As technology continues to push the capabilities of what a customer relationship can mean for the corporate world, figuring out how to best utilize it can be tricky. In most modern offices, there are a number of companies turning to smart office solutions in customer relationship management, or CRM, to utilize new technology to best manage their clientele. In order to best understand how CRM is transforming the working world, it’s important to know what CRM is, what impact it is having on the business world. For those who believe they haven’t utilized it as a customer or employee, you might be surprised to find just how saturated CRM solutions are in many major sectors.
What is CRM?
Again, CRM is customer relationship management, and that encompasses a lot about the average client to clientele communication string. Professional success in many major work sectors depends on customers and clients feeling represented and confident in who they are receiving various services from. Take a popular CRM field – the practice of medicine. If, as a customer, you have a hard time making appointments, finding your records online, and getting feedback on appointments and tests, it is likely you won’t want to stay with that medical group or doctor.
The goal of CRM is to make the experience of both the client and agent easier. Ideally, if you as an agent have access to all resources about a customer in an easy to read, organized place, that means you will be better equipped to service your customer’s needs, even before they realize what they need themselves. This ensures less hassle and a slightly smaller chance of issues between the customer and the company they receive a specific service from.
We know the age-old criticism of the Department of Motor Vehicles, but even though jokes about the DMV still circulate, CRM has helped the DMV improve their customer experience many times over. This is through things like mobile solutions, appointment scheduling online, and other things that allow the customer to do something very important: interact and utilize the service in a way they want. This is a crucial feature of CRM solutions, and one that you find in most applications and systems.
Major Features of CRM for Businesses
While the goal is to improve the relationship between a business and its customers, it is also worth noting that CRM is very much a solution for businesses. While the features of a comprehensive CRM solution do benefit the customer or consumer, they are meant to help a business and its employees stay organized and focused on completing sales, meeting expectations for a service, and more.
In the end, the things that help the business should help the customer. For example, CRM solutions often have a feature to store all contact info for a patient or customer in a secure server on the solution’s application. This allows an agent to avoid a desk cluttered with sticky notes, notebooks, and even desktop clutter like separate contact files and notes on the client. By allowing a CRM solution to store all available information on a client or lead, a business can avoid clutter on physical work spaces and computer hard drive space, leading to a more efficient experience for the employee. This, in turn, benefits the customer or client just as much.
Another major feature of CRM for businesses is the fact that you can offer mobile solutions through the applications and service programs to ensure that the customer can access their information and reach your business in any way they’d like. For an insurance company that uses SmartOffice, it’s crucial to allow the feature that lets them message you through the solution. This feature ensures they can get to you over something more reliable than email about their possibly sensitive concerns.
Lastly, CRM allows the business to practice positive customer service habits. In the end, a customer or client picks you for cost and for experience. There are a number of variables that vary between each and every client, but those two major influencers dictate many service based industries. That’s why CRM solutions are most popular in medical, insurance, and other similar sectors; the difference between you and another provider is your price point and the experience a customer has working with you.
The Future of CRM Solutions
In the near future, a few technological trends might impact the way CRM is utilized. You already see it in some programs, but online chat features will become more popular. This requires a customer service staff member or members available at any time for clients to reach out with questions in real time.
Video chat is also a growing trend in CRM. For some, a phone call can be less helpful than a face to face conversation. Video chat allows those who cannot go in and talk to someone to speak as if they were at a front desk with a question. Offering these two options is a big help to customers, but hard to staff at times.
Lastly, what we are seeing more and more in all smart office solutions is the option to track prospective clients and customers. In many CRM solutions, there are ways to note if potential users are searching your services, visiting your website, and other ways to note their interest. This is crucial in any sales job, as leads generate most if not all of an agent’s completed sales or contracts.
As times keep changing, customers want different things from their service providers. Especially in some fields like medicine and general insurance, an increasingly aging population is giving way to a new line of thinking from younger millennials entering their 30s, and even the tail end of the age group hitting their mid 20s. This means businesses will have to adapt with the things that these younger users want.
The difficulty is that the aging population isn’t of dying age yet, meaning major providers are being forced to manage two sets of expectations. This amount of varying opinions and desires is made much easier with CRM solutions, leading to their growth and saturation in most major business fields.
Taylor is a freelance SEO copywriter and blogger. His areas of expertise include technology, pop culture, and marketing.