Contact Center Trends

What is customer relationship management, and how can a contact center help?

Celia Cerdeira

By Celia Cerdeira

0 min read

Customer Relationship Management 2

Modern business takes place at a blistering pace. Companies emerge, rise, and fall based on how well they satisfy customer needs. Despite differences in products, services, delivery windows, and pricing, all companies also compete to deliver the best customer service.

It transcends the barriers of industry, size, and market conditions, offering every business the opportunity to excel by delivering exceptional customer service. Whether it’s a small startup or a global enterprise, businesses that prioritize customer service are well-positioned to thrive and succeed.

Established companies understand that customer relationship management (CRM) isn’t a technology solution; it’s an approach to modern business. While a customer relationship management solution makes it easier to consolidate customer details in one place, it can’t replace the authentic outreach customers expect from companies they do business with.

What is customer relationship management?

Customer relationship management is a proactive approach to customer service. It means managing customer data, communication, and troubleshooting processes in ways that solve customer needs. Strong attention to detail in active customer management helps improve customer satisfaction and retention rates, decreasing the likelihood that customers will leave your organization for a competitor.

A comprehensive customer relationship management process shares features with a CRM solution:

  • Customer data management: Collecting, storing, and organizing detailed information about customers to create personalized interactions.

  • Ongoing customer support: Satisfying customer inquiries promptly, maintaining high levels of satisfaction, and fostering long-term loyalty.

  • Analytics and reporting: Exploring insights into customer behavior, campaign performance, and overall business health.

CRM is more than a software program. It’s a personalized approach to giving each customer the answer they need, informed by data about their challenges, opportunities, and behaviors.

What is the customer lifecycle, and how can I extend it?

Proper customer relationship management seeks to address customer needs across every stage of the customer lifecycle:

  • Outreach: Support as customers first grow familiar with a company’s product or service suite, and have initial questions about features like pricing, features, and availability.

  • Acquisition: Further answers to more meaningful questions customers might have as they approach a buying decision.

  • Conversion: Streamlined service as customers make an initial purchase, particularly when purchasing products or technology that might require ongoing support.

  • Retention: Long-term support for customers who might have questions as their products age, malfunction, or become legacy solutions.

This form of proactive, long-term customer relationship management satisfies a critical goal for many organizations: transform one-time buyers into long-term brand advocates. It improves the entire customer experience, including their digital journey from consideration to action.

Optimize customer outreach.

For best results, companies should carefully consider which channels customers prefer for communication. If possible, connect with customers across social media, email, chat, and phone calls —whichever option they prefer—to offer more convenience. Each channel should feature personalized, relevant content that actually satisfies customer needs.

Companies can also layer their customer outreach approach through various channels. For example, many companies use online help documents and blogs to help customers troubleshoot their own problems. If problems persist, they offer self-service chatbots that can intelligently point customers toward solutions. Customers with lingering issues can choose between email, chat, and phone support options, depending on the urgency of their request.

Respond to feedback.

When organizations actively seek out and respond to customer feedback, they demonstrate that they value their customers’ opinions and are committed to improving their products and services. This proactive approach enhances the customer experience and fosters loyalty and trust.

Beyond responding to online feedback, it’s also important that companies proactively seek customer feedback as a way to continually improve operations. Asking for feedback should be an integral part of the customer journey. Businesses can use various methods to collect feedback, including surveys, social media interactions, and direct customer outreach. For best results, keep the feedback process as simple as possible. This ensures that customers don’t have to provide any more information than necessary during the feedback process.

Improve self-service solutions.

A chatbot can go a long way toward satisfying customer requests without the need for human involvement. Particularly for simple questions or requests, chatbots provide reliable answers and fast service. When they can’t assist a customer, chatbots can also help in routing the interaction to the agent most qualified to respond.

Chatbots are one of the most effective self-service tools available. They can provide instant responses to common questions, guide users through troubleshooting steps, and even offer personalized product recommendations. They’re also available 24/7, giving customers the flexibility to seek help whenever they need it. This feature is great for global companies because it helps when customer service centers are in different time zones than when customers need help. It’s also pivotal to small and medium businesses because it offers high-quality customer service with no need for large support teams and ensures that customers receive timely and efficient assistance.

The right self-service solution also empowers customers to tackle their own issues and take greater accountability for the challenges they face. When customers can find solutions on their own, they feel more in control and satisfied in their interactions with a brand. This positive experience can increase customer loyalty and foster a stronger overall user experience.

Manage customers effectively at scale.

Customer outreach plays an important role in effective customer relationship management. That’s why we integrate with various CRM platforms, including Salesforce, allowing you to effectively manage customer contact, data, and messaging in a single place. Our fast Salesforce integration helps automate redundant tasks and create a true omnichannel customer solution.

If you’re ready to provide superior customer experiences, learn about the benefits of an AI cloud contact center to complement your customer relationship management strategies.


Celia Cerdeira

Celia Cerdeira

Célia Cerdeira has more than 20 years experience in the contact center industry. She imagines, designs, and brings to life the right content for awesome customer journeys. When she's not writing, you can find her chilling on the beach enjoying a freshly squeezed juice and reading a novel by some of her favorite authors.