Operational CRM – Extensive Overview

CRM or Customer Relationship Management is a broad-term that covers all the concepts of an organization used to manage customer relationships and operational CRM is one of them. Before getting in depth with what exactly is operational CRM, we’ll discuss briefly about CRM and how it helps in the overall growth and development of an organization.

As mentioned earlier, CRM is a combined term for all the concepts used in organizations to manage relationships with their customers. This might include: attracting new customers, retaining the existing customers, analyzing their needs and framing strategies to satisfy them. CRM is basically a comprehensive-approach to customer relationship management.

This article focuses on operational-CRM and below is the detailed overview of the concept that should help you understand it better.

What is Operational CRM?

Operational-CRM refers to services that allow organizations to take good care of their customers. This aspect of CRM provides support for different business processes including sales, service and marketing. Data aggregation system, call centers and contact centers are a few examples of operational-CRM. OCRM is a tool that can help you resolve issues like high service costs and high customer turnover. The high-tech expertise can gives you access to all the information about customers, as well as a clear view of the particular needs and requirements of your customers.

Operational-CRM mainly focuses on enhancement, automation and improvement of business processes that are based on customer facing and/or customer supporting. The significance of OCRM lies in the fact how this system forms policies and strategies on selling, marketing and service based processes. These are automated, where operational-CRM systems are embedded with below given automation application:

Marketing Automation

As the name suggests, marketing automatic focuses on automatic marketing related processes. In this process, campaign management involves use of marketers to use customer-specific information. This helps them determine, analyze and develop form of communications that are customer targeted in the form of individual, multilevel and multi-channel environment.

Campaigns developed to communicate with customers on individual basis are relatively easy as it involves direct and unique communications. On the other hand, multi-channel environment involves implementation of strategies and campaign management that is complex, difficult and challenging. For example; some retailers use multi-channel transactions like wholesale stores, websites, shops or stores, home shopping and television shopping.

In this case, the integration of communication strategy becomes difficult, as well as evaluation of quality and performance of the campaign needs automated system that is technologically advanced across each of the channel. In order to handle such systems, event-based marketing is inherited as CRM marketing strategy. This strategy uses event-based marketing communication, as well as present offers to customers as and when required.

For example, when a credit card customer will call the call center, it is evident that he/she is looking for more information on specific credit card details which can be interest rates, cash back and other available features. Now, if he is particularly inquiring about interest rate, then it means that the customer will compare the interest rates being offered by other banks as well, and might even switch to find the best suitable deal for him. If your interest rates are not the best in the industry, then your CRM system will automatically show specific deals which can suit the customer depending upon their interests and history.

Sales-force Automation

A CRM system is not just focused on dealing with the needs and requirements of existing customers. It is also a useful tool for acquiring new customers. It helps identifying new customers and maintaining corresponding details into the system. The process is distributed into a number of stages that begins with lead generation, followed by identifying qualified leads and prospects. The sales representative then tries to get some business from the qualified leads by making winning deal. This process is solely handled by sales force team in the organization.

Service Automation

Service automation focuses on managing organization’s service. It deals with actual interactions with customers like, contact, direct mail, direct sales, call centers, web sites, data aggregation systems, and blogs. Each interaction made with individual customers are collected in the database known as, “customer history”. The information can be later on used as per the requirement. Any employee in the organization can have free access to this information, which works best in giving a clear picture of the specific needs and requirements of the customer. It also eliminates the need of obtaining the same information from customers. Also, on the basis of information provided, customers can be easily contacted whenever required.

Plan for Success

Operational CRM is one aspect of CRM that is most prone to failure. There can be a number of different reasons for failure such as underestimating costs, organizational politics, time and commitment, technology-driven strategies and lack of measures of accountability and success. In order to ensure success, working executives should be steer clear of processes in CRM, especially if the company is not prepared to make the required efforts for successful implementation.

Examples of How Operational CRM Works!

In a quest to ensure your customers get most personal attention, it is important to make the process easy and professionally sound. Right implementation and throughout acceptance are two factors that make this effort a success.

Let’s see the working of this system through a small example:

Suppose your employees are overwhelmed with plenty of telephone calls every day. On the other hand, even you desire to speak to your customers to explain services being offered, it may not be feasible due to other priorities. Now in this case, an operation CRM system will allow your customers to log in to an account through website and view details of the services being offered by your company. Apparently, this can help you save a lot of time without having to waste your time in responding the calls. As a result, you’re responsive to your customer and they are happy with your prompt service. Thereby, improving the efficiency of your company.

The final outcome results from an operational CRM strategy is far reaching and can be easily implemented by using either basic software or a more complex one, depending on the company’s specific requirements.

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Michael Taylor
Michael is the Lead Author & Editor of CRMSimplified Blog. Michael established the CRM blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to CRM.
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