Understanding Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and its Benefits for SME’s

Customer retention is becoming increasingly hard with competition growing. In order to improve customer retention, businesses need a robust customer service strategy which can drive customer engagement. Since most SMEs have limited availability of resources, it is common practice to have a single employee perform multiple roles. Things, however, have been changing with businesses adopting integrated customer service.

Deploying cloud to provide SMEs with better customer service tools at a unified platform integrated customer services have various benefits:

  • Helping create a human face of the brand
  • Making customers feel valued and therefore identify with the brand
  • Open new channels of communication that bring in fresh ideas regarding new product design, services, etc
  • Providing ideas about how the market and the customers in it are changing, i.e. help anticipating changing customer behaviour
  • Informing you about changing customer sentiment about a brand. This is an essential input for devising or aligning marketing strategies
  • Allowing companies to evaluate their popularity with customers

Commercialisation of cloud computing services has been of great value to small businesses that earlier used to struggle to survive against larger organisation. A host of business applications today are hosted in the cloud, which has made access to advanced enterprise technology easier and affordable.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions is offered on cloud as software-as-a-service and is delivered to the end users over the internet. Setting up cloud CRM involves no hardware or server costs, which makes it suitable for the small business environment. In this article we discuss about how online CRM solutions are allowing SMEs to offer integrated customer service.

As the business volume grows many SMEs find difficulties in managing the growing complexities of their business process. As a result, they lose their transparency and agility. In the rush of securing new businesses, customer service takes a backseat and the business doesn’t remain as attentive as it used to be to its clients. CRM application can help such these businesses gain control over their customers again. It gleans, categorises, brushes and presents customer data with a clear understanding of what their customers’ requirements are.

Many advanced CRM solutions have smart inbuilt search options that let SMEs perform customised searches on CRM data. They can easily find the customers who have been with them for the longest period of time, who they haven’t contacted in the last three months, who had been their most regular customers and various other filters so that they can plan accordingly to revive their relationships.

Further, CRM solutions are designed to offer a comprehensive understanding of a customer’s requirements. Since it outlines a concise picture of a customer regarding his preferences, buying habit/pattern/frequencies, it helps SMEs explore more business opportunities within their existing client base and provide customers with personalised services.

Most customer management software allow SMEs to create an interactive platform within the application where the customers can login to resolve certain basic problems, like – making payment, searching and upgrading services and more. It not only helps reduce the pressure on their customer service representatives but also improves customer experience.

In today’s scenario the role of CRM solution is more varied than before. It is no longer regarded as a contact management system; rather, it is now used to improve customer experience by offering them more personalised services. It helps SMEs put their customers at the center of their business.

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