What is Customer Relationship Management (CRM)?

What is Customer Relationship Management (CRM)?
CRM helps businesses build relationships with their customers, creating loyalty, helping with retention and driving sales growth. Learn more about how CRM can help your business.
by Square Apr 28, 2021 — 7 min read
What is Customer Relationship Management (CRM)?

What is Customer Relationship Management (CRM)?

What does CRM stand for in business? Customer Relationship Management.

CRM is an umbrella term, for the strategies and activities businesses rely on to manage customer interactions and relationships. CRM, for short, includes any technology that a business may utilise to manage the customer lifecycle. It’s a much broader term than the technology itself. However, CRM is often a catchall term for the systems and software businesses use to support their CRM. The philosophy of customer relationship management is dedicating your time and attention to learning about your customer’s needs and their behaviours so you can build strong relationships.

What is a CRM system? CRM software is often at the heart of how a business achieves this. So, the term is two-fold. It describes both how a business maintains its customer relationships and the systems they use to do so.

What Does a CRM System Do?

CRM systems help you keep your customers happy, but they can also help you secure new customers, too. By using a CRM system to organise customer information and learn more about them, you gather data that helps you cater to their needs. It will build better customer relationships and it will help you build your business quicker. The first step a CRM system takes is collecting customer details, whether it’s email and telephone or social media and website information. It can also gather information about recent company activity, and personal details on preferences. The software then organises the information to provide you with a complete record. It will give you this record for individual customers, but also for companies you are trying to attract. It allows you to get a better understanding of them and your relationship.

You can also integrate a CRM platform with other apps that will further your customer relationships. There are so many CRM options available today, and whichever one you choose, it should integrate with the current tools you use, whether it’s accounting, marketing, surveys or feedback. A newer generation of customer relationship management takes the software one step further – it provides automated administrative assistance by handling data entry.

Why Is CRM Important?

Customer relationship management is what helps you build better relationships with your customers. It helps build loyalty, increase retention, and drive your sales and sales growth. A CRM system collects customer data across a variety of platforms. It will provide you with the most complete insight into customer needs, wants, and behaviour. The purpose of this is to support your team to provide a stellar customer experience. It provides everyone in the business with access to valuable customer information. Your sales and customer service team can use it to identify sales opportunities. The marketing team can personalise the advertising experience. It’s all about getting to know who your customers are, how they spend their money, where they spend their money and time and learning everything there is to know about them.

How Does CRM Help Businesses?

According to Inside Small Business, Australian companies spent several billion dollars on CRM systems in 2018. It isn’t just a big business game; it’s something now attainable and affordable for businesses of all sizes.

If you want to improve your bottom line, the right CRM platform can help you make it happen. How? Your CRM platform can help you gain leads, which can help you improve sales by as much as 39%. Moreover, it can boost productivity by 34% and forecast accuracy by 42%.

A standard system provides you with automated reminders, so your team catches every prospect. With cloud technology, your team can access opportunities from wherever they are. If there’s one thing a small business needs to succeed it’s to maximise its resources, and CRM helps you achieve that.

Not only will a CRM system identify new leads, but it also adds them quickly, easily, and accurately categorises them, too. This system allows you to focus on the right leads, which will prioritise the opportunities most likely to lead to sales. Your marketing team can identify high-quality leads and work on nurturing others.

If you understand your customers better, you could better serve them. Enter CRM. It gives you insights into your customer base, which allows you to cater to their needs, upsell and cross-sell more effectively. When you offer this level of service, new customers become loyal customers in no time. Customers want personalised support, and they want it fast, and CRM is a great tool that can help you deliver.

CRM gathers information from across a variety of sources. This provides you with invaluable insights into your organisation, your customers, and potential customers as well. It allows you to improve your products and services, identify issues, spot gaps, and address problems early. Ultimately, it improves business efficiency by making you better at what you do.

What Features Should I Look For In A CRM System?

There’s a lot to consider when you are deciding which CRM system is right for your business. However, there are many features and factors to think about before you take the plunge.

A great system will automate the majority of your customer-focused tasks. It should allow you to create instant profiles at your POS and import your existing lists. The majority of CRM systems have some level of automation. The level of automation you need will depend on your industry and your business. While you might not need an advanced system, it should cover your bases.

Once your sales team has a lead, they can follow up with [email marketing software](https://squareup.com/au/en/software/marketing. You have their data; now it’s time to put it into action. And the information your CRM provides you with can guide your team through the process. With the system organising your customers accurately, your lead will fall into a particular communication and sales funnel. For example, a hot lead would be someone looking to purchase soon. That’s someone you want to fast-track through the process. Someone who is looking to purchase in the next six months to a year is a long-term nurture opportunity you can pepper with email marketing until it’s time to reach out via phone.

If your CRM is cloud-based, your team can access it at any time and from anywhere, whether they’re in the field or the back office. It’s key to ensuring your team has live, accurate data.

Everyone is connected, and that can be leveraged to your benefit. Customer engagement tools, such as Square Feedback and Square Loyalty can get you further. A feedback option opens a new line of communication with your customers, and their feedback can help you shape your business for success. When they choose to accept a digital receipt, it opens a private line of communication. They can let you know how their service was, and you can respond directly to them. A loyalty program is an excellent way to drive repeat business.

A good system will offer a variety of packages that you can graduate from and to as your business grows. You want a scalable system that will carry you through your small business days and up as your team and business grow.

Whatever the system, you should be able to integrate it with other systems you use. If you have marketing software, accounting and payroll, you want it to integrate seamlessly with your CRM. It makes your life easier.

CRM is a treasure trove of information, but it should be easy to access that information. Look for software that allows you to sort, search information to analyse it when you want, and will provide scheduled reports directly to your inbox automatically.

What Type of Businesses Should Use CRM?

CRM is one of the fastest-growing business software solutions in existence. It isn’t a case of what type of businesses should use CRM because every business would benefit from using CRM. Whatever your business size, whatever industry you work in, CRM is a useful tool to maximise your profits and increase your customer relationships.

How Does Square CRM Help My Business?

If you want a smart customer relationship management system, Square CRM Software can help. CRM is a crucial aspect of every business, and the right software will help you manage the process effectively.

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The first step to using Square CRM is to personalise communications by creating your customer directory with customer profiles. It’s all about streamlining and learning about customers every time you make a sale. In the POS app, you can set up items and inventory, as well as create customer profiles. Square solutions work together so you can sync sales data and customer information to simplify the process.

You simplify the checkout faster by organising your services, discounts, and items. It reduces the risk of error and ensures you offer high-quality customer service. It also simplifies the inventory process. Your Customer Directory provides you with a simple way to view and manage customer information. In addition to the basics, you can personalise it with social media information, preferences, and birthdays. The profile will be populated with customer purchases, the locations they visit, and the employees they interact it. It’s all about driving personalised engagement.

By collecting information about your customers, you can get to know them on a deeper level. It will also allow you to keep in touch with them, thus improving your customer service. Touchpoints are your opportunity to learn, gather, and impress. Before you checkout ‘add customer to sale’ to identify the customer and personalise their experience. Using Square Loyalty will incentivise customers for sharing their information. You can also include sign up links on your social media platforms and websites to gather information. Let your customers sign up for emails from in-store with a handy QR code, with the gift of a voucher in exchange.

If you’re gathering customer information, be sure to use it to your advantage. That can begin by creating personalised communication. It sounds complicated, especially for a small business. But, with Square tools, it’s easy for any business. The Customer Directory can automatically filter customer profiles into smart groups based on any factor you deem appropriate.

You can build campaigns that focus on a specific goal using smart groups. You can target a specific group with a specific message to achieve a specific outcome. You can also use your Customer Directory to create email campaigns and automate the process.

Once your base is built and you’ve worked on engagement, loyalty comes to the fore. Engaging and re-engaging customers is the most effective way to boost your sales. You can do this by offering a loyalty program to reward customers who purchase to ensure they come back and purchase again. You can also drive loyalty by seeking feedback from your customers. It isn’t just about garnering positive comments; it’s also important to learn about negative experiences so you can take steps to improve them. Additionally, gift cards can help drive loyalty. Encourage customers to pay with a gift card by offering them a discount. It keeps them spending in your store and secures the cash sooner.

Analytics can reveal your opportunities and strengths in terms of communication strategies. With Square Solutions, you have a built-in tool you can use to dive into analytics to optimise your performance.

Analytics is how you track campaign performance and see which campaigns are driving sales and which ones aren’t quite hitting the mark. It lets you optimise your strategy. You can gain customer insights with the Customer Directory, by viewing frequency reports, return visits, and more. You can view the sales of returning customers versus new customers, which will show you the impact of your loyalty program. Square Analytics gives you insight that allows you to make better business decisions.

A Customer Relationship Management system revolves around improving how you do business so you can take action to improve how you operate.

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