All the industry news sources are talking about the ecommerce CRM software benefits that you can realize, but there is so much discussion about it the question becomes whether or not it’s just hype. With the slow closing of the Google+ platform there is a reminder that not everything that sounds like it will radically transform how we do business online will really work out in the end. In assessing whether or not your business should adopt CRM solutions it is important to look beyond the list of CRM benefits to the ideas and practices that are behind what makes these systems work. That is how you can really spot what will stay and what will go.
What Is CRM?
CRM is customer relationship management. CRM solutions provide companies with a way to increase their productivity and organization by connecting different applications used to provide for all the steps in the process of identifying, nurturing and maintaining customer relationships. This can include using social media, operations reports for production management, supply management, accounting and shipping processes, according to a TrueShip article. In addition, ecommerce CRM software offers the ability to do all of this over an Internet connection so it allows for offsite access for employees and for customer portal use as well.
That Isn’t New, Why Is Everyone So Excited About It Now?
Every company already performs customer relationship management in theory. Some companies have been using CRM solutions like Salesforce for decades. What has given rise to all the new hype surrounding cloud CRM is that new advances in programming and structures are allowing for a more targeted application to be created. These new advances have also allowed for a greater cost range in accessing CRM software. Add to this that the general public is now fully digitally enabled and the time is right for products that were foreshadowed by Salesforce to come of age.
The true impact of CRM comes from its ability to increase relevancy in all areas of your business. Prior to the rise of the cloud CRM solution, relevancy was limited by the time it took to generate reports, analyze and create presentations and then convene meetings. On the business side of things, the middle man so to speak has been removed from the process of sharing and understanding data. It is not just data management that has changed, but communication and other action sources. Your company gains the ability to act quickly on new information in a way that hasn’t been available before.
The Idea of Customer Empowerment
Another change that is a product of the digital age is the inclusion and validation of customer empowerment. In recent surveys it was found that customer satisfaction increases in direct relation to their ability to interact with and control shipping and returns. The easier shipping and returns are to handle, the more a company is perceived as being “user friendly” and reliable. The benefits of using ecommerce cloud CRM software allows for customer portals to be created in which a customer can log into their own account to self-manage certain aspects. This increases their perception of your company’s responsiveness to their needs, but it also reduces the drain on your resources by letting customers resolve issues they would have contacted you about before.
Increasing Your Production and Efficiency
That is just one of the ways in which CRM solutions can boost your production and efficiency. By putting power into your customer’s hands to manage common issues and changes, your staff is no longer dealing with them. Then, connect all of your staff via and interface that allows for timely exchange of information and the ability to monitor stages of operations and you will increase your production and efficiency even more. Even the small time savings of allowing your staff to access different programs under one interface rather than switching between programs adds up.
Boosting Lead Generation
Nowhere is this more evident than in the process of lead generation. Cloud CRM has the advantage of allowing your staff to access information and to initiate calls to action within your company from any point from which they can connect to the Internet. With graphic data exchange someone at an expo can scan and upload a business card that someone at your office then researches the information on and returns results back to the person at the expo. This saves hours and days in lead verification and makes interactions more relevant.
Managing Your Results
Another of the key CRM benefits is that reporting is optimized across the system. Whatever you have integrated into your CRM can be analyzed. This can help you to target trends, identify black holes and create more comprehensive plans of action that product the results you want to see. Given the additional ability to manage social media accounts you can also include projections based upon the behaviors of your customer base in a much broader sense than ever before. The more your results and reporting are presenting a total picture the better able you will be to form effective plans.
Creating An Environment Of Positive Growth
The real benefit of implementing Cloud CRM Software into your business operations is that it serves to create an environment of positive growth. With increased relevancy and time saving actions, your customers feel a greater responsiveness to their needs. Add into this the dynamic communications capabilities inherent in CRM solutions and you can become a resource that promotes your brand solidly across an industry. There is a very real reason why CRM is getting so much hype now, it has finally come of age and smart businesses are taking advantage of all it has to offer. With careful analysis you can select the right cloud CRM software package for your business and start to see the benefits soon.