Focus on your customers – with customer relationship management, customer contact management, complaint management and key account management.
We are in times of change. Globalisation, digital transformation and the growing awareness of topics such as sustainability ensure that customers’ expectations of companies are changing. If a company wants to stay in the market in times of change, it must focus on its own customers. This is the only way to anticipate changes in customer needs and to be able to meet them as quickly as possible.
What is customer management?
Customer management plays a decisive role in this. Customer management has four essential components: Customer Relationship Management, Customer Contact Management, Complaint Management and Key Account Management. Each of these elements will be examined in more detail below. In particular, the importance of CRM software in everyday business life will be discussed. CRM software is part of the basic Windows software for companies.
Customer Relationship Management
Customer relationship management is also called Customer Relationship Management; CRM for short. This is the systematic design of all customer relationship processes. In the age of digital transformation, software solutions, also known as CRM systems, are mostly used in the area of CRM. They enable companies to digitally map all customer relationship processes. Within the software, these processes can be managed and controlled as well as optimised and automated. At the same time, the system also functions as a central database for all customer information. Thus, a separate digital file can be created for each customer, in which all important data about this customer is centrally managed. Through its holistic approach, CRM software covers functions of different departments. These include:
- The distribution,
- customer service,
- contact management,
- the call centre,
- project management and
Customer contact management
Customer contact management deals with the strategic design of every point of contact (touchpoints) between customers and the company. This is every point at which a customer comes into contact with the company or its products or services. The goal of customer contact management is to optimise the customer experience at every touchpoint. In this context, it is also important for the company to present a uniform image at every point of contact through a uniform corporate identity. Here, too, CRM software can help, for example by providing appropriate templates.
No company is happy about complaints. However, every complaint is also an opportunity to learn from past mistakes and to optimise one’s own processes in order to avoid future complaints. The most important thing in dealing with complaints is that the customer feels taken seriously. It is not without reason that complaint management is an important component of consistent orientation towards the needs of one’s own customers. Companies should therefore consider professional standards when dealing with customer complaints. The goal should be to solve customers’ problems to their satisfaction. Although a single complaint is unlikely to trigger a company-wide rethink, incoming complaints should be systematically managed and categorised. This allows companies to identify trends that may emerge and should be addressed. CRM systems can also be used in the systematic management of complaints.
Key Account Management
Key account management is the last component of customer management. It deals primarily with the management of key accounts by special managers. Special forms of organisation and working methods as well as differentiated processing methods are also used. Numerous CRM systems have special functions that support companies and their employees in the area of key account management.
Goal of customer management
The ultimate goal of customer management is to orient the company towards its own customers and thus to acquire new customers and increase customer loyalty. It is also about stabilising endangered customer relationships. This requires operational as well as strategic approaches. Suitable CRM software can help companies to optimise their customer relationship processes on a strategic as well as operational level. This creates the best possible customer experience.