CRM software is a valuable tool for improving customer relations and making businesses more streamlined. Of course, choosing the best CRM platform takes some thought, as you don’t want something that weighs your teams down.
In this article, you’ll learn why CRM software is useful for businesses and how to pick the best platform for your needs.
What is CRM Software?
CRM software stands for customer relationship management software. In short, it’s a platform that lets a business keep track of communications with customers. For example, it might be a platform that brings all communication methods together, such as texts, calls, emails, forms, quotes, and so on.
Although it might sound like just another thing to add to your software list, not using a CRM platform can lead to numerous problems. These include:
- Lack of knowledge. Using a range of communication methods can mean customer service personnel miss important information about clients.
- Poor customer satisfaction. Unsurprisingly, asking a customer to repeat information because you don’t have it to hand can lead to poor customer satisfaction.
- High costs and time wasting. Having to check different communication streams means wasted time and money, and risks high customer turnover if they don’t feel they’re being appropriately nurtured.
The bottom line is that a CRM platform shouldn’t add bulk to your customer service efforts. In fact, a lightweight platform should make things easier.
Why is CRM Software Necessary for Your Business?
It might already be obvious why CRM software is necessary. The benefits are:
- Detailed analytics. Tracking customer relationships means you can more easily gather data, giving clearer insights into how to improve.
- Better customer service. If a customer doesn’t need to repeat themselves every time you talk, they’re going to feel happier and you’ll be providing a better service.
- Improved customer retention. A happy customer is a loyal customer, it’s as simple as that.
- Increased sales. CRM platforms allow you to streamline sales processes and create pipelines. Doing so theoretically means making sales will be easier.
- Higher productivity. A vital benefit that’s not directly customer focused is improved productivity. Centralizing your customer information means service personnel can be more efficient with their time.
CRM vs. CEM
If you’ve started digging into the world of CRM software, you might have also come across the term CEM. It stands for customer experience management. While they might sound like the same thing, there are subtle yet important differences.
First, there’s the difference between relationship and experience. CRM software focuses on your relationship with the client and how you can improve it for business gain. CEM, on the other hand, focuses on the experience from the customer’s perspective.
This involves using experiential data (feedback) from customers to improve their journey. For example, after making a sale, you might ask the customer for a review on how you could improve the service. This is CEM.
So, what should you consider when comparing CRM and CEM?
Importantly, they’re not the same thing, so comparing them isn’t very helpful. If you have to invest in one over the other, it makes sense to go with CRM software. This is because, without a customer connect and relationship, you won’t have any experience to optimize.
You can always incorporate aspects of CEM into your CRM platform too. For example, centralizing communication methods makes it easier to send out survey and review templates, which are typical CEM methods.
How Do I Pick the Best CRM Software?
Picking the best CRM software isn’t too difficult once you understand the landscape. Consider these factors to help you make a decision.
Your Business Needs
An obvious place to start is with your business needs. For example, if you often find yourself lacking data and insights, turning leads into sales, or retaining customers, pretty much any CRM platform will work.
Start by listing your company’s pain points regarding your customer relationships. Even the most well-established companies have them, so don’t be afraid to be harsh with yourselves. From there, you can figure out which are the most relevant features and benefits you need from CRM software.
Understand the Different Types of CRM
With a rough idea of what features you need, you can start to look at the different types of CRM. There are 3 broad categories:
- Operational. This is an all-in-one basic platform that centralizes sales, marketing and customer support to improve customer-focused operations.
- Analytical. These platforms focus on customer data to create insights. In turn, you can use this data to create targeted marketing campaigns.
- Collaborative. These platforms prioritize sharing customer insights across departments. They’re ideal if you work remote or you’re a large organization with separate and defined departments.
If you’re a small business or don’t need much support to maintain customer satisfaction, an operational CRM platform will be best. However, if you have targeted needs, either analytical or collaborative CRM platforms will do the job.
Finally, you should consider cost. You must balance cost against the return on investment, as there’s little point in paying for the best CRM software if you won’t use all its features.
Alternatively, consider trialing CRM software using a free platform. If you’re happy with the changes, switch to a paid version.
Lightweight CRM in Textr Team
Textr Team provides an excellent lightweight CRM platform. It’s ideal for remote teams because it enables collaboration and takes the effort out of sharing customer insights. Better yet, it’s ideal for communicating with both team members and customers.
You can look up and manage phone numbers in the app, and save and share contacts with relevant information among team members. Plus, you can set up several numbers, allowing you to separate personal and business contacts. This feature is ideal if you use your personal phone for work but don’t want to share personal details with your customers.
Download the Textr Team app today on Android, iOS and for web browsers to see how it can improve your customer relationships.
About the Writer
B2B marketing specialist with expertise in lead generation through text messaging. Unlock your business potential with his proven strategies.