Most people when talking of CRM or customer relationship management mostly refers to business software such as Salesforce.com and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. In the same way in most companies marketers also send promotional emails, do SMS marketing, venture into direct mail marketing and think they are doing enough to justify their CRM focus. So, for majority in the business world it is referred mostly as a software tactic or as few marketing maneuvers. But actually, this conception of customer relationship management is too limited and needs to be viewed rather as a business philosophy instead of just as a tactic.
CRM emerged as an inseparable business philosophy in the recent years as continued customer engagement became an important factor to drive long term business growth. Customer relationship management solutions taken as a business philosophy offers several standout advantages. Let us have a look at each one of them.
- So Called CRM Campaigns Are No Longer Effective: As consumers are now connected round the clock through digital, mobile and social platforms, the so called CRM campaigns are often rendered as ineffective. A typical campaign that focuses on distributing a single piece of content across various channels is no longer effective since marketing demands are pretty enormous and you need to diversify your message for every channel. If you were thinking that planning months ahead of a campaign is enough to come out as effective, you are terribly backdated now. Instead of planning months ahead you need to have an always-on approach. While consumers are now always connected, you need to come with frequent addresses for your audience. Moreover, if you need to build up relationship and nurture it over time, a single campaign for a shorter span of time is far from enough.
- For Consumers Being Communicated Is Not Enough: If you look back and evaluate the role of marketers in the past, you will realise that they mostly limited their role as messengers for business communication. The push messages facilitated by CRM services just fit into this requirement as well. But such “one size fits all” communication does not work as effective as more personalised and data driven campaigns work. While campaigns based on customer data is helping businesses more engagement, one sided push communication will no longer work. Customer engagement now requires a more conversational approach.
A conversational approach allows customer voice to be heard. There is no better way to make your campaign and brand image louder and prominent than making the brand and its services appear through direct customer feedback and sharing of opinions. The huge influence of social opinion in driving sales is a sure indication of this.
- Data Driven Approach: The biggest draw of CRM as a business philosophy is that you give more importance to the customer data to guide your campaign. While a CRM system can easily show you customer engagement level and activities, this rich source of data will help you understanding your customers and accordingly guide the campaign. By understanding customer behaviour and deeper demographic data a business campaign can target customers more accurately and make the campaign more effective. The CRM software in this respect can really play an effective role in furnishing valuable customer data, but to work on that data and accordingly prioritise your objectives and audience requires a total and holistic view of customer relationship management.