Is your business constantly on the lookout for new ways to engage customers? Are you ready to implement new technologies that are customer-centric and increase your operational efficiency?
If yes, it is time to take the plunge and adopt ECRM technology for your business.
ECRM systems go a step beyond traditional customer relationship management software. It is an integrated sales, marketing, and service strategy that manages customer-related activities through the Internet.
Looking for CRM Software? Check out SoftwareSuggest’s list of the best CRM Software solutions.
With ECRM, you can enhance and forge long-term relationships with your customers through information technology. It empowers organizations to gain an instant competitive advantage and become more responsive to customer needs.
Customers are your company’s greatest asset! You need to walk the extra mile to connect with customers and provide them with an exceptional service experience.
This is the prime reason that organizations across the globe are adopting customer relationship management systems. CRM software is a potent strategic sales tool for most growing businesses. In 2020, overall CRM usage increased from 56% to 74%.
As organizations continue investing in CRM technology, they explore innovations such as ECRM. General interest in ECRM is rising rapidly, and businesses are getting to know the benefits of this revolutionary technology.
So, let’s dive in and learn more about ECRM and how it can benefit modern business organizations. Let’s get started by defining ECRM and understanding its significant components.
What Is ECRM?
ECRM stands for electronic customer relationship management. According to Gartner, ECRM involves the integration of web channels into the overall CRM enterprise strategy. The main goal is to drive consistency within all electronic or digital media and unify sales, marketing, and customer service activities.
As the Internet has become an indispensable part of our lives, ECRM software has become important and is the way forward! It aims to provide customers with a seamless experience by coordinating customer interactions and encouraging them to return to the website to build loyalty.
Web-based ECRM applications are a steady and natural progression of traditional CRM software. ECRM combines various components, including an e-commerce selling platform, customer communication infrastructure, and business applications.
How Can ECRM Benefit Your Organization?
Businesses implementing ECRM technology can leverage technology to gain an edge and outperform rivals. The innovative features of ECRM software can help you unify customer touchpoints information and improve team collaboration. Here are five ways CRM tools can benefit your business and increase profitability:
1. Maintain Holistic Customer Records
With ECRM, companies can gain a 360-degree view of customer information with the click of a button! A recent survey shows that 74% of businesses feel electronic CRM systems have helped them gain better customer data access. They let you view the entire track record, including previous purchases, demographic details, and past interactions.
ECRM software can monitor your customers’ digital activities, including website navigation, shopping cart history, and product preferences. This integrated knowledge base can be shared with sales, marketing, and support teams to ensure they deliver customers a consistent and pleasant experience and increase bottom-line results.
2. Seamless Back-End Integration
ECRM systems are not only about managing customer-related activities on digital platforms. They seamlessly integrate with other back-end systems such as accounting, logistics, inventory, and service helpdesks. The system enables organizations to track customer touchpoints across various business functions through websites or call centers.
Since ECRM software has advanced integration capabilities, it facilitates smooth data transfer between applications and automates repetitive tasks. This helps your sales and marketing employees save time focusing on other strategic organizational goals and reduce mundane administrative work.
3. Enhanced Service Management
If there is one aspect that you can be assured about after implementing ECRM technology, it is the fact that your company will deliver a far superior service experience. Businesses can leverage data stored in ECRM tools to assess customer service requirements and provide support from various channels such as email, phone calls, chat forums, and social media platforms.
With ECRM, organizations can ensure the productivity of service agents by providing real-time data and business intelligence. This enables your support representatives to provide accurate solutions to customer complaints and grievances and increase resolution rates.
4. Advanced Reports and Analytics
One of the best features of ECRM is its reporting capabilities. It lets you gain a bird’s eye view of all vital metrics and monitor your business health. Managers can view real-time data to monitor online customer interactions and track purchases and service requests.
Interactive dashboards make it easy to analyze key performance indicators so that you can take proactive action to increase business performance. Modern ECRM tools enable you to customize reports to display data visually. You can use pie charts, bar graphs, lists, and pivot tables to highlight important data. Reports can be prepared periodically and shared by email to provide business insights to team members.
5. Customer Loyalty and Retention
At its core, customer relationship management is all about keeping your customers happy. With ECRM, you can network with key organizational stakeholders such as suppliers, partners, vendors, and clients to offer optimum customer value. Businesses can use real-time data to predict customer behavior better and increase their service offerings.
Personalization is the foundation of an excellent customer experience. A consolidated ECRM database can help personalize marketing campaigns and customer communication to enhance customer satisfaction and engagement. ECRM software facilitates maximizing the lifetime value of each customer and increases retention in the long run.
Essential Features of ECRM
ECRM is a vast concept, and several categories of systems are available in the market. A lot of assistance with several operations is provided on the ECRM platform, making it extremely useful for businesses to streamline their process. All of this is feasible as many features are embedded in ECRM software. Some of the essential ECRM software are described below.
1. Contact Management
Primary goal of ECRM is maintaining effective interaction with customers. ECRM software can assist organizations in collecting and analysing data. This data will able the organization in effective decision-making regarding marketing, sales, and elevating customer experience.
2. Automate Marketing Campaigns
Marketing automation in ECRM allows targeting customers with personalized campaigns by leveraging data. With the availability of such features, organizations can conduct marketing campaigns via email or social media platforms in a streamlined manner that leads to high customer engagement and eventually generate more revenue.
3. Sales Tracking
Sales tracking enables organizations to gain a 360-degree view of sales in various channels. Also, it is feasible for organizations to get real-time insights and identify the flaws in the sales strategy. In addition, sales reps’ performance can be evaluated. Detailed analysis of the strategies applied can be gained, which will be assistive in improving the conversion rate and forecasting sales future.
4. Case Management
Case management refers to solving issues or inquiries raised by a customer. ECRM pulls customer inquiries or complaints to a centralized database, enabling the customer service department to manage such cases effectively. The main benefits of its implementation are increased customer satisfaction and a quicker resolution process.
5. Analytics and Reporting
There are advanced analytics features in ECRM that provide precise insights on data for aspects like customer behavior, campaign performance, sales reports, and customer queries resolution, etc. This assists the organizations in decision-making and bringing necessary changes to benefit the business in the long run.
6. Effective Integration
ECRM can be integrated with other platforms to automate operations. This will streamline the processes and reduce time wastage. For example, ERP integrated with ECRM increases precision in deriving quotes, and data entry systems can also be automated. There are many other processes with which ECRM can be integrated to optimize the organization’s operability.
Hence, ECRM is an immersive platform with ample features to streamline customer interactions and improve performance through multiple digital channels.
The Difference Between CRM And ECRM
The basic operability of both platforms is managing customer relationships. The difference is in their scope and area of focus. The table given below highlights the key differences between CRM and ECRM.
On all grounds, CRM operates on a comprehensive approach to handling customer relationships. However, ECRM has more of a narrow course due to its dependency on digital modes for managing relationships and interactions, but it has dynamic operability and offers better reach.
Challenges and Solutions in Implementing an ECRM
There are ample benefits when integrating ECRM into the organization’s infrastructure. But there are some challenges associated with it as well. The challenges and solutions faced in implementing an electronic customer relationship management solution are as follows:
1. Quality of data and effective management
An organization must gain accurate customer data to utilize the leads to increase customer interactions effectively. Optimizing ECRM requires a considerable amount of data, whose accumulating and management is a tedious task. The challenge is getting bad quality or incomplete data that causes a major hassle for the organization in building precise customer profiles.
Establish data quality standards and implement accurate processes for storing, collecting, and maintaining the data in the ECRM system. Organizations shall integrate data intelligence tools to collect precise and complete data.
The main challenge frequently encountered with ECRM software is ineffective synchronization and improper integration with other systems, which hampers the effective operability of the organization. Also, sorting out this integration issue is complicated and time-consuming.
For effective integration with other available systems in the organization like ERP, inventory management systems, and others, ECRM, which consists of open APIs, should be introduced. Also, the IT team should be competent enough during the integration stage to ensure effective results.
3. Change Management
Introducing a new ECRM system requires building new workflows and processes and providing extensive training. Employees’ resistance to accepting the change or adapting advanced technology can create a major issue for organizations implementing ECRM systems.
When selecting an ECRM software, employees must be allowed to participate and provide training and support regarding the new system from the implementation stages. To ensure effective execution, employee proficiency, and engagement.
4. Security and Privacy Concerns
This is a main concern when sensitive data has to be collected and handled regularly. Compliance with data protection laws and upgrading the security framework for safeguarding the data is challenging for the organization.
An ECRM compliant with data protection laws must be introduced. In addition, systems must be constantly audited to ensure data security. Also, data access restrictions must be established in the organization to secure the data efficiently.
5. Cost and ROI
ECRM system is an essential investment. Still, it becomes challenging and affects the ROI adversely when its utilization is not done effectively.
To achieve the desired ROI, one must effectively evaluate aspects like the cost, advantages, and features it offers. Effective decisions can be made based on the evaluation of requirements and offerings.
Therefore, an organization must have a collaborative and planned approach when implementing an ECRM system to succeed.
How to Implement ECRM? Step-By-Step Guide
Well-planned and determined strategy is the basic requirement for implementing an ECRM effectively. The following are some aspects that the organization must consider when deploying a system:
Step 1: Goals and Objectives
The basis of successful implementation of an ECRM solution is to have specific goals and objectives. The target audience must be pre-decided on that basis the data collection process can be determined to enhance engagement.
Step 2: Choice of Appropriate Solution
Post the determination of goals and objectives, an ECRM with advanced features that matches the organization’s requirements will be preferred. When choosing a system, scalability and integration capability are the main aspects that should be considered.
Step 3: Train Employees
No matter how effective a plan is, if the workforce is not competent enough to effectively operate the same, successful implementation of an ECRM solution is not feasible. As a result, sufficient training and support programs must be conducted to train employees.
Step 4: Data Governance
The most critical aspect is establishing governance and security measures as data is to be protected at any cost; virtual programs with highly secure infrastructure will enhance the reliability of the organization and develop business.
Step 5: Optimization
Last but not least, if effective measures are not taken to optimize the process, the process will lose efficiency. An optimized ECRM solution will also provide accurate information and elevate the overall customer experience, benefiting the organization.
If the steps above are followed properly, the organization will see enhanced customer retention and gain a better conversion rate.
With digitalization taking over, retailers and other organizations throughout the world are potential buyers of different software to optimize their processes and make their business more profitable by increasing their digital presence, which can gain more customer engagement.
But in current times, the market is too volatile. The implementation process and strategies must be constantly revised to enhance efficiency. The abovementioned features and benefits of eCRM will be highly assistive for an organization to opt for an ECRM system that best meets their needs and generate the desired ROI.
Frequently Asked Questions
By taking effective measures to provide personalized customer interactions, enhance active communication with them, and establish engagement through various channels prevailing in the market. Most importantly, meeting customer needs should be the priority to improve their experience.
Defining achievable goals and objectives, opting for the most suitable ECRM solution, evaluating performance at regular intervals, prioritizing client testimonials, and effectively accomplishing data migration are included in the best practices for implementing an ECRM strategy.
Most immersive trends include predictive analysis and personalized AI and machine learning marketing. In addition to that, it will accommodate various social media platforms within the system. Also, introducing cloud-based solutions and providing other innovative products is an emerging trend in ECRM.
Hiba is an accomplished specialist in writing for Software as a Service (SaaS) and has extensive experience crafting compelling and informative content. With over two years of experience, she has honed her skills in producing various forms of content, including articles, blog posts, and more, all centered around SaaS. Hiba is dedicated to sharing her insights to assist businesses in leveraging SaaS to achieve growth and success.