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▷ ECRM ➞ Meaning, evolution and benefits

What is ECRM?

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a way to identify, attract and retain customers, the greatest asset of a company. By providing the means to manage and coordinate customer interactions, CRM systems help companies maximize the value of each customer interaction and consequently improve business performance.

ECRM , or Electronic Customer Relationship Management, is an integrated online marketing, sales and service strategy used to identify, attract and retain a company's customers . It describes improving and increasing communication between a company and its customers through the creation and development of customer interaction using innovative technology. E-CRM software provides profiles and stories of every interaction the company has with its customers, making it an important tool for companies.

ECRM software systems have the following features:

I. Client management:

Provides access to all customer information, including the status of any request.

ii. Administrative knowledge:

A centralized knowledge base that processes and shares customer information.

iii. Account management:

Access to customer data and history, enabling salespeople and customer service agents to operate efficiently.

iv. Case management:

Log requests for information, escalate priority cases, and notify management of unresolved issues.

v. Back-end integration:

It is combined with other systems such as billing, inventory and logistics through websites and call centers.

Mountain range. Reports and analysis:

Generate reports on customer behavior and business criteria.

ECRM Evolution

Customer Service: A Historical Perspective:

The customer is king. This mantra, even though it has been used for a long time, has only been put into practice recently. Most companies did not even treat customers with dignity.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the concept of customer service got companies to do a favor by answering a few customer questions over the phone… after putting them on hold for an hour! It was common to queue to buy something. Airline tickets were only sold at airports. Institutions lost contact with the idea that they existed thanks to these clients .

Evolution of the relationship with the client:

The 1990s brought two new concepts that challenged today's business landscape: deregulation and the Internet. These forces have removed many barriers, creating a competitive market.

The stores faced competition from new online merchants. Traditional banks began to have a "battery extension" before customers went to Internet banking. Airline tickets were purchased from the comfort of your home. The explosion of information has allowed consumers to compare features and prices between various providers. There came a time when prices could no longer be lowered.

Customer service has become the only important differentiator in several cases. Customers received what they had always deserved: respect. The customer was now really the king . Business customers, while always treated with more respect than individual consumers, were more or less ignored in the early stages of the Internet boom.

The focus was on expanding the consumer base, regardless of cash flow, revenue and margins. The disappearance of many dot coms has revealed a reality. Companies have realized that they must focus on their business customers. The arrival of the first ECRM applications was a great step towards better service to strategic customers .

These solutions have added value and have helped many companies. Regardless, they were not effective in meeting the needs of the company's strategic customers, as they initially treated all users equally. Each professional client had their own needs and wanted personalized support.

Evolution of customer relationship management:

The genesis of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) lies in sales force automation (SFA) tools. Companies like Siebel and Vantive (now part of PeopleSoft) have taken the lead in introducing tools to help sales reps be more efficient in tracking their customers.

In addition, there were support-focused issue tracking tools such as Remedy. As companies became more focused on customer relationships, additional applications emerged in the areas of customer service, sales support, and marketing automation. Many CRM companies are trying to develop these areas by partnering with other companies. Most ERP system vendors are also expanding their solutions to include CRM. There are several niche markets that only focus on certain aspects of CRM such as email management, sales force automation, technical support, marketing campaigns, etc.

"The CRM strategy is designed to maximize profitability, revenue and customer satisfaction" - Gartner Group

Although there are several vendors that offer products and services related to CRM systems, there is still a lot of confusion about the concept. CRM is not just an application or a technology aimed at solving customer satisfaction problems.

Simply, a CRM is a strategy that involves applications, processes, policies, business context and people, to allow companies to manage and develop profitable relationships with their customers. . Strategic clients of a company expect first-class treatment. They want the seller to understand their needs. They want companies to build a strong relationship with them, on a 1: 1 basis.

Current CRM environment and electronic support:

Today there are more than 200 CRM software providers and their number is growing. Although there are several types of applications included in CRM suites, as previously described, the basic application in the CRM landscape that truly builds customer relationships is customer service. Other items, while useful, are intended to help the provider and not the customer.

Initially, many of these applications were intended to provide an environment to boost call center productivity. At the same time, some built-in message queuing functions provide a common environment for all channels. So if a customer communicates with the call center through a phone call, email, fax or web portal, their request is privileged and is channeled through the same mechanism. Most customer service applications now offer web-based self-service features that companies can offer to their customers.

Customers can verify their basic information, such as billing, order status, etc., by logging into the provider's web portal. Although this solution works for a B2C model, for business customers with thousands of users and thousands of products per contract, it basically does not work.

Business customers demand personalized assistance to quickly and easily access their information. In the information age, they want specific and relevant information. Companies try to manage relationships with their customers, partners and suppliers in a personalized and automated way. Actual customization is not easy, as each customer has their own needs and requirements.

ECRM benefits for a company

Having an E-CRM system in place enables a company to make the most of its processes and provide sales, marketing and support staff with better and more complete customer information. The result is that ECRM enables institutions to build more profitable relationships with their clients and lower operating costs .

The direct benefits of an ECRM system include:

I. Service level improvements:

Use an integrated database to provide consistent and improved responses to customers

ii. Increase in income:

Reduce costs by focusing on customer retention and using interactive service tools to market additional products.

iii. Productivity:

Consistent sales and service procedures to create efficient work processes

iv. Customer satisfaction:

Automatic customer follow-up will ensure requests are honored and issues are addressed. This will improve the overall customer experience in your dealings with the company.

ECRM software automates campaigns, including:

  • i) Telemarketing
  • ii) Telesales
  • iii) Direct mail
  • iv) Follow-up and response
  • v) Possibilities management
  • vi) Budgets and order configuration

In all sectors and industries, an effective CRM is a strategic obligation for the growth and survival of companies:

  1. Sales You can shorten the cycle and increase key sales performance metrics such as revenue per salesperson, average number of orders, and revenue per customer.
  2. Marketing You can increase campaign response rates and marketing revenue, while reducing customer acquisition costs.
  3. Customer Support You can increase service agent productivity and customer retention, while reducing costs, response times, and request resolution.

How an ECRM works

Today, customers interact with a company through various communication channels: the Internet, call centers, salespeople, distributors, and partner networks. Many institutions also have several lines of business that interact with the same clients.

ECRM systems enable customers to run the business the way they want , at any time, through any channel, in any language or currency, and make them feel that they are dealing with a single, unified organization that recognizes them every step of the way.

For this, the ECRM system creates a central repository of customer records and enables any company employee to access this information at any time. Through this system, E-CRM enables you to get more information about customers , products and performance results using real-time information across the company.

Implementation of an E-CRM system

When approaching the development and ECRM implementation should pay attention to the following considerations :

I. Establish the relationship with the client:

List the key aspects of your customer relationships and their relevance to the business.

ii. Make a plan:

Create a comprehensive relationship management program that can be tailored to small customer segments. A suitable software solution will help to achieve this goal.

iii. Focus on clients:

The focus should be on the customer, not the technology. Any technology must have specific advantages to make life easier for customers, improve support, reduce administrative costs or give them reasons to increase the products or services contracted with the company.

iv. Save money:

Focus on the aspects of the business that can help the bottom line. Whether it's cutting costs or increasing revenue, every capability you implement must have a direct, measurable impact on your bottom line.

v. Service and support:

By monitoring and measuring interactions, companies can identify their strengths and weaknesses, and thus improve service through customer feedback.

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