What is CRM?
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is a field that businesses should put importance to in order to be successful and to be able to keep their customers.
In my previous article, I mentioned that losing even a single customer in the business-to-business market can put the company in a difficult position.
Now, in this article, we will talk about Customer Relationship Management and its processes.
“Customer relationship management (CRM) is the combination of practices, strategies and technologies that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle.”
As can be seen, CRM is a combination of many different studies and tools.
CRM systems are used in a widespread manner, especially nowadays.
While “most traditional CRM systems are built specifically to serve B2B businesses only,” it is also widely used in the B2C market.
Customer relationship management systems are the systems where any information about customers are collected and managed.
A company’s use of these systems for customer service or future marketing efforts in the B2C market can provide great advantages, especially today.
It is possible to look at customer relationship management as B2B (Business to Business) or B2C (Business to Consumer).
Since customer characteristics are different in these two markets, the approach to CRM has to be different as well.
While CRM systems and customer services come to the fore for B2C, it is important to carefully manage mutual relations and expectations with customers for B2B.
We will go into more detail on the difference between CRM for B2B and CRM for B2C in our next articles.
The CRM Process
The customer relationship management process consists of 4 steps and these steps are basically repeated in a loop. These steps are:
- Segmenting and profiling the market
- Designing a communication strategy
- Implementing the strategy
- Evaluation of the strategy
1 – Segmenting and profiling the market
Creating different customer segments sounds very familiar as it is essential for an effective marketing strategy.
However, in terms of CRM, it is necessary to segment the market according to how customers are to be approached.
What kind of a sales effort would be required for which type of customer?
Should sales representatives be used for a more traditional way?
Or, should a less effortful way be implemented in this market?
Furthermore, which of these ways should be applied to which customer community?
With the help of technologic solutions, decisions can be made with a practical segmentation.
2 – Designing a communication strategy
Next step is to choose communication channels for the customers to be reached.
It is possible to select more than one channel in the communication strategy; we will use them to reach different customer segments.
Therefore, the path in the B2B market is somewhat more limited, while in B2C we may encounter a much more colorful plan.
3 – Implementing this strategy
Implementing the strategy is the hard part.
The work of the sales representatives and the follow-up of these works after the sale. Or the implementation of the customer service strategy that will be applied after the sales.
Especially CRM systems are very important in managing this process.
4 – Evaluation of the strategy
The evaluation will be made specifically on customer satisfaction and ultimately on the customer’s bond with the company.
Segments and means will be changed accordingly.
In this article, we have touched upon CRM, its systems and process.
We will also mention customer relationship management in our other articles.
We wish you healthy days!