Customer Relationship Management

    Table of contents
  1. 1. What is Customer Relationship Management (CRM)?
  2. 2. Development of Customer Relationship Management
  3. 3. The future of CRM solutions
  4. 4. Influencer Marketing and Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

What is Customer Relationship Management (CRM)?

Customer relationship management, known more commonly by its acronym, CRM, typically refers to the core protocol or set of guidelines that a company or organization follows when interacting with customers or prospective customers. When referring to the term "interacting", it could entail a broad range of actions such as an email exchange, phone conversation, social media interaction, verbal communication, customer purchase, or any other means of communication. Aside from interaction by way of communication, CRM also encompasses other areas such as customer trend analysis and forecasting, user activity and behavior analysis, as well as customer satisfaction maintenance and review.

Internet privacy is also another huge aspect of customer relationship management. With the rise of the web 2.0 and the highly advanced technologies that drive it, internet users are becoming increasingly concerned about their online privacy. Especially on social media, after the Cambridge Analytica and Facebook scandal, users tend to be more cautious about their online privacy as well as how they share data with internet companies. Individually, identifiable user data can occasionally be used for nefarious activities. Due to this aspect of CRM being so important, people will often hear about the subject of customer relationship management in direct relation to online privacy and user data security.


Development of Customer Relationship Management

CRM, in its most basic function, is used to keep a company's customer conversion rate high by managing and maintaining better customer communication and customer satisfaction rates. In other words, the CRM's end goal is to maximize the rate at which prospective customers cross over into being active customers. As a result, CRM is one of the main driving forces behind keeping a company profitable, especially when the product is some form of an interactive customer-to-company service. 

Many companies today are using CRM by integrating it with highly advanced software/ platform that aggregate user data across numerous data metrics. This information is then processed and analyzed by the software in order to present CRM metrics. These metrics can be used to gauge how customers are interacting with a company, what their satisfaction rate is, and ultimately what the customer conversion rate is. If the company using the CRM software is small, then they'll probably use an out-of-the-box solution by collecting different small tools and connecting them together using their own experience to enhance the customer experience. On the other hand, if the company is large and needs to process huge amounts of CRM data, then they might have a customized or in-house CRM program which is specifically built for them. 


The future of CRM solutions

Due to CRM being related directly to how humans interact with each other, CRM software and analyzing solutions are increasingly relying on artificial intelligence to process data. CRM data is extremely difficult to process, with the software occasionally drawing inaccurate conclusions or presenting superfluous data. Discerning what customer data is important and what data is useless can take a high degree of proficiency in data processing, especially when processing customer satisfaction signals.

A manual human-to-data processing of such information is way more accurate in its conclusions. However, it can not be scaled out to the point of being an efficient means of processing large amounts of data. This is where AI is needed. Today's CRM software uses basic AI only, however, the CRM software and solutions of the future will likely rely on artificial intelligence in their entirety, ushering in a new era of unimaginable CRM analysis and efficiency. 


Influencer Marketing and Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

CRM plays a tremendous role in influencer marketing, especially in influencer management, as the whole premise of influencer marketing is a three-way relationship including customer-to-influencer, customer-to-brand, and influencer-to-brand interactions. The concept of customer relationship management, as a result, can be applied to influencer relationship management. Traditional internet companies tend to enhance the customer-to-brand profile and rely on this relationship to encourage their audience to take on action e.g. visit their websites, talk to their sales representatives, or order their products. With IRM, brands are able to broaden their audience pool by targeting influencer's followers, but they have to take care of the relationship not only with those fans but also with the influencer him/herself. 

Managing the CRM aspect of influencer marketing can be a daunting task, and for that reason, in most of the cases, it is supported by an influencer marketing agency or an influencer marketing platform. An agency typically represents a large group of influencers and connects them with on-demand brands. Therefore, the agency usually takes on the responsibility of all CRM data analysis, marketing conversion analysis, and other data processing tasks aimed at keeping the influencer relevant and profitable to the brand. The platform e.g. InfluencerDB, however, works directly with the brands and help them find, analyze as well as evaluate the profile of the targeted influencers by providing objective and data-driven information. 

It could even be argued that relationship management is one of the most important tasks of any influencer marketing team, as without being effective in this area, marketers will find it very difficult to achieve the goals of their influencer marketing campaigns.