what is customer relationship management

The term Customer Relationship Management is very popular in business settings, and for a good reason. Ultimately, Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, improves the customer’s overall experience by enabling you to better manage direct interactions, from sales to customer service and marketing. CRM enhances the bottom line and can, therefore, determine profitability, loyalty, and overall success.

Defining Customer Relationship Management

In simple terms, CRM is a strategic approach allowing you to manage your company’s relationship with customers or potential customers and all the data associated with it. Over the course of time, and as your business grows, data streams from different sources, such as sales, customer support or social media monitoring, grow in volume. CRM applications enable you to better manage that data, use it to analyze and forecast trends and customer behavior, and embed it in your future business strategy. As a result, CRM offers you an overview of your customers and your business in relation to business goals, profitability, and sales. More importantly, CRM empowers you to build positive customer experiences based on relevant, real-time information that matters for your business.

Customer relationship management is a process implemented with the help of CRM systems. CRM systems are cloud-based tools designed to gather, manage, and analyze data with the intention to turn it into useful business information that drives decision-making, affects change, and impacts performance. CRM applications have traditionally been used as sales and marketing tools. But, as businesses shift their focus to the customer experience, and while customers can engage with the company in multiple touch-points across different channels, CRM systems are becoming an integral component of customer service as well.

When it comes to CRM systems, there are many available options to choose from. It’s worth considering, however, which of these systems better suits your needs and whether they integrate with each other. It makes sense to manage all customer-related data from the same place in order to get a holistic view of the overall experience. If, for example, you use Zendesk as a customer service CRM tool and Surveypal as a customer data analysis tool, you need to have the option to integrate one to the other to understand how your customers feel about the quality of service they receive.

The impact of Customer Relationship Management on your business

At the end of the day, Customer Relationship Management matters because customers matter. Research shows that improved customer experience drives growth by increasing loyalty. So, if you’re in it for the long run, you cannot overlook the relationship with your customers. With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at what CRM can do for your business:

Organize and analyze data in a way that is easily accessible

CRM enables data-driven decision-making. Informed decisions are the result of understanding the information you have in the first place. CRM lets you access data points in formats that are easy to understand and interpret.

Identify and manage leads

CRM can significantly affect the efficiency of the sales process. For example, Surveypal’s survey integration with Salesforce allows you to create new leads in Salesforce and trigger customized follow-up actions based on individual sales lead data. This way, your sales team can cut down on response times and better manage the relationship with the lead.

Anticipate customer needs

With CRM, you gain instant access to data such as contact information, purchase history, customer service contact history, and more. Additionally, you can incorporate Voice of the Customer data into your CRM to enhance your understanding of your customer base. This information is crucial because it enables you to anticipate the needs of your customers and, therefore, make them happy.

Improve products and services

Collecting customer feedback data and integrating it into your CRM gives you a better understanding of customer expectations in relation to the product or service you are offering.Use these insights to identify issues and improve your offering to meet customer needs.

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