Technology innovations have completely changed how companies are able to run their day-to-day operations. Today, it’s easier than ever to gain control over every part of the business, and customer care is no different.
Today’s customer relationship management (CRM) solutions have the ability to control marketing campaigns, customer care, data analysis and much more with a single software solution, streamlining the entire process and making lives easier for everyone at the company.
It allows companies to focus on building long-lasting relationships with each customer, but while CRM can have a huge impact on improving sales, that’s far from the only aspect of running a business that it can help advance.
Why is CRM so Important to Customer Care?
A customer relationship management system is all about making it easier to manage every external interaction and relationship that’s essential for business success. With the help of CRM systems, companies can discover new sales opportunities, have a reliable way to store customer and prospect information and gain complete control over their marketing campaigns, among many other features. And they can do it all from one easy-to-use software solution.
All of the information that’s stored within a CRM platform can easily be accessed at any time by all authorized staff members so that every person in the company has every necessary bit of information about every customer interaction.
This visibility can make a big difference in the efficiency of employee communication, greatly increasing productivity in the process. Everyone always has access to information about the company’s communication with each customer, as well as see their buying habits.
Because of the numerous benefits that customer relationship management software can bring, businesses aren’t afraid to invest in it. In fact, according to a research paper by Inside Sales, companies are spending $3,894 per rep, per year, and CRM software solutions are one of the most popular tools that are bought.
Can CRM Be Automated?
The top CRM solutions available on the market offer a wide range of features that make life easier for organizations of different sizes, but can CRM be automated to require minimal to no manual labor?
Well, with new features and improvements that are added to customer relationship management solutions each year, there are many ways that companies can automate a significant portion of their CRM tasks. Several of these functions can make a huge difference.
A good example of CRM automation is its ability to automatically record and store email, social media and even phone interactions. Once a CRM system is properly implemented and customized to fit a company’s individual needs, it can start automating some of the more tedious tasks, such as adding form submissions to a lead list.
The automation possibilities don’t end with interaction recording. With the integration of some additional CRM tools, even advanced workflow processes can be automated.
Here are just a few of the best CRM integrations for business automation that can help automate significant parts of the CRM functionality:
Sales Force Automation
Sales force automation (SFA) tools are a great way to expand the functionality of CRM software. They allow you to track customer interactions and automate some of the business functions of the sales cycle, which enables you to follow leads and attract new customers in the process.
When integrated with a CRM system, sales force automation brings an extensive range of features that make it much easier to navigate and optimize the entire sales process, recording its various stages and helping to spot opportunities where improvements can be made. The basic process of SFA relies on tracking every single contact that’s made with a customer, including calls, meetings and emails. This makes it much easier to make sure that your marketing efforts aren’t overlapping, and are optimized to bring maximum results.
By monitoring the entire sales funnel, SFA tools can help streamline sales operations and automate many of the manual labor tasks that oftentimes come with sales maintenance.
Basically, sales force automation can make the lives of sales reps much easier by tracking relevant information and allowing companies to identify places where the efficiency of the sales force could be improved.
Another great tool that can work perfectly as a CRM integration is Marketing Automation. It can help automate some of the more repetitive tasks of the marketing department at multiple points of the customer lifecycle, from the time that they first come into the system to the moment they turn into a customer and beyond.
This includes automatically adding marketing materials such as emails according to pre-defined criteria, as well as automatically guiding the prospect towards becoming a customer. CRM and marketing automation work great together because they don’t have overlapping functions, and they complement each other with features that help maximize the efficiency of the marketing and sales departments.
When CRM and marketing automation are properly implemented, it enables companies to track and monitor specific actions such as email open rates by each lead, immediately adding the data to both the CRM and marketing automation databases.
That’s why it’s not surprising that, as a 2014 Adobe Digital Trends Report found, 21% of B2B marketers consider marketing automation one of their top digital priorities. The tool is an integral part of the marketing process, no longer optional for businesses that want to stay on par with or beat the competition.
Customer Service Automation
Customer service automation (CSA) is a tool that’s available as a standalone application, but it’s also oftentimes included as part of a customer relationship management system. This offers great benefits for finding new ways to improve the customer experience.
Customer service automation can help automate several customer service tasks such as live chat, basic FAQs, generating automated responses and much more, helping to greatly reduce the manual labor that’s required with some of the more monotonous aspects of your support staff’s duties.
But while improved efficiency may be an important motivator for companies to employ customer service automation software, an even bigger motivator might be the potential to greatly improve customer satisfaction.
Since 7 out of 10 Americans admit they’re willing to spend more with companies that they think provide great customer service, businesses that want to survive must utilize all of the tools that are available in order to make sure their customers are happy.