Various types of CRM
There are several different approaches to CRM, with different software packages focusing on different aspects. In general, Customer Service, Campaign Management and Sales Force Automation (SFA) form the core of the system.
Operational CRM provides support to “front office” business processes, e.g. to sales, marketing and service staff. Interactions with customers are generally stored in customers’ contact histories, and staff can retrieve customer information as necessary. The contact history provides staff members with immediate access to important information on the customer (products owned, prior support calls etc.), eliminating the need to individually obtain this information directly from the customer. Reaching to the customer at right time at right place is preferable.
Operational CRM processes customer data for a variety of purposes:
- Managing campaigns
- Enterprise Marketing Automation
Sales Force Automation
- Sales Management System
Analytical CRM analyzes customer data for a variety of purposes:
- Designing and executing targeted marketing campaigns
- Designing and executing campaigns, e.g. customer acquisition, cross-selling, up-selling, addon-selling
- Analyzing customer behavior in order to make decisions relating to products and services (e.g. pricing, product development)
- Management information system (e.g. financial forecasting and customer profitability analysis)
Analytical CRM generally makes heavy use of data mining and other techniques to produce useful results for decision-making. It is at the analytical stage that the importance of fully integrated CRM software becomes most apparent. Logically speaking, the more information that the analytical software has available for analysis, the better its predictions and recommendations will be.
Sales Intelligence CRM:
Sales Intelligence CRM is similar to Analytical CRM, but is intended as a more direct sales tool. Features include alerts sent to sales staff regarding:
- Cross-selling/Up-selling/Switch-selling opportunities
- Customer drift
- Sales performance
- Customer trends
- Customer margins
- Customer alignment
Campaign Management: Campaign management combines elements of Operational and Analytical CRM. Campaign management functions include:
- Target groups formed from the client base according to selected criteria
- Sending campaign-related material (e.g. on special offers) to selected recipients using various channels (e.g. e-mail, telephone, SMS, post)
- Tracking, storing, and analyzing campaign statistics, including tracking responses and analyzing trends
Collaborative CRM covers aspects of a company’s dealings with customers that are handled by various departments within a company, such as sales, technical support and marketing. Staff members from different departments can share information collected when interacting with customers. For example, feedback received by customer support agents can provide other staff members with information on the services and features requested by customers. Collaborative CRM’s ultimate goal is to use information collected by all departments to improve the quality of services provided by the company. CRM also plays a role of data distributor within customers, producers and partners. Producers can use CRM information to develop products or find new market. CRM facilitates communication between customers, suppliers and partner by using new information system such email, link and data bank.
Consumer Relationship CRM:
Consumer Relationship System (CRS) covers aspects of a company’s dealing with customers handled by the Consumer Affairs and Customer Relations contact centers within a company. Representatives handle in-bound contact from anonymous consumers and customers. Early warnings can be issued regarding product issues (e.g. item recalls) and current consumer sentiment can be tracked (voice of the customer).
Simple CRM: A relatively new spin off of the traditional CRM model first appearing in 2006. At their core, CRM tools are designed to manage customer relationships. As described above there are countless supplemental features and capabilities. Simple CRM systems breakdown the traditional CRM system to focus on the core values–managing contacts and activities with customers and prospects These systems are designed to create the most value for the immediate end user rather than the organization as a whole. Many times they focus on satisfying the needs of a particular marketplace niche, organizational unit, or type of user rather than an entire organization.
Social CRM: Beginning in 2007, the rapid growth in social media and social networking forced CRM product companies to integrate “social” features into their traditional CRM systems. Some of the first features added are social network monitoring feeds (i.e. Twitter timeline), typically built into the system dashboard. Other emerging capabilities include messaging, sentiment analysis, and other analytics. Many industry experts contend that Social CRM is the way of the future, but there are still many skeptics. Top CRM minds agree that online social communities and conversations carry heavy consequences for companies. They must be monitored for realtime marketplace feedback and trends.