Handling a large customer base without hiring more people

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Why are CRM and CDM important?

Internet of things is proving to be a game changer in the 21st century. Today a large number of an individual’s tasks involve the usage of internet. Whether we are using Google at home to get stuff done around the house or shopping for groceries online. The popularity of the internet means that more and more people are setting up their businesses on the net. The number of online shopping and tech start-ups is rising fast. These startups cover various domains and tap different markets. The business can be B2B, a B2C or a C2C firm, but the one thing common between all these firms is the presence of customers.

Work smarter not harder!

Work smarter not harder!

Customers are indeed the kings of any business, and like all kings, they should be treated with tact and finesse. If you are a part of the internet revolution and have an E-commerce or a tech start-up you must have by now realized the importance of customer relations and customer database management. When we say that the customer is king, it means that they require the utmost attention and respect in any business. And to give this kind of attention and respect to customers, your company needs to put in a lot of effort to maintain customer relationship standards. Following are the reasons why businesses should invest in CRM software and services.

Targeted marketing communication and strategies

When a business is taking pains to stay in touch with a customer and help if needed, it becomes easy for them to send communication regarding upcoming events just by observing their patterns. Targeted communication always yields better results than advertising to a large diversified audience.

Gain competitive advantage

CRM also gives a business advantage over competitors. A customer is happy when he/she is looked after and complaints, if any, are solved to their satisfaction. A happy customer is a loyal customer. It is a widely known fact that it is costly to gain a new customer versus retaining an existing one. So when a business has a loyal customer base it has an advantage over others in the market.

Improved demand forecasting and scheduling

With good customer relationship management and customer database management techniques, companies have better accuracy when forecasting for the future. This is because they are better informed about their customer’s behaviour. This will give them an edge over their competitors.

Improved after-sales services

When a company has a dedicated team or a vendor looking after its CRM, the after-sales services will be good. And when the customers are well looked after, it leads to the creation of a loyal customer base. In the retail industry where product differentiation is very low, after-sales services are what differentiate companies from their competitors.

From the above points, it can be established that customer relationship management is extremely important for the success of the business. While this is a necessity of the business, it is also a costly affair. Staffing a CRM team can prove to be really heavy for a start-up. While CRM is unavoidable there are ways in which companies can provide efficient CRM without hiring extra people. Some of these techniques could be:

Automation

Today parts of CRM can be automated very efficiently. The article above talks about the need for Targeted Marketing Communication, Forecasting, after sales services etc. These can be automated by using software which sends emails or notifications to customers regarding their billing information, dispatch and delivery details, sending promotional emails to customers based on their shopping habits etc. This software will do the work of many professionals, thus benefitting the organization by keeping the expense and overheads in check.

Outsourcing

Customer Relationship Management can be easily outsourced. There are firms which specialize in providing CRM and their services can be availed by any company for a fee. Outsourcing CRM is beneficial for start-ups and mid-size firms as the fees are generally less than what it would cost to staff a CRM team. Also by outsourcing, CRM companies can focus on its core competencies and not worry about learning something that they are not experts at. It is a win-win situation for both the firms, where each benefits by doing what they are good at.

Companies today are known to be using a mix of Automation and Outsourcing to handle their vast customer bases. In addition to this with the increase in internet penetration on hand-held devices (eg: cell phones, tables etc.) people are becoming increasingly comfortable with technology. In this case automation of CRM makes perfect sense because people are no longer averse to interaction with technology. In fact, the younger generation is more comfortable dealing with automated inquiries and complaints about human talk and intervention.

There is no doubt that running a successful CRM program without hiring extra personnel has become possible. That is more of a reason why all companies, irrespective of the scale of their business, should have CRM processes, tools and techniques in place for Customer database management.

Tanel is the technical mastermind behind Actual Reports and Printout Designer. When he’s not coding, he also takes an occasional dive into marketing and business development.

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