What is a Customer Relationship Management System?
Are you considering implementing a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system using IT or the cloud?
Before selecting a product to implement, do you have a proper understanding of CRM and CRM systems? If you are thinking, CRM and a CRM system are the same things, If you think so, be careful.
It is a problem to implement a CRM system with the vague understanding that productivity and profit increase when using a CRM system.
Even if you invest a lot of money to implement a CRM system, it will likely not be used properly. As a result, you will end up in a disastrous situation where your productivity does not improve, and your profits do not increase.
In this article, I will provide an in-depth explanation of the basics of CRM, the benefits of implementing a CRM system, and the things to consider when implementing a CRM system for those in charge of companies that are considering implementing a CRM system.
1. What is customer relationship management?
1-1. CRM and CRM System
Some people may think that CRM is a customer information management tool that uses IT or cloud computing. CRM is essentially a term that describes a management method, not a business tool itself.
So what exactly is CRM, and what kind of management technique is it?
CRM is a management method that aims to improve the profits of both customers and companies by acquiring customers, improving customer satisfaction and customer loyalty by improving the experience gained by prospective and existing customers from the company's products, and maximizing LTV.
To put it more simply, it aims to maximize the benefits from customers by increasing the number of users of the company's products by deepening the relationship with customers.
In CRM, companies conduct marketing that matches user needs every day and deepen relationships with customers by taking steps such as acquiring potential customers as new customers, increasing customer satisfaction to create repeat customers.
And a CRM system is a tool to support marketing that matches users' needs, which is important in this CRM.
First of all, let's keep in mind the difference between a CRM and a CRM system.
1-2. Why is customer relationship management important now?
Business today is consumer-driven, not company-driven, and unless we continue to meet the diverse needs of consumers, we will not be able to continue to generate profits.
During the high economic growth and the bubble economy period, the market in any industry expanded rapidly, and it was easy to acquire new customers. Even if a rival company selling a similar product appeared and customers left the company for a time, the company could effortlessly regain the lost customers by launching a new high quality and low price product.
However, in recent years, with the spread of the Internet and social networking services, consumers have become able to receive information sent out by companies and search for and obtain the information they want on their own. Therefore, it is hard to acquire new customers and retain existing ones with the traditional one-way marketing led by companies.
For customers to continue to choose their products in this age of diversified needs and overflowing products in the market, each company needs to take the customer's point of view and conduct marketing tailored to their individual needs.
That's why CRM, which accurately grasps customer needs and proposes and provides the products they want to the right target at the right time, is considered essential in today's business.
1-3. How to maximize profit with customer relationship management
So what can you do to maximize your profits with CRM?
Marketing from the company to the customer in CRM provides the opportunity to reach out to products or promotions that match customers' needs at the right time.
To achieve this, it is necessary to accurately assess customer needs in advance, organize products, accompanying services, sales methods from the customer's point of view, and analyze the captured customer needs to derive appropriate targets, the timing of actions, promotion methods, etc.
And the marketing that is derived here should be the best solution at the moment based on the analysis of customer information, rather than the kind of gambling that is not sure whether it will succeed based on personal intuition or experience.
This is where CRM systems that centrally manage customer information come into play.
2. What is a customer relationship management system?
When you think of CRM systems, you may think of advanced IT systems that use IT or the cloud, but tools that use paper cards, notebooks, Excel, etc., are also great CRM systems.
If you are a small or medium-sized business with a somewhat limited number of customers and not a large number of them, you probably use Excel or Google spreadsheets to manage them.
For example, if you only want to manage basic customer information such as name, address, phone number, email address, age, company name, etc., and information such as product purchases and service usage history, Excel may be fine.
However, if you have more detailed information, such as which promotions led to the purchase of products or use of services, participation in product-related events, or reactions to samples of new products, can you manage it all in Excel and analyze it when needed?
When the need arises to centrally manage a large amount of data that has become more detailed and complex, it is recommended to implement a CRM system that uses IT and the cloud.
A CRM system that uses IT or cloud computing can centrally manage all the customer information collected and share the same information with all the necessary employees without any boundary by the department.
In addition, one of the features of this type of CRM system is that it instantly analyzes centrally managed data and visualizes it in various ways.
By creating a system in which all customer-related information is gathered in the CRM system, you can grasp the latest information in real-time, create graphs and tables in one click, and instantly compare data and consider the next actions.
3. Purpose and benefits of implementing a CRM system
3-1. Centralized management of customer information and detailed analysis
The primary purpose of implementing a CRM system and the great advantage is that you can centrally manage detailed customer information.
By consolidating customer information into a single tool, more detailed data is available to all employees who need it.
In addition, the wide variety of information allows for analysis from a variety of angles.
With detailed analysis, you can accurately grasp your customers' needs, and by taking an approach that meets those needs, you can amplify the desire of your customers to want and use your products.
In addition, if the aggregated information includes email addresses and SNS account information, it is easy to analyze customer attributes to narrow down targets with the same needs and do real-time marketing only on that target.
At this time, by carefully selecting and presenting only the products and information necessary for the target audience, customers will feel that they are being given special treatment by the company, making it easier to build and maintain an ongoing relationship.
3-2. Speed up the PDCA cycle with instant information analysis and visualization
CRM systems allow you to create various graphs and tables with a single click from the information you are managing, instantly visualizing the information you want to see.
As a result, you can reduce the time required to prepare for meetings and analysis, and you can turn the PDCA cycle at high speeds to increase business opportunities.
You can always share the same information, so if you find a problem or issue somewhere in your marketing, you can work with other people to consider improvements.
3-3. Increase productivity by reducing work hours
When you manage the information in a CRM system, you can quickly and easily enter information and save the time you spend entering it.
You can also reduce the meeting time to share information by allowing people in other departments to view and analyze the same information with just one input.
Even when conducting meetings, information sharing is possible in the CRM system. Therefore, you create fewer documents, and the CRM system creates tables and graphs necessary for documents in one click. Preparation time for meetings is greatly reduced, and it becomes possible to allocate that amount to other operations.
Furthermore, the analysis of customer information can predict the trends of prospective customers and market trends, which will reduce the number of new sales and promotional activities and increase sales efficiently.
In this way, implementing a CRM system using IT and cloud computing can significantly reduce a lot of time spent on marketing-related tasks and improve productivity.
CRM system summary
If you are in charge of a company considering implementing a CRM system using IT or the cloud, I recommend that you share the essence of CRM, the issues you want to solve, and the goals you want to achieve with all the involved members.
A CRM system is just a tool, and it is up to the people on the ground to use it.
If all the operators do not understand the essence of CRM, the issues to be solved, and the goals to be achieved, they will not be able to operate it well, resulting in not maximizing profits.
On the other hand, if the perception here is firmly unified, you will realize the benefits that a CRM system can bring and maximize your profits.
If you are considering implementing a CRM system, how about requesting documents for each service first?
I hope your CRM implementation project goes well.