The C.R.M technology market.
The four main vendors of C.R.M systems are Salesforce.com, Microsoft, SAP and Oracle. Other providers are popular among small- to mid-market businesses, but these four tend to be the choice of large corporations.
With this approach the company purchases licenses up front instead of buying yearly subscriptions. The software resides on the company's own servers and the user assumes the cost of any upgrades and usually requires a prolonged installation process to fully integrate a company's data. Companies with complex CRM needs might benefit more from an on-premises deployment.
In line, Customer loyalty can be your key to restoring customer confidence, which can keep your business afloat. Giving your customers an exceptional experience will bring exceptional results: your customers become a marketing tool for your business. This programme is highly participative and allows participants learn the art of effective customer service. This training is tailored at teaching you how to give exceptional customer service.
Data security is a primary concern for companies using a cloud-based system since the company doesn't physically control the storage and maintenance of its data. If the cloud provider goes out of business or is acquired by another company, a company's data can be compromised or lost. Compatibility issues can also arise when data is initially migrated from a company's previous system to the cloud. Finally, cost may be a concern, since paying subscription fees for software can be more costly than on-premises-based models.
Open source CRM programs make source code available to the public, allowing companies to make alterations with no cost to the company employing it. Open source C.R.M systems also allow the addition and customization of data links to social media channels, assisting companies looking to improve social CRM practices.
Adoption of any of these CRM deployment methods depends on a company's business needs, resources and goals, since each has different costs associated with it.
Traditionally, data intake practices for CRM systems have been the responsibility of sales and marketing departments as well as contact center agents. Sales and marketing teams procure leads and update the system with information throughout the customer lifecycle and contact centers gather data and revise customer history records through service call and technical support interactions.
The advent of social media and the proliferation of mobile devices has caused CRM providers to upgrade their offerings to include new features that cater to customers who use these technologies.
Social CRM refers to businesses engaging customers directly through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Social media presents an open forum for customers to share experiences with a brand, whether they're airing grievances or promoting products.
To add value to customer interactions on social media, businesses use various tools that monitor social conversations, from specific mentions of a brand to the frequency of keywords used, to determine their target audience and which platforms they use. Other tools are designed to analyze social media feedback and address customer queries and issues. Companies are interested in capturing sentiments such as a customer's likelihood of recommending their products and the customer's overall satisfaction in order to develop marketing and service strategies. Companies try to integrate social CRM data with other customer data obtained from sales or marketing departments in order to get a single view of the customer.
Another way in which social CRM is adding value for companies and customers is customer communities, where customers post reviews of products and can engage with other customers to troubleshoot issues or research products in real time. Customer communities can provide low-level customer service for certain kinds of problems and reduce the number of contact center calls. Customer communities can also benefit companies by providing new product ideas or feedback without requiring companies to enlist feedback groups.
Mobile CRM -- or the CRM applications built for smartphones and tablets -- is becoming a must-have for sales representatives and marketing professionals who want to access customer information and perform tasks when they are not physically in their offices. Mobile CRM apps take advantage of features that are unique to mobile devices, such as GPS and voice-recognition capabilities, in order to better serve customers by giving employees access to this information on the go.
For all of the advancements in C.R.M technology, without the proper management, a C.R.M system can become little more than a glorified database where customer information is stored. Data sets need to be connected, distributed and organized so that users can easily access the information they need.
Companies also struggle to achieve a "single view of the customer," where many different data sets can be seamlessly accessed and organized in a single dashboard or interface to create one view of a customer’s account and relevant information. Challenges arise when customer data is siloed in several separate systems or when data is complicated by duplicate or outdated information that slows down and hampers the business process. These problems can lead to a decline in customer experience due to long wait times during phone calls, improper handling of technical support cases and other issues.
Social media, for example, has been touted as a more efficient channel by which customers can reach companies and get problems resolved or queries answered, rather than enduring the traditional method of waiting in a phone queue or awaiting an email response. In some cases, particularly in high-touch customer service scenarios , social platforms can fall short for customer service.
Companies also continue to struggle to identify real sales prospects with their data. These methods work best, however, when companies spend time cleaning up their existing data to eliminate duplicate and incomplete records before they supplement C.R.M data with external sources of information.