The whats and whys of CRM

What does the acronym CRM mean? Why use CRM? Who uses CRM?

Sunday 1st May 2016

While we may be familiar with the term do we really know what it means? At a not-for-profit conference recently I discovered that most people have heard the term but did not know what it stood for.

Here at infoodle we have recently changed our offering, bundling modules together to form 4 packages rather than 13 modules to choose from. One of these (our base package) we now call CRM. So it is fitting to write a little about what a CRM is and does.

What is CRM
A quick google search will tell you it is Customer Relationship Management. There is certainly lots of information and advertising there for different CRM providers. Nearly all of them are designed to manage sales, but not all people who use a CRM are in sales. Perhaps we should change the C to mean Client or Contact. But in our case it also means Community, Charity and Church.

The M is the same for all system, Management. The definition of Manage: to succeed in doing or dealing with something, especially something difficult. So the C & M is a tool to deal, help or assist with clients and contacts. But how does this assist or manage? Here is where the R comes in to play.

R for Relationship
For us this is the key, it is all about the people, how they fit together, how we work together, how we interact and integrate together, how we can help each other. If we break down relationship we first have Relate - communicate, get along with, understand. Relation - family, connection, association. Relationship is also connection, unity, bond and love.

We are wired or designed for relationships. We need each other. We know that one of the worst sorts of punishments is to put a person in isolation. There is an expression “No man is an Island” God said "it is not good for man to be alone." In todays society to some degree we have lost the art of community living. Today it is more about Me, Myself and I, “let me just take a selfie”. We have also come to rely on institutions and governments to take care of us when we are sick, out of work, or retired. Thats why we pay our taxes. But the needs of our society is fast outstripping the resources. We need to learn again how to take care of one another, how to support one another and how to live in community, to not just look at our own interests but to look at the interests of others.

So we need a CRM system that will help us to take care of our community, help us to see how we can connect with others and how we can support, care, help and encourage one another.

So the basic needs of a CRM system needs to be able to see who is a part of your community, record and store information about them that is essential to your needs, mission and values etc, add notes and be able to contact people. Keep track of peoples involvement. Keep a history of communication and involvement. Be able to see how people in a household or organisation fit together.

So if you want to manage people you need a CRM. We all want our organisations; charity, community or church to grow so it is important to have the tools that will help you with your primary task, focus, mission etc. and not be bogged down with administration. As I said earlier, Its all about the people, so we want to be out there with the people not stuck in the office. Having a cloud based CRM means you can still do the admin out in the field.

The moral of the story here is this: If you’re running an organisation be that a charity, church or community group and intend to keep growing, you should get a CRM. Your success depends on being able to connect with your people, be they clients, members, patients, contacts or customers. Knowing as much about them as possible, knowing their individual situations and needs so you can respond to them. Having the personal information at your finger tips so you respond individually and personally makes them feel special, cared for, loved and ultimately this will help you grow.

By : Aukje - infoodle