Quite often companies can end up making miscalculations simply because the ‘suits’ did not communicate with the ‘blue collars’, which is exactly why CRM software is becoming today’s backbone of most successful businesses!
Forgive the idioms early on! Essentially these are age-old terminologies used in businesses and both manufacturing and sales need to operate under one roof. And just to explain, when the factory floor workers fail to communicate with those operating in the office such as marketing, sales, and strategy departments, your employees may end up sending out mixed/inconsistent messages.
In this quick overview, we want to introduce you to exactly why CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) systems are essential to creating ‘customer satisfaction’ and ‘customer retention’ – the latter being customer loyalty, which ultimately means your brand has built a solid reputation. And for this reason, there are a growing number of software companies offering CRM services.
All you need to do is look for a software development company specialising in custom CRM solutions, and you will generally find that CRM software is one of the key services offered. And CRM is a worldwide trend, not just one limited to the USA or Europe.
The Negatives of Decentralized Company Software & Communications!
With a central point of communication, the entire company can connect. Yet without it your company could be doomed for failure. And it does not take a 10-page essay to explain why.
In fact, all we need is a few examples that will hopefully give you food for thought that may change the future of your business.
Example 1: A smartphone developer may change the spec of its camera on an existing model, yet marketing or sales do not hear about this or the time it takes for the message to travel the corporate communication channels may result in misinformation delivered publicly.
There is nothing worse than comments on social media such as ‘I thought you upgraded your camera spec?’. This happens when departments fail to communicate, while a CRM system will not only issue the new changes on an internal intranet built into the CRM system but also automatically email marketing and sales managers.
‘If the wrong messages are sent, employees can blame other departments, and for customer to hear!’
Example 2: What about Kodak? What happened? Now we assume a large company like this had a CRM system in place. Yet, they lost almost all their customers and not because they had bad relations with their customers. It was because Kodak failed to act fast enough in order to give customers needed or may need. That was digital cameras, instant photos on a computer, and no downtime waiting to see the pictures they took.
Had the company recognised that its once loyal customers preferred a different solution, Kodak would probably still be the number one photo development company out there, only in a digital arena. Their brand prowess and reach would have effortlessly been able to adapt to the digital market and even be at the forefront of promoting change from film to digital photography.
What’s more is Kodak has already developed a digital camera in 1975 but did not release it because their manual film development business was too lucrative. The company did not want to harm its already successful operations!
Kodak did eventually adjust, and is now a digital brand, but its reactive instead of proactive approach has meant its brand is only a shadow of its old self.
Example 3: Xerox was the number photocopying provider in the world. Yet, the company failed to see the introduction of scanners that would digitally upload documents. Much like Kodak, the company could have become a pioneer in the transition of technology using its already trustworthy brand name, yet by the time scanner were on the market and photocopy sales dropped, it was too late.
Xerox also adapted by becoming a document management software provider. In effect it offers CMS (Central Management Systems) for document control. Right now the company is one of the big players in the CMS software market and is still one of the top photocopies providers out there despite the sharp decline in demand for this arm of its business.
‘CRM systems can help your business connect with customers to quickly adapt to and fulfil their new desires with new technology!’
‘The adjustment has worked to some extent for Xerox, but the reactive approach rather than proactive severely dented the value of the firm’
The Positive of CRM Systems Bringing Company Departments Together!
CRM software connects a business’s departments virtually even if they operate in the same building, nationwide, or internationally. Built-in video chats, documentation, important announcements, and more.
Although these are internal procedures that do not appear to focus on the customer, it is the inner departments of your company that create the product or services that reach your brand’s customers. They are the ones that reap the benefits of your entire company department’s hard work to bring them a product that they are truly satisfied with. Therefore, CRM is not only a system that builds customer relationships, but also a system that creates the foundations in order to build those relationships.
Today’s most successful businesses communicate from top to bottom in horizontal organisations while even flat structured organisations can also use CRM as a powerful tool to maintain a consistent brand message. In fact, if you are looking for a good read, then you may find this analytical comparison of flat and vertical organizational structures interesting!
Essentially, the key message here is that having centralised communications regardless of how your business is set up, is the key pathway to success.
‘CRM software brings departments together regardless of location or business size resulting in one consistent brand and product message!’
CRM Systems Bring Supply Chain Partners Together!
The final point we would like to make is how to improve relationships with supply chain partners. Now these are the companies either delivering raw materials to your business or delivering your product to your customers.
They may even be departments or divisions of your company if your company runs operations from primary through to secondary and tertiary sectors. Getting your supply chain in sync is essential to timely delivery, timely manufacturing, and it can be the difference between getting new tech or products ideas available for purchase before your competitors!
How does this affect customer relationships?
Quality, timing, and most importantly supply chain collaboration can drive value. Your customers want the best value for the money they pay. And if your supply chain partners work in sync, your business should spot areas where it can save costs and become more efficient. Those cost savings can then help with pricing your products.
Some companies are so efficient with their supply chain collaboration, they are able to offer a better product or service than their competitors and at a cheaper price. Better still, the company makes a higher profit. It often leaves their competitors scratching their heads just how this can happen!
‘If you dig deep, the reasons why some companies offer a better product at a cheaper prices is because their CRM systems help them communicate with their supply chain partners and identify cost savings within their value chains!’
Is It Time to Consider CRM Software for Your Business?
In the diagram below we highlight the many advantages a CRM system can offer your business. If your business is asking whether CRM is a solution, then we urge you to take a leap of faith and realise that the question is not ‘whether it should implement CRM’ and that it should be ‘how can we affordably begin to implement a CRM system’.