As a trending phrase, customer relationship management (CRM) has come to mean a great deal over the last few years. Can you survive without customers? Likely not, and the primary goal of a CRM system is to help you build up those relationships, improve customer service and keep customers happy.
For many, an integrated CRM system allows for a greater degree of interconnectivity across your various systems, informing different departments about customer wants, needs, sales, etc. It is often considered a sales system to rival all others. All of that said, CRM should also be an integral part of your financial system. Your CRM should not just be a tool for sales, but rather a key part of the overall system.
Your CRM shouldn’t be a standalone system. If you don’t have a CRM that’s integrated into your financial system, you’re probably missing out on some key data. Consider an example regarding collections: if a customer calls to complain, that data should be in the system. The collections department should be able to see it before they call to collect. While this is not necessarily sales-related, you don’t want collections calling a customer regarding an invoice if that customer is in talks with someone else in the organization about an issue they’re having. This creates a perception of communication issues, and could seriously damage your relationship with that customer.
Your CRM needs to cover as much of your customer related data as possible, and not just sales data. You want to be able to create and maintain, without too much effort, a big contact database, one containing all relevant information regarding each customer you do business with. This is just good business.
It is all about information alignment. Systems need to support this information sharing more effectively. No longer should a CRM just be seen as a ‘sales tool’ – it needs to be something that is used organization-wide to inform a variety of processes.
In the end, having a good CRM system in place will mean less time spent tracking customer relationships and more time spent actually developing those relationships to boost your bottom line. That being said, in order to fully take advantage, move beyond the sales aspect and use your CRM system as a tool for your entire organization.
At TGO, we’re firm believers in using a CRM system to align your entire system and using it as a tool to share valuable insights and information across your various departments. We can help you integrate.
Find out more by visiting www.tgo.ca today.