When it comes to business software, most businesses usually opt for a customer relationship management software (CRM) as soon as it makes sense. In fact, the implementation of a CRM is one the key markers of when a founder or CEO is no longer working off spreadsheets and decides to dedicate a real budget toward sales and marketing efforts.
Once this occurs, a business is then in the position where they have enough leads and customers that they need to be actively managed and nurtured. In most instances, the implementation of a CRM comes with the hiring of support staff, including a sales manager, a marketing team, and even customer service and other support and administrative staff. This helps a business transition from being a small business to a medium sized business, and has many implications for overall business goals as well as revenue, profit, and hiring goals.
However, once this transition is finalized, many companies find that a CRM in and of itself is inadequate. This is because while a CRM can collect and organize customer data, it cannot customize communication and share these communications across departments. This is why once many companies transition out of being a small business and into being a medium sized business, they implement a customer communication management software.
At its core, customer communication management (CCM) is about communicating with customers. Even when interacting with small businesses, customer expect real-time interaction and communication. This can be either through email, support tickets, or live chat options. Without customer communication management software, businesses need to manage this process manually, which means that customer correspondence may be delayed or fall through the tracks altogether.
The truth is that both CRMs and CCMs have their place in a growing organization. However, there are key differences between the two. CRMs are for collecting and analyzing customer data, and creating historical trends and patterns from this data. Based on this data, many companies construct buyer personas using this data to create a profile of their ideal customer. Doing this can better hone in sales and marketing departments on the types of customers they want to reach and how they can work together to reach these goals instead of in opposition.
However, without the right communication tools at their disposal, all of this sales and marketing activity will be for nothing. That is why many growing businesses integrate their CRM and CCM together so that they can better customize their communication efforts and focus not just on customer acquisition but also on customer retention.
Remember that how a company communicates with its customers is the most direct and experiential way that customers interact with a business that it has either purchased or has considered purchasing a product or service from. If a customer does not feel like they are getting an adequate response to their questions, queries, or even complaints, then they will likely look elsewhere for their purchase. By not using a CCM integrated with your CRM software, you are potentially leaving business in the table that marketing and sales teams have spent untold hours trying to cultivate.