of CRM are:
- Lead generation
- Customer acquisition
- Lead conversion
- Customer retention
- Customer loyalty
Keep the Customers Coming
CRM is a great way to grow your business and increase your profitability. However, understanding who your customers are and what they want is the first step towards delivering the best customer experience best practices, customer service and staying ahead of the competition.
Investing in a CRM tool like BlueCart is a great idea. Automation is a game changer for eCommerce businesses, and CRM tools can get you the results you need.