Today’s post is written by Ivy Ray, Senior Procurement Specialist at SafeSourcing, Inc.
According to a CEI Survey, 86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience. But only 1% of customers feel that vendors consistently meet their expectations. Increasing the percentage of consistently happy customers by 5% goes a long way in retaining customers. Many organizations utilize Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions to maintain customer communications.
There is a rise in the use of CRM solutions for a number of reasons. Initially, the CRM industry was primarily geared towards sales and public relations and offered a way to store customer information and track communication with customers. Currently, CRM solutions cover several areas of business, including customer relationship management, marketing, analytics, communication, and even project management. Some CRM systems even have built in chatbot and calling capabilities, so organizations can communicate with clients directly in the system.
Even small businesses can afford to invest in customer relationship management software, due to the increase of affordable SaaS solutions, which delivers functionality without the complication of a major software implementation project. Tiered pricing structures and lots of competition means small businesses have a variety of CRMs options that optimize the customer relationship management process.
From the dozens of CRM systems available, depending on what you would like to track and how your team works, you will find everything from expensive apps you run on your own servers to customizable web apps with dozens of plans and features, to the simple contacts apps. The main point is CRM should work for you, not the other way around. An over complicated and over customized CRM is just as bad as having no CRM at all. The most common features are:
- Contact Management
- Account Management
- Order Management
- Opportunity Management
- Sales Process Automation
- Campaign Management
- Customer Segmentation
- Call Center Automation
- Service Automation
- Task Management
- Partner Management
In this automated environment, there are many ways an organization can communicate with their customer. While CRM solutions help to manage information and data, ultimately, nothing can replace “real” customer relationships. Knowing your customer is the best way to meet their needs and improve the customer experience.
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