The technical term CRM is the abbreviation for Customer Relationship Management. Customers are a company’s capital – the CRM corporate strategy focuses on the customer and systematically shapes relationships with the customer. Every communication with the customer can be used to optimize business. CRM provides a company with a holistic strategy that links business processes, employees and technology. It should not be an isolated instrument, but should be embedded in the corporate philosophy. The goal is to acquire new customers as well as to satisfy existing customers on a long-term basis. The establishment of long-term customer relationships should have a major impact on the success of the company.
Data areas in CRM
In the system of a CRM there are basically two large data areas. First, there is the master data area. This contains customer data such as name and address and is in itself quite rigid. About ten percent of this data changes within a year. Nevertheless, this area must be maintained very thoroughly, because an error can cause high costs, for example, due to misdirected mail and unnecessary postage costs. The second large data area includes the moving data of customers. This is where orders, complaints, inquiries and payment behavior are stored. This data is created automatically in the daily business process. The company must now take care of an efficient evaluation of the data. As a rule, a so-called CRM system is used for Customer Relation Management, a software that is specifically tailored to the company.
Tasks and goals of CRM
The consistent orientation of all activities of a company to the needs of its customers is the fundamental task of CRM. The focus is on holistic customer service. This essentially involves two major goals: Customer acquisition and customer retention. The acquisition of new customers (canvassing) secures the future of a company. Although it is up to five times more expensive than customer retention, it is essential for the further development of a company. CRM has the task of acquiring prospects stored in the database as customers. This is done through dialog and personalization of sales by means of direct contacts, invitations, competitions or surveys. Ideally, this creates a clearer picture of the potential customer and their needs, which enables the company to make an individual, customized offer in the future.
Communication with the customer
Customer loyalty is primarily aimed at customer satisfaction. At regular intervals, the company contacts the customer, inquires about his wishes and informs him about new offers. It gives the customer the feeling that the company cares about him personally. CRM also includes individual advice, the granting of special conditions, the offer of newsletters or customer magazines, discounts and customer cards, targeted complaints management and proactive press and public relations work.
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