Think about how many contacts you have in your phone at this very moment. Are there 10, 20, or even 50 people you might have added, texted, or called since you bought it? If you’re anyone like well…everyone, chances are you’ve got a number and an email address for all your closest friends, colleagues, or clients. Chances are equally high that you can’t remember all those numbers or emails by heart, so you hold down the button for Siri to help you.
In the corporate world, keeping track of thousands of customers and clients is no different. Tools and software are needed to find, nurture, and retain customer relationships, and the number one type of software companies rely on for the task is customer relationship management software or CRM for short.
But what is CRM software? How does it work, and how does it integrate into businesses all over the world? In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about CRM, as well as provide our pick for the best CRM software your business.
Put simply, customer relationship management software (CRM) is a collection of tools used by companies to organize, manage, and analyze customer information and relationships. Whether they be former customers, current clients, or even future prospects, the goal and function of CRM software is to act as a sort of modern-day Rolodex.
Similar to address book apps like Google Contacts, CRM software is designed to make the organization of different groups easier. Maybe you’re looking to sort all the contacts who work for the same company into one place. Likewise, you might even wish to organize a list of contacts who’ve openly expressed interest in your company or similar ones, placing them into a “lead generation” queue to reach out to later. No matter your mission, CRM software is designed to give you the bigger picture across all your contacts, letting you have all the necessary information on hand if and when you decide to strike up a conversation.
To give a better idea as to how CRM software works to strengthen customer relationships, let’s say you’re in the publishing business. If you’re just starting out, you might be only pushing one product, like a magazine for outdoor enthusiasts. You sell this product to your customers directly through subscription, and that means that for every subscriber you obtain, that’s one more customer and information catalog to keep track of.
Not only do you have to ensure your customers get their product on time every month, you also need to keep track of whether or not they change addresses, change preferences, change banking information, etc. In other words, it’s a lot of variables to keep track of, with a lot of ways things could get finicky if you confuse one customer’s details for another.
Through the use of CRM software, you’re now able to put all those subscribers into handy groups, with real-time analysis and management of any changes or variables that might occur. Likewise, should your business expand into different products or revenue streams, you now have a tool to nurture not only your current subscriber base, but any additional customers you might feel would enjoy your product. Furthermore, as most publishers host events and/or sell media space to advertisers, having a CRM tool on hand to sort and manage all those potential clients is a godsend.
When it comes to the benefits of CRM software, there are a few that stick out right off the bat. For starters, a lot of CRM software users experience an immediate surge in strategic business opportunities. Given that customer demands can change rapidly, having a software that showcases market patterns at a glance is a huge leg-up.
Not so surprisingly, those customer-focused benefits extend to the customer service side of businesses as well. Every business knows that as your products and services improve, so too does the length at which your customers will remain loyal. Customer churn is never healthy, which is why CRM records automatically provide your business with individual levels of customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction. You know what works and what doesn’t for each customer, letting you make personalized designs to keep those relationships in the green.
On the marketing side of things, CRM software also acts as lead generation software, making sure you’re able to close more deals much faster. The CRM records you’re using to gauge customer satisfaction also showcase how they react to your marketing materials, giving your marketing team the ability to enhance ROI in a fraction of the time. The cost to acquire and retain customers becomes cheaper, and marketing becomes that much easier, and that much more automatic.
Likewise, administrative operations receive a much-needed boost when using CRM software. Because the software is designed to reduce or downright eliminate lengthy, manual processes, your business receives a swift reduction in operation costs. Tired of updating thousands of customer records? Your customers can update their own thanks to the software’s integration. Not sure where you’ll find the time to send 100 emails on a Friday afternoon? Your marketing communications can be automated. Whether you’re needing to generate quotes, order forms, or other deliverables, CRM software lets you do these things in a fraction of the time, giving your associates, salespeople, and customer service agents more time to focus on what matters most: your customers.
Last but not least, e-signature software naturally grants your business full compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and industry standards regarding digital transactions and electronic signatures including HIPAA and 21 CFR Part 11, along with compliance for rules from the IRS, FTC, FINRA, and the FHA. Your business stays up to date, legally squared away, and your security management processes gain a much-needed boost.
Adding CRM software to your business is easy, and we recommend starting with ArcCRM Archarina! Built to empower your business, you’ll enjoy automated workflows, a simplified sales funnel, real-time customer insights, and powerful, predictive analytics for your entire customer network.
Store and manage information on your customers’ websites, emails, telephone numbers, and social media, letting you connect, reconnect, and grow revenue with past, present, or potential clients. Automate and analyze your marketing materials with seamless integration and an intuitive, easy-to-use interface. Learn more about how ArcCRM can empower your customer pipeline with a free demo.
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