Managing Customer Relationships with CRM: The Live Chat Dynamic
Defining CRM in a new Paradigm
The success level achieved by your company in both the online as well as the offline realm depends to a great extent on the customer relationship enhancements, customer retention, and customer acquisition models which you will adopt and subsequently pursue. These strategies are by no means unique and distinct in themselves. When clustered together, they are referred to as customer relationship management or CRM for short. Now that we have the formal and official definition of CRM out of the way, we can explore the reasons why just about every management guru believes that CRM is good for you and your company especially when it is integrated with live support.
Live Chat and CRM
Unusual as it may sound, live chat in all its various forms, hues and shades is an integral component of CRM. After all, it is live chat on your website that not just tells your customers that you care, it gives them an opportunity to interact with you in strict anonymity. What is more, many customers go looking especially for websites with live chat capability and return right away when they need more products or services. CRM isn’t necessarily only a software package, a platform or a concrete model. It is a philosophy that you should both preach to your employees and practice throughout the enterprise. Reason? Because when implemented, it pays rich dividends across the board both short-term and long-term.
Beyond the Roll-a-Deck and the Telephone
Gone are the days when CRM was delivered through file folders, address books and answering machines. With the unbelievable support CRM has received from the information technology and telecommunication sectors, CRM has gradually but surely emerged as a sophisticated customer engagement model which delivers spectacular results when implemented correctly. When used in conjunction with live chat, it not only preserves but also expands your customer base as we shall see in a moment.
Ushering in the CRM Revolution with Live Chat
Many if not most live chat and live support software application packages like our very own Live2Support have a tremendous amount of CRM built in which happens to be not only intuitive but also functional. For starters, live chat software allows you to access customer history and customer data from a variety of online sources many of which integrate well with the live chat application itself. This repository of customer information can also be databased while being integrated for ease of access. The chat transcript is yet another piece of the CRM puzzle that fits extremely well in the overall customer relationship framework. It tells your chat operators just about everything they need to know about the customer’s previous experience with your organization—- data that can be easily leveraged to improve the quality of customer service you intend to deliver as a routine matter of course.
Going the whole Nine Yards
If you are planning to implement a full fledged CRM solution complete with customer tracking and contact management capabilities, statistical research and data analysis functionality, and aren’t willing to pay an arm and a leg, consider open source solutions such as Sugar CRM. There is an impressive developer community that supports this CRM application suite. Many companies provide implementation support and customization at reasonable costs. These consulting firms can also help you with installing CRM adjuncts such as help desk software packages, trouble ticket systems, open source contact management software and CRM-oriented e-mail management systems that are free and available for the asking. It is best to hire consultants who charge reasonable fees while you continue to remain focused on your core business activity.
CRM is the managing of all business and interactions with customers.
CRM is a process and not a software product.
Sugar CRM: http://sugarforge.org
Complete list of free and open source help desk software: http://opensourcehelpdesklist.com
Open source trouble ticket system: