- All info @ one location
- Followup for more conversion
- Refer account details
- Keep all records at central location for reference
- Management reports
- Task Management
- Quick communication
The CRM system definition is a set of software applications that help an organization determine the needs and preferences of their customers by managing, organizing, tracking and storing all customer interactions.
According to APICS Dictionary, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is defined as “the collection and analysis of information designed for sales and marketing decision support…to understand and support existing and potential customer needs. It includes account management, catalog and order entry, payment processing, credits and adjustments, and other functions.”
The CRM system definition, then, would be a set of software applications that help an organization determine the needs and preferences of their customers by managing, organizing, tracking and storing all customer interactions. CRM systems use advanced technology to replace the handwritten, manual documentation processes of the past. CRM systems allow users to document everything, from simple contact information to specific conversations with customers.
CRM systems are valuable because the information they provide can help boost the general business goals of an organization. For instance, if sales consultants know the specific needs and preferences of their customers, they can deliver a more personalized service creating a more client-focused environment. CRM systems also provide a central documentation location, allowing employees across different departments access to the same information.
Client Management Benefits
- Manage customer contact information
- Organize customer interactions in a central location
- Track customer habits, actions and preferences
- Weaken expense and business risk
- Measure success of campaigns
- Provide instant metrics
- Manage customer service requests
- Track industry trends
- Create more personalized customer experiences
Organizations can choose from a wide range of CRM systems, but in order to get the most insightful information, it is important to choose a CRM system that is closely tailored to the business goals of your organization.
Client Relationship Management Strategies
1. Respect the Client’s Time
Time is the most precious and finite resource you and your clients have. If you want to build healthier relationships, you have to respect their time. Here are a couple of ideas to help you do that:
- Don’t just tell a client to drop by if they want to meet with you. You’ll inevitably be in the middle of something and have to make them wait. Open yourself up to clients and allow them to schedule appointments with you. There are free tools that can automate this process.
- Small talk is definitely part of building relationships, but recognize when it’s time to talk shop. Don’t waste a client’s time. Get straight to business and you’ll be seen as respectful and self-aware.
2. Get Face to Face
“When things go wrong and the client knows, call. Email does not always translate circumstances or feelings well as there is no voice inflection and a client usually places more value on a phone call,a phone call is better than an email — there’s something that’s even better than a phone call: meeting in person. If at all possible, you should get face to face with clients — when things go right, wrong, or are otherwise indifferent. The more you’re able to be face to face with a client, the stronger your bond will grow.
3. UNDER Promise and OVER Deliver
It’s a cliché saying, but it can’t be stressed enough: under promise and over deliver. If you make this a habit, you’ll rarely put yourself in a situation where you’ll let a client down. Instead, you’ll dramatically increase your chances of looking good — even when you barely exceed your own expectations.
4. Don’t Burn Bridges With Pettiness
How many times do you let small, petty things cost you a relationship with a client? Entrepreneur Craig Valine is one of the first to admit how dumb he used to be in this area. As he explains, there was a time where “I wouldn’t return phone calls; I wouldn’t follow-up with a referral from a client; I’d miss an appointment and not call to apologize; I wouldn’t pay my vendors on time; I’d squabble over a few dollars; or I’d act apathetic from a good deed from another.”
How many times have you let something small and petty cost you a relationship with a client? If you’re honest, burning a bridge rarely turns out to be a positive thing when you look back on a situation. Try to understand this and be willing to lose the battle in order to win the war.
5. Set Mutual Goals
Do you ever feel like you and your client are on totally different pages? Well, it’s probably because you are. You have your objectives and your client has his. The solution to this common issue is to set mutual goals from the very beginning.
As soon as you start a new project with a client, sit down together — face to face, if possible — and come up with mutual goals. This puts you both on the same page and gives you something to point to later on when challenges arise.
6. Build Credibility Over Time
It takes time to build credibility, so stop trying to make it happen overnight. So what if a client doesn’t fully trust you the first or second time you meet? You haven’t done anything to make him trust you!
Remember that trust takes years to build and can be destroyed in a matter of minutes. Be consistent and methodical in how you deal with your clients. Focus on slowly building credibility with each and every thing you do and say. With this sort of conscious precision, you’ll eventually wake up and realize that you have healthy client relationships that are defined by trust.
7. Be Transparent and Human
Stop trying to be such a polished version of yourself in front of customers. In an effort to clean yourself up, you’re actually cheapening your image and transforming yourself into someone you aren’t. They don’t want some ideal image of you. They want the real deal.