Customer relationships are the cornerstone of any thriving business, but many companies don’t know how to handle the maze of interactions and connections necessary to do so. While some organizations turn to more commercial customer relationship management software efforts, other businesses may seek a personal CRM approach. Choosing the right software solution can be difficult, but knowing about the different types of CRM available will help you find the style that fits your business best.
When you need to guide your customers through the entire sales experience, operational CRM is an excellent option. The software streamlines your business by automating several common practices. The main function of operational CRMs is to generate leads, transform them into business contacts and aggregate their data into usable information. Such systems work through these methods:
- Sales Automation: These functions standardize the acquisition of new customers while facilitating interactions with existing ones. In short, It makes sure all of your client data is easily accessible and formatted in the same way.
- Marketing Automation: It’s not always easy to know how to approach potential customers. Marketing automation helps businesses decide which style of campaign will reach the most people.
- Service Automation: Focused on retaining customers and providing excellent service, this more personal CRM methodology helps build strong relationships. It lets your team focus on the aspects of service that concern your customers the most, streamlining interactions and giving employees better solutions to customers’ problems.
Using these methods in unison, businesses can simplify a lot of their client interactions, allowing your employees to focus less on data management and more on the things your business needs to thrive. Automation also makes it easier for companies to maintain a high level of quality throughout the sales process.
It’s not always clear to see how well your business is doing, especially on the customer level. As the name would imply, this type of CRM is all about data analysis. These systems process customer information on a variety of levels, allowing you to better understand the current state of your business. Using analytical CRM software gives insight into marketing campaigns, sales numbers, and customer interaction that will help management make more informed decisions.
Big Data, or the information businesses collect from various offline and online sources, can be used by companies in a lot of ways. To get the most out of that information, they need analytical CRM systems to parse through it all. Grabbing the “little data” from publicly available sources such as Facebook and Instagram can be invaluable by showing you exactly what concerns your customers the most. This data lets you predict consumer trends and segment your customer base for more targeted sales and marketing strategies.
Also called Strategic CRM, this type of software allows your employees to work together and share data between teams. As one department collects information, useful aspects can be relayed to other branches that may benefit. For example, the sales team may note that many of their recent clients have mentioned being influenced by a new ad campaign, something the group in marketing would be very interested to hear!
This style of personal CRM is great for unifying the workforce. It allows everyone to be on the same page, focusing on the business’s success with cross-departmental communication. It also serves to help employees feel more involved with providing quality service, even when they aren’t directly tied to the customer experience.
While not an official designation, this type of CRM is less focused on the business aspect and more on communication. Think of the term as more of a genre, since a Personal CRM is interested in aggregating your contacts and connections to create a more organized picture of your business and social circles. While not as geared toward the marketing and sales pipeline as a traditional CRM, it creates a more functional and intuitive database that updates in real-time.
A CRM that is more individual-focused than geared toward business lets companies that wouldn’t benefit from a traditional CRM gain the connectivity that those systems can provide. Teachers looking to stay connected with students and their parents have little need to analyze market data, but being able to collate their information so they can be contacted when needed is still an invaluable tool.
Real Customer Relationships
Businesses can’t survive without customers, and knowing the best ways to connect with them is the first step to creating lasting relationships. The different types of CRM each serve particular functions. Whether you need to organize data, analyze it, or use it to unify your teams, having the right system is integral to maintaining those connections. Effective organization and communication go hand-in-hand with building a successful business, and an effective CRM software solution can help bridge the gap between you and your customer.