The Academy

Understanding Customer Relationship Management

Customer relationship management (CRM) is the process of carefully managing detailed information about individual customers and all customer “touch points” to maximize loyalty. A customer touch point is any occasion on which a customer encounters the brand and product from actual experience to personal or mass communication to casual observation. For a hotel, the touch points include reservations, check-in and checkout, frequent-stay programs, room service, business services, exercise facilities, laundry service, restaurants, and bars. Several five star hotels rely on personal touches such as a staff that always addresses guests by name, high powered employees who understand the needs of sophisticated business travellers, and at least one best-in-region facility, such as a premier restaurant or spa. CRM enables companies to provide excellent real-time customer service through the effective use of individual account information. Based on what they know about each valued customer, companies can customize market offerings, services, programs, messages, and media. CRM is important because a major driver of company profitability is the aggregate value of the company’s customer base.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) in the modern day business world requires   a business computer system for managing its interactions with its customers. A CRM system is an essential tool for business today that helps you manage your customers, sales and marketing. Instead of juggling spreadsheets and notes, a Customer Relationship Management system lets you keep accurate records of phone calls, emails, meetings, conversations and quotations. You can share this information within teams, with branches, plan ahead effectively and offer clients the right level of contact and support.

The CRM empowers you to manage your new leads from the initial contact through the sales pipeline to closure. You can set follow up tasks for yourself and colleagues, and report on all your activities and sales forecasts. The objective is to have a “360 degree view” of the customer, all information about the customer in one place. Setting up an efficient CRM involves investing time in your current customer base with the aim of retaining their custom and increasing their spend. The CRM system helps automate this by keeping a record of every communication you have with the customer. You can record what they’ve purchased and when, and set tasks to contact them every few weeks or months. This allows you to anticipate when they might want to buy again or if they need anything extra.

Essential Tips on Customer Relationship Management: 
  • It is essential for the sales representatives to understand the needs, interest as well as budget of the customers. Don’t suggest anything which would burn a hole in their pockets.
  • Never tell lies to the customers. Convey them only what your product offers. Don’t cook fake stories or ever try to fool them.
  • Do not keep customers waiting. Sales professionals should reach meetings on or before time. Make sure you are there at the venue before the customer reaches.
  • A sales professional should think from the customer’s perspective. Don’t only think about your own targets and incentives. Suggest only what is right for the customer. Don’t sell an expensive mobile to a customer who earns rupees five thousand per month. He would never come back to you and your organization would lose one of its esteemed customers.
  • Don’t oversell. Being pushy does not work in sales. If a customer needs something; he would definitely purchase the same. Never irritate the customer or make his life hell. Don’t call him more than twice in a single day.
  • An individual needs time to develop trust in you and your product. Give him time to think and decide.
  • Never be rude to customers. Handle the customers with patience and care. One should never ever get agitated with the customers.
  • Attend sales meeting with a cool mind. Greet the customers with a smile and try to solve their queries at the earliest.
  • Keep in touch with the customers even after the deal. Devise customer loyalty programs for them to return to your organization. Give them bonus points or gifts on every second purchase.
  • The sales manager must provide necessary training to the sales team to teach them how to interact with the customers. Remember customers are the assets of every business and it is important to keep them happy and satisfied for successful functioning of organization