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What is CRM?

to expanding this acronym we will use its most popular explanation:
Customer Relationship Management
however nowadays more often it means Contact Relationship Management
Increasing number of any developing company customers brings steep growth in data needed to customer service. It may be pre- or post-sales service and needs teams expanded accordingly to handle all the contacts and opportunities.
The turning point comes when the complexity of communication and knowledge gathered exceeds current company resources (HR & IT in general).

The number of methodologies that suppose to help also grew but managing the relations with customers become the necessity and CRM estabilished its crucial position by:

  • gathering scattered knowledge
  • sharing this knowledge within teams
  • comprehensive analysis of gathered data
  • customers categorization
  • tailoring activities and processes to specific customers segments
  • examination of current activities and processes
  • archivization

How is CRM linked to IT?

As a natural process the methodology moved to technology - that means to digital environment. IT solutions since the begining became the key to enhanced competitivness, costs reduction and profit gains. Sometimes it is even called eCRM - electronicCRM. Digital CRMs had evolved. Specialized software helping specific departaments by Sales Force Automation (SFA) or Customer Service Support (CSS) were too narrow. Demand grows toward more complex, comprehensive and customer oriented system to manage relations with customers thus comes CRM. In years following whole class of that kind of solutions were made. It is based on 4 basic types:

  1. Operational - all activities of customer service are registered in the system. It means all sales opportunities but also creating and sending offers, taking orderes and invoice issuing. Operations are archived and influence future decisions.
  2. Analytic - Each of the users creates reports needed for specific role. They contain data integrated from various sources. By these summaries company management can predict future costs and profits. It also helps with customer base segmentation for better personalization and targeting.
  3. Communication - Most of the companies needs some kind of omnichannel strategy. Customers will try various forms of contacting you. CRM can be a platform combining schedules, realization and effects of interactions with client. Users are able to coordinate mutual efforts towards customers and be supported by management. For company there is also ability to implement designed standards in customer service.
  4. Integrated - It is a combination of all the above, trying to realize all these functions in one, consistent database. Of course it needs also proper level of access permissions for diversified roles of users. Helmdeck is certainly an example of that.

CRM benefits

CRM systems were created as a natural reaction for companies more and more oriented towards the customers. Small companies, without big contact database can thrive without huge IT investments and such specific solutions. With the growing organization, gaining its complexity, the demand for digital assistance rises. The earlier the solution is implemented, the faster the benefits can become visible:

  1. Data from CRM enables effective realization of profit increase or process optimization plans.
  2. Ongoing monitoring of company situation allows for accurately fast detection and reaction for problems.
  3. Data collected eases talks with customers and step up sales opportunities.
  4. Desired consistent, high level of communicaton with customers.
  5. Sales archive makes cross-selling, up-selling easier.
  6. Access to key data about clients, company performance, competition, for reports needed.
  7. - Scalability - elasticity and customization to company size.
  8. Segmentation and better targeting for customers groups.

This is not the end of benefits when considered possible extensions to the system, not only from CRM functions.

Who needs CRM?

Everybody who, during professional activities takes creates interactions and relations with others. The number of those relations, their intensity demand management. It mostly depends on company size and number of customers. By managing relations we understand designing, monitoring, analysis and optimization of them. In case the management is impossible due to the number of processes at hand without any software then it's time to look for CRM.