Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a way to identify, acquire, and retain customers – a business’ greatest asset. By providing the means to manage and coordinate customer interactions, CRM helps companies maximise the value of every customer interaction and in turn improve corporate performance.

E-CRM, or Electronic Customer Relationship Management, is an integrated online sales, marketing and service strategy that is used to identify, attract and retain an organisation’s customers. It describes improved and increased communication between an organisation and its clients by creating and enhancing customer interaction through innovative technology. E-CRM software provides profiles and histories of each interaction the organisation has with its customers, making it an important tool for all small and medium businesses.

E-CRM software systems may contain a selection of the following features:

Customer Management:

Provides access to all customer information including enquiry status and Correspondence

i. Knowledge management:

A centralised knowledge base that handles and shares customer Information

iii. Account management:

Access to customer information and history, allowing sales teams and customer service teams to function efficiently

iii. Case management:

Captures enquiries, escalates priority cases and notifies management of unresolved issues

  • Back-end integration:

Blends with other systems such as billing, inventory and logistics through relevant customer contact points such as websites and call centres

  • Reporting and analysis:

Report generation on customer behaviour and business criteria

Direct benefits of an E-CRM system include:

  • Service level improvements:

Using an integrated database to deliver consistent and improved customer responses

  • Revenue growth:

Decreasing costs by focusing on retaining customers and using interactive service tools to sell additional products

iv. Productivity:

Consistent sales and service procedures to create efficient work processes

  • Customer satisfaction:

Automatic customer tracking and detection will ensure enquiries are met and issues are managed. This will improve the customer’s overall experience in dealing with the organisation.

  • Automation:

E-CRM software helps automate campaigns including:

(i) Telemarketing

(ii) Telesales

(iii) Direct mail

(iv) Lead tracking and response

(v) Opportunity management

(vi) Quotes and order configuration

Across every sector and industry, effective CRM is a strategic imperative for corporate growth and survival:

  1. Sales organisations can shorten the sales cycle and increase key sales-performance metrics such as revenue per sales representative, average order size and revenue per customer.
  2. Marketing organisations can increase campaign response rates and marketing driven revenue while simultaneously decreasing lead generation and customer acquisition costs.
  3. Customer service organisations can increase service agent productivity and customer retention while decreasing service costs, response times and request-resolution times.

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