What is a Cloud-based CRM system and how can it help you?
How easy was it for your customer-facing staff to switch to remote working when the Covid-19 pandemic broke out? If they found it relatively smooth, chances are that your organisation is already using a Cloud-based CRM system.
Customer Relationship Software (CRM) first emerged in the late 1980s and took off in the 2000s. Nowadays, once you’ve become used to it, it’s hard to imagine working life without it.
In recent years, many of these platforms have moved online to the Cloud, bringing a whole new raft of benefits – and a few potential pitfalls.
So, if you’ve ever found yourself in a meeting embarrassed to admit that you don’t know what Cloud-based CRM stands for, now is the time to get up to speed with our quick guide to digital delivery!
What is a CRM system used for?
Until relatively recently, your organisation probably relied on simple spreadsheets to store customer data. In fact, some smaller organisations were still keeping essential info on index cards – or even in staff members’ heads!
Nowadays, any well-run organisation understands the value of customer data, and treats it accordingly. That’s where CRM comes in.
CRM software enables you to manage customer data, including all your organisation’s interactions with each individual over time. You can link records, share information with colleagues in other teams, and analyse it effectively. CRM is an essential component of digital delivery.
Your CRM system’s own capacities are only half the story. Today’s CRM systems integrate with all sorts of other great tech: knowledge bases, phone calling functionality, calendars, payment systems, social media and so on. They’re part of the general shift towards creating a seamless experience for staff and customers alike.
The importance of a Customer Relationship Management system
A good customer relationship management strategy spells efficiency for a service provider, and less frustration for the customer. It should minimise the time wasted in tracking down previous interactions, and enable all staff to address a service user’s query.
Your organisation can use data analysis to improve its service delivery and streamline processes. Your CRM can even be used as a springboard for marketing and sales: by analysing data and segmenting your customer base accordingly, you can target your audiences far more effectively.
All of which enables you to recruit new customers, nurture your existing relationships, provide a great customer experience, close sales, and retain a loyal client base. No wonder that the global CRM market is forecast to be worth around $35 billion by 2023!
CRM systems and remote working
So why shift your CRM system to the online storage system known as the Cloud?
Essentially, it has two major advantages. Firstly, you aren’t clogging up your own computer systems with software and data. And secondly, you can access your information from anywhere – as many customer-facing staff were able to do throughout lockdown.
Even once lockdown has passed, home working is set to double its pre-pandemic level. So enabling your staff to access customer information from home is key to your business success.
Cloud-based systems and security issues
Of course, many organisations are alarmed by the idea of storing highly confidential and sensitive data online. It can be reassuring to imagine it all safely locked away on your own computer system!
But modern-day systems such as Oracle Service Cloud take a security-first approach. Some of the strategies and technologies their experts use to keep data safe include: always-on encryption; isolated network virtualisation; and ongoing monitoring.
Combined with rigorous staff training, such systems are as secure as can be – and are certainly immeasurably better protected than a great many spreadsheets stored on hard drives!
At Connect Assist, we provide seamless digital delivery through Oracle Service Cloud, which integrates with our CRM system, SharePoint.
So, if you’re looking for a reliable customer relationship management service, contact us today to discuss how our technology with a human touch could work for your organisation and your customers.