Building and maintaining great customer relationships is at the core of any good business model. But staying on top of who your customers are and what their relationship with your business is at any given moment is difficult. And that’s true across the board—whether you’re a small business with a hundred customers or a large one with hundreds of thousands.
The best way to address the challenge is with the right tool, in this case a good CRM. But for anyone as yet unfamiliar with the CRM market, there’s a lot to learn. To start, there are three main types of CRMs: collaborative, operational, and analytical. To help you get your bearings, we’ll cover what a CRM is to begin with, how the three types of CRMs differ, and how to select the right product for your company.
What is CRM?
CRM stands for customer relationship id holders management. While the term describes a larger strategy for working with customers, in practice the acronym CRM is most often used to describe the category of products that enables effective customer relationship management.
The most important thing about any CRM is right there in the first word—it’s about customers. A CRM should help you understand your customers better, and use that information to deliver the best possible customer experience (CX).
That’s a goal that’s gotten harder in recent years. Consumers now move between different channels (such as messaging, email, social media, and phone) to communicate with brands. With more ways to research products and make purchases, the buyer’s journey has grown in complexity. And for businesses selling lots of products to multiple audiences, the difficulties of managing it all are even more notable.
According to the latest CX Trends report, over 70 percent of customers expect conversational customer experiences when interacting with brands. As customers move between channels, so does their data – in fact, much of the customer journey now exists within these conversations. With the wrong strategy, this data is lost and the customer experience is fragmented. A conversational CRM approach to staying on top of each customer interaction can go a long way towards creating better experiences for both your business and your customers.
Businesses need solutions that allow them to have ongoing conversations that move across channels, departments and systems, complete with customer context. Below, we cover the three main types of CRM approaches and how each can create better, personalized, and conversational customer experiences.