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3 reasons why you need a CRM product

You manage your customers just fine without a CRM system, so why does everyone say you need it?
CRM's key goals are usually to improve your customer service, increase customer retention, increase the lifetime value of a customer and acquire more customers. Most businesses are doing this to some extent already, and many even have systems in place to help them do this, although they might not think of them as CRM systems.

The key point is that these systems can take a long time to develop in-house, and with increasing competition most SMEs don't have the time or the money to do it themselves. Enter the new breed of CRM packages that can give you the tools you need to drive your CRM strategy:

“But is the cost associated with implementing a customer- focused strategy and reorienting operations too much for a business to take on? And are six or even seven-figure budgets, multi-year implementations, and swelling Information Technology (IT) staffs inevitable? Not according to the increasing number of firms that are already realizing better customer retention, increased competitive standing, higher profits and improved prospects for sustained growth by becoming more customer-focused.

Peppers & Rogers Group
Increasingly there are CRM products aimed at the SME marketplace, ones that take into account you may not want everything that CRM could possibly do (see What is CRM?) and so let you pick and choose what you need.

1. Real-time data improves service
A CRM product can give all of your staff real-time access to the right customer data for their role which will improve your customer service. Customers will find that your staff understand their needs better than they did before, and they will be able to deal with staff who have an overview of that customer's relationship with your company at their fingertips.

2. Centralising customer data
A CRM product can centralise your customer data in the one place, so that sales, service and accounts staff can see the same information, and changes don't need to be re-entered all over your organisation. This will also help you differentiate your customers and understand where they touch your organisation.

3. The ability to do more with less
A CRM product can offer you the ability to offer higher levels of cudtomer service by focussing efforts on your best customers, and by better understanding your relationships with all your customers. Also, by automating sales and marketing tasks the CRM product can free staff in those areas to do more of what they do best.