Improving Customer Service with Client Relationship Management
Client relationship management software is proven to streamline and automate customer service functions. It focuses on reducing costs and increasing revenue by building and maintaining client loyalty. The best client relationship management software brings together all available data sources within and across the organization to produce a holistic view of each client in real-time that guides the company’s interaction with the client. The end result is a satisfied and loyal client who will provide positive word-of-mouth advertising for the business.
The best client relationship management practice is to implement an enterprise-wide CRM solution that crosses all boundaries of an organization. However, thinking of client relationship management in purely technical terms can cause a business to lose the primary focus of the strategy, which should always be to better serve clients. The foundation of a successful client relationship management strategy is a perfect balance of technology, people, and processes. Sales people and all support staff must buy into the concept as a tool they can use to achieve higher sales and satisfied customers, and not as a “big brother” micro-management scheme.
Client relationship management software can be deployed successfully at businesses of all types and sizes, and there are many vendors and software packages available to serve unique requirements. Smaller businesses can choose less expensive hosted client relationship management solutions that still offer powerful functionality while providing all technical support, including toll-free numbers, website email and chat, and live customer service representatives.
There are also a number of open-source software solutions that are effective at tracking sales and identifying trends. For example, using these solutions, once a record is opened for a customer contact, the record is available to everyone in the customer loop including management for an effective audit trail. However, most open-source CRM solutions lack comprehensive customer service functionality.
Large corporations, for the most part, integrate client relationship management as part of their overall enterprise resource planning (ERP) strategy. These solutions are typically on-premise with the company providing all resources, including hardware, software, and people, to support and maintain the application.
Client relationship management solutions have powerful analytic tools to identify best practices in sales, marketing, and customer service that enable a company to react quickly to changes and trends in the marketplace. It may also include social CRM. What is social CRM? Social CRM is a functionality that give a company a strong presence on social media websites, such as Facebook and Twitter, as another marketing and customer service contact point.
By taking advantage of the power of a robust client relationship management solution, companies retain clients by eliminating the mistakes that drive them away, such as poor customer service or inferior products. Instead, potential and return customers experience a series of quality contact points as their questions are answered and their concerns addressed in a prompt and accurate manner.
Customers and client problems can be easily and automatically escalated, and then assigned to the appropriate personnel for quick and accurate resolutions. If a product is returned because of defects, the process causing the problem can quickly and easily be identified with customer relationship management tools and processes. Client relationship management software tools can be used to identify trends and buying patterns before they end, allowing companies to move fast to capture an opportunity when it presents itself.