What are small business CRM applications?
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) applications are business tools that help a business in developing full knowledge about customer behavior and preferences and to help develop programs and strategies that encourage customers to continually enhance their relationship with the business. CRM is an approach to building and sustaining long-term business with customers. Therefore, CRM applications refer to the use of technology to manage or enhance customer relationships.
Small business CRM applications are used in three key areas:
- Lead-generation system.
- Customer service management.
- Personalization of content for users.
Leads are people who are interested in your product and service.
Therefore, as a lead generation system, a CRM is a tool used in gathering the data or information about these people.
Leads can be captured seamlessly from multiple web pages, email and existing contacts.
Customer service management
A CRM application helps a business handle its customer service management process. It goes even beyond lead generation to customer onboarding, building customer communities for collaborations and online support to resolve issues.
Personalisation of content for users
Personalisation of content for users could be in the form of self-service support channels for your customers.
These channels can help customers to resolve straightforward issues without contacting you for support.
For example, they can search and browse knowledge articles to answer their questions etc.
What are the benefits of CRM applications for small businesses?
A benefit of CRM applications is improved ability to target profitable customers. CRM applications can help a business divide its customer base by parameters and to determine the value of the customers. The business is then able to identify the most valuable customers.
The channels and technologies help to better integrate between marketing, sales, and customer service functions of a business. These integrations help improve customer selection, retention and extension.
Small businesses also benefit from reduced expenditure on customer acquisition (cost of attracting customers).
CRM applications provide the means for collecting feedback from customers and the information can be used to improve the products or services provided to the customers or to help make better customer decisions.
Another benefit for small businesses is that CRM applications make targeted marketing campaigns easier.
Small businesses are also able to interact better with the customers and assistance is integrated across channels.
There is improved operational efficiency and effectiveness through automation of document flow within the business, tracking transactions progress and monitoring the work of employees.
Another benefit is improved pricing and customized products and services.
The means of capturing, understanding and responding to customers needs are made easier.
There is multichannel integration. CRM applications increase communication channels such that customers can reach a business not only through phone but other means like SMS, chats, websites, social media etc.
What are the benefits of CRM applications for customers?
It saves effort and time. Multichannel integration of CRM solutions gives customers easy access to the business. This helps to reduce the effort needed to reach a business and also saves the customer’s time.
It improve customer service experience. Integrated assistance across channels helps provide seamless customer service experience and lead to customer satisfaction and increase customer retention.
Customers also benefit from improved channels for customers to give feedback.
Personalized service – means that the business is better equipped to respond to customer’s needs and this makes the customers feel valued.
Customers get only relevant marketing communication because of better customer segmentation and the ability to customize marketing.
CRM applications help to improve customer knowledge – they provide knowledge channels that can help customers acquire relevant information about the products or services.
Considerations for small business CRM applications
Unlike in the past when CRM solutions targeted large corporations, cloud computing or SaaS (software as a service) has made CRM more available and affordable for small businesses.
Some of the aspects small businesses need to consider for CRM applications are:
1. Goal: what is our business CRM goal? Is our focus on increasing the number of customers or do we want to improve customer relationships?
2. Communication: how will the CRM solution make communication with our customers more effective?
3. Will the CRM solution help us with e-mail marketing?
4. Will the CRM application enable integration with social media?
Top small business CRM applications
- Zoho CRM