CRM Lessons From the Big Players

Cloud computing

Bigger companies are increasingly turning to cloud computing for their CRM requirements, which means they save a lot of time and money in not having to replace their existing hardware, bring in bigger servers and so on.  CRM systems running via the internet can be rented for a monthly fee and are accessible at any time, from any place.

Hosted CRM

There is no need to host your own CRM if you do not have the time or expertise, as a provider can do all the collating and analysing of data for you, providing the information you require to develop your business and build better relationships with your customers.  Many larger enterprises opt for this solution, leaving their sales and marketing teams free to concentrate on following up prospects while the data entry is dealt with by a third party.

Surveys and Events

If your CRM calls for surveys or polls to measure customer response to a product or campaign, you can either install your own survey software or employ a company to conduct a survey for you and present the results.  Similarly if you are organizing a series of events across the country, event management software will co-ordinate ticket sales or enrolments, whether you run it yourself or employ an event management company to run it for you.

Customer Service

This is a central feature of effective CRM, mainly centring on the help desk idea, and generally used most once a sale has been completed and customers need post-sales support.  Larger companies have properly publicised help desks because they know CRM doesn’t end with getting a sale and letting the customer fend for themselves forthwith.  There are software packages to deal with after sales queries and to monitor the way they are dealt with so customers stay loyal and give you repeat business in the long term.

Bigger businesses also operate call centers or farm out their needs to call center companies, who will contact new and existing customers to generate new business.  There are different levels of software to cope with this complex task, but it is possible with the right technical support.  Businesses looking to expand their customer base should consider the benefits of a call center operation as part of their marketing mix.

Big Businesses Focus on the Reasons Why

A CRM system can operate on many different levels and for many companies introducing the different layers step by step is the logical way forward, rather than trying to automate all aspects of their CRM without a trial period or pilot program first. If in any doubt about the reasons to bother in the first place, consider the benefits for better customer service, better sales, increasing customer base, more cross selling opportunities, faster closing and resolution of issues, simpler communication, and more cost effective project management, plus the benefits of centralizing your procedures and associated control over procedures.

Big business has known for a while that in order to co-ordinate campaigns and manage ever increasing amounts of customer related data, ignoring the possibilities afforded by an automated CRM system is only going to lead to their competitors gaining the edge.

About the Author: As an independant CRM consultant I have a vast experience with numerous hosted CRM systems. I hope you find my writing useful and inspiring. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions. Cheers, George Jackson

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