A salesman and a customer shake hands and are surrounded by images representing CRM tools and processes.
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How CRM can improve your customer relations

27 May 2024

Data around CRM can be a powerful indicator of how well a company is performing and is a key aspect of a business’ growth trajectory, yet many companies downplay the importance of this method.

Customer relationship management (CRM) is the term for the strategies, tools and processes companies deploy to deal with the customer side of a business. 

Among other features, it encompasses the building of a customer network, analytics on consumer behaviour and verified and updated contact information. All with the goal of optimising customer relationships to grow a business through the implementation of a data-backed strategy. 

It can be a detriment to de-prioritise or undervalue how CRM impacts a business and though a company may not have the time or budget to incorporate CRM-trained employees or a range of software, there are a number of key areas that should be integrated within every business plan. 

A/B testing

Every company is different, with a niche objective and target market, so it stands to reason that the approach to CRM tools should be subjective also. A handy way for businesses to isolate the aspects of their customer or consumer engagement that are not meeting their expectations is to use A/B testing. 

This is a useful method that enables you to compare different CRM actions, to measure their impact and optimise strategies based on your findings. Users can compare multiple variations of the company website, campaign or user experience and identify which version has reached the target audience in the desired way. 

This empowers businesses to make choices based on data, not conjecture or outdated patterns and trends. The controlled nature of A/B testing where the user can strictly add and remove variables, provides crucial insights into target market engagement, resource allocation and even risk mitigation. 

Cloud-based CRM

Innovation never stops. There will always be some new technology, system or way of doing things. If companies want to stay competitive in an increasingly digitalised world then they have to adapt to and adopt whatever comes next.

In keeping with the times, CRM has moved online, into the cloud, with companies such as SalesForce furthering CRM capabilities, so sales, marketing and customer oriented teams can work in real time. This is especially useful to companies who have a significant number of remote or hybrid working employees.

By integrating cloud-based CRM features into a company, employers can avoid siloing departments, provide customers with 24/7 communication services, and build on partner and consumer relationships.

Personalised marketing automation

Abusing targeted email automation is perhaps the quickest way to compel a potential consumer to unsubscribe from your mailing list. No one likes constantly receiving emails regarding services and products that are completely unrelated to them.

By incorporating a CRM programme, such as California-based Vtiger, which has free and paid add-on options, users can craft well-worded emails that have integrated details pulled from specific customer data, reducing the risk of sending a poorly targeted advertisement. 

Companies can build a sense of trust and confidence as a business that can identify consumer demands, without depending on uninformed, automated marketing services. The user can also make use of email tracker analytics, to gauge the recipient’s reaction and potential response. 

Another way companies can positively utilise personalised marketing automation is in the aftermath of a purchase. For example, if your business sells high-tech laptops, a thoughtful, consumer-based post-purchase communication could include video instructions on how to set up the device or suggestions on additional accessories. 

Data warehousing

Data warehousing is the process of collecting data from a wide variety of sources within a company and storing it in a single database for the purpose of guiding, growing and strategising.

By applying data warehousing to a CRM model, companies have a complex, intelligent and centralised account of customer data that can be accessed by anyone who needs it, throughout the business. 

This vast bank of information facilitates the analytic tools from which companies glean valuable insights and conceptualise future campaigns. 

As most resources will note, the use of a data warehouse is not without its risks. There are considerable factors to address, such as security, the ethics around data collection and overall cost, but if deployed correctly, data warehousing for CRM can drastically affect customer acquisition, engagement and retention. 

CRM strategies, tools and processes have the power to transform how a business optimises customer service, so it might be time to ask yourself if you are undervaluing a hugely beneficial resource. 

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Laura Varley
By Laura Varley

Laura Varley is a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic. She has a background in technology PR and journalism and is borderline obsessed with film and television, the theatre, Marvel and Mayo GAA. She is currently trying to learn how to knit.

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