Maintaining healthy relationships with customers is central to the development of a great business, but it’s not always easy to discern the needs of each individual customer. To maintain those healthy relationships, you need to understand the demographics of your clients well enough to provide them with what they ultimately need; this holds true whether you have 50 employees or a thousand.
For all businesses, to adhere to modern standards is to employ a customer relationship management (CRM) tool, a digital interface to enable better communication between a business and customers. Sometimes, a personal CRM may be in order. What makes a personal CRM distinct from others is that it’s a set of simple tools to aid in daily life, from calendars and to-do lists to fora and chat boxes. Let’s talk about the three more major types of CRMs.
The primary purpose of a collaborative CRM is to take departments out of silos and bring them into communication with each other. Marketing, sales, and customer service teams often feel disconnected from one another. A collaborative CRM seeks to change that lamentable circumstance. Feeling disconnected is particularly frustrating for bigger organizations whose geography tends to be more confounding. Offices might be spread all over the world, making it inherently more difficult to communicate. Furthermore, each department is simply bigger in a larger organization, so more people need to be in communication. To serve a customer as best as possible, information must be shared across the entirety of an organization in real time.
With a collaborative CRM, all departments can have access to immediate, current, and effective data to ensure that a customer has a great experience with your business. Customer support receives the information it needs from the marketing team, while a call center’s agents maintain records of a customer interaction that may have happened over email or sitewide chats.
At the end of the day, each interaction a customer has with a department informs the relationship your business has with that customer. Collaborative CRMs keep customers from having to repeat the same information to employees in different departments, limiting frustration among customers. Each and every employee can pull up the same information through a collaborative CRM portal; this is the central strength of the collaborative CRM.
Operational CRMs focus on automation, limiting menial tasks so that departments can handle other solutions and tackle various problems. Operational CRMs accomplish this automation by providing tools to elucidate and address the customer’s journey in its entirety without regard to the number of customers. From a customer’s first interactions with a site to checkout, an operational CRM streamlines the whole process, even keeping track of customer behavior after purchases.
Automation features can benefit all departments, especially those in marketing, sales, and customer service. Removing the work that your employees would otherwise have to handle makes for better business, of course. An operational CRM can help you keep schedules open and keep employees happy. The less menial labor there is, the more stimulating and tolerable it becomes. With automation, companies enjoying periods of intense growth can scale with the inherently more significant needs of a larger organization.
Analytical CRMs streamline the process of customer data analysis. There are a myriad of tools designed to help researchers and businesses collect massive amounts of data, but fewer tools accomplish the difficult part: analysis. Oftentimes, research is never tapped into or used by a company. Analytical CRMs ensure that over the course of the data analysis process, all relevant data is put to good use; your customer data is too valuable for you to ignore. With information provided by an analytical CRM, you can more easily understand the best ways to advance sales and relationships with customers while enjoying access to demographic information you wouldn’t otherwise have. Analytical CRMs can also help you ascertain customers’ most common problems.
An Ultimate Decision
If your business’s departments have trouble communicating with each other, then a collaborative CRM is worth considering. Ideally, every business wants better interdepartmental communication, but businesses that would struggle the most would likely be fully remote businesses or ones with several locations. If your business has no brick-and-mortar office, a collaborative CRM might be in order.
Operational CRMs will best serve businesses that want more information about their customers. Because operational CRMs advance businesses in terms of automation, marketing teams will have more time to investigate customer data. If you want your business to better analyze the data to which it has access, operational CRMs may be of assistance.
Finally, and most simply, analytical CRMs are good for businesses with large pools of data that are hard to use. If you have the data you need and you are ready to use it, then consider employing an analytical CRM.
At best, you may even come across a personal CRM that allows for the ultimate client connection experience.