CRM stands for customer relationship management, and such software is an integral part of any modern business. The main goal of such systems is to improve the customer experience while also enhancing the efficiency of employees. That means many day-to-day operations can be either simplified, automated, or improved with the use of off-the-shelf or custom CRM solutions.
Off-The-Shelf or Custom?
First of all, CRM programs are divided into two types by the processes of their development and acquisition. The first type, typically called ready-made or off-the-shelf systems, is developed constantly. In most cases, they have a basic set of functions and are targeted for general needs. Sometimes, additional useful tools are included. Though, you should expect such apps to fit all of your demands perfectly.
The second option, called custom CRM solutions, is systems that are created from scratch by specialists in this sphere. That means there are CRM development services that can provide you with a piece of software that will suit any requirements. Simply speaking, you have an unlimited range of opportunities to come up with innovative ideas and turn them into real software.
However, the differences between development algorithms also mean that the prices for pre-made and CRM custom solutions are very different. The first ones are significantly cheaper and come with a subscription fee, while the latter could cost you a fortune. Also, you should keep in mind that developing a bespoke system with your demands in mind takes many months.
Main Types of CRM
Even though these programs are divided between those made for general purpose and custom-crafted ones, these aren’t the main types of CRM. Most experts separate them into categories based on the set of functions and main goals of these systems. So, here are the main types of such software:
As the name suggests, operational systems are made to simplify all the operations inside the company. Some of them are automatized directly by an AI or a complex algorithm, while others organize tons of data in a very accessible way. Either way, they make any task much easier.
For example, some processes that could be automatized include applicant tracking and sorting. Or it could be automated e-mail or chat messages distribution between employees or even clients. Depending on the specifics of the industry and your own company, almost every operation, or a part of it, can be automated to save precious time.
Speaking about features that make the operations much more efficient, let’s look at databases and interactions with clients. If you’re working with many clients, you probably have a huge spreadsheet with all their contact information, data about sales, available products, and so on.
In most cases, it takes a lot of time and nerves to find something you need immediately in a usual spreadsheet. It’s especially annoying if you need several pieces of data from different sources at once. And that’s what CRM systems are widely used for. Most businesses look up to the first and foremost advantage of such software.
We’re speaking about organized data storage, of course. These programs are made to store everything you need in a way that you will be able to access or modify it at any moment. For instance, just imagine how long it would take a receptionist in a dry service to provide you with an answer on when your clothes will be ready if they used typical spreadsheets.
And now, think how easy it is for them to simply put in your phone or any other type of contact info that you left and immediately receive all the needed data from the system. And it’s beneficial not only for the receptionist but for a customer too. Indeed, the less a client has to wait, the more satisfied they are.
The collaborative type of CRMs is what every large international conglomerate uses. Not only do they have millions of clients, but they also have thousands of employees, all of which need to be given tasks, supervised, and so on. So, to do all the operations that are related to the interaction between workers, collaborative customer relationship management software is utilized.
That means not only can an employer or a team lead control and assign teams with tasks, but all the team members have an effective communication system. In a collaborative CRM program, they can set their daily goals, mark them as done, monitor their own and team’s efficiency, and so on.
Many such applications also have features for direct communication, like internal chats, video-calling options, and so on. When you’re working in a company dispersed between different continents, good constant communication through a specialized system can be the key to success.
Furthermore, due to the shared data between departments, they can provide customers with needed information more rapidly. That said, without such CRMs, large corporations would simply be impossible, as they would fail due to the inability to manipulate extreme amounts of data efficiently and on a regular basis.
How do you understand if your company is doing well? By opening the spreadsheet, selecting the “sales” tab, getting the sum of all the data fields in it, and then subtracting the sum of “expenses” fields? Well, that’s one way to do it. But what if we tell you that there’s a program that does all that automatically and even more?
That’s exactly what analytical CRM programs are made for. Keep in mind, though, that calculating your profit is probably the simplest thing it can do. As there are many applications that not only provide you with all the numbers about sales, traffic conversion, operational expenses, and so on but also make AI predictions on future events and even visualize all of that.
You heard it right: with custom CRM of an analytical type, you won’t even need to learn how to understand all these complex formulas and numbers, as the intelligent program will provide you with everything you need and will explain it to you in a simple way.
Combining All 3 Types
Each of these different variants of such programs is good, but could you combine the benefits of all of them at once? The answer is – yes, you can. It’s just that most pre-made options on the market are usually made with one of these three focuses in mind.
Yet, with custom CRM software solutions, you can have anything you want, in any quantity and form. Do you need a system that will automate every single daily operation while also allowing for easy communication between departments and making regular presentations on sales and expenses? No problem, just contact a professional development service, and they will turn any of your crazy ideas into reality.
As you can see, different customer relationship management programs have varying purposes. But they are so different only because their spheres and markets shaped them this way. So, come up with your own list of requirements for a perfect CRM and hire specialists to make a working program out of it according to the specifics of your company. Good luck!