Businesses need to do more than simply manage their customer relationships—they need to excel at it.
Your CRM platform isn't just a tool for tracking customer interactions; it can also be an invaluable asset in managing orders, helping you streamline time consuming processes, improve satisfaction, and ultimately drive business growth.
Here, we aim to demystify the process of utilizing your CRM tools to effectively manage orders, offering strategies for turning your CRM from a simple contact database into a powerful tool that enhances every stage of the buyer journey.
What is Order Management?
Order management requires the efficient handling of orders from inception to delivery. The process often involves multiple stages and platforms, including services, logistics, inventory management, payment, and accounting and financial reporting.
For retailers, this includes:
Receiving orders, which can come through various channels, including in-store, online orders, or via phone.
Inventory management, or checking inventory to ensure availability.
Arranging for the order's packaging and shipping.
Keeping track of the order until final destination.
Handling returns and refunds, if necessary.
For online orders from brands or suppliers, this often involves:
Receiving purchase orders from retailers or distributors.
Confirming the order and inventory management or production capabilities.
Arranging for production or packaging.
Collecting shipping addresses, and shipping the order to the retailer or distribution center.
Tracking the order's delivery.
Managing invoicing and payment.
For both parties, order management also involves providing service throughout the process, handling any issues or discrepancies that arise - including those related to payment, and managing data related to orders, such as customer details, order and customer purchase history, and inventory levels.
Technology, like Order Management Systems (OMS) or integrated solutions within other applications like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), can help improve accuracy and enhance services.
What is Customer Relationship Management?
CRM is a strategy, supported by technology, for managing all interactions and relationships with current or prospective customers. It's about improving business relationships, retaining customers, and driving sales growth. CRM tools help companies stay connected to customers, and improve profitability.
For retailers, CRM tools can help with:
Customer Profiling: Collecting and analyzing data, such as purchase history, preferences, membership status, and behavior to create detailed buyer profiles.
Personalized Marketing: Using buyer data to tailor marketing messages, promotions, and campaigns to individual customers or segments.
Customer Service: Providing consistent, personalized service across all channels.
Sales Optimization: Identifying opportunities for cross-selling, upselling, and repeat sales based on buyer data.
Loyalty Programs: Managing loyalty programs that reward customers for repeat purchases.
For brands/suppliers, CRM tools can help with:
Relationship Management: Maintaining positive relationships with retailers/distributors and understanding their needs and preferences.
Demand Forecasting: Using sales data and trends to predict demand for products and manage production or inventory accordingly.
Sales and Marketing: Identifying opportunities for new products, promotions, or partnerships based on trends and data.
Customer Service: Providing support and service to retailers/distributors to ensure they can effectively sell the brand's products.
Data Analysis: Collecting and analyzing data about sales, trends, and performance to inform decision-making. Accounting staff and others throughout the organization will find this useful.
Whether you're a retailer or a brand/supplier, have fewer or more than ten employees, one location or many, a CRM can help you better understand your customers or partners. As a result, you'll provide them with better service, and make more informed business decisions that save time.
What is CRM Order Management?
CRM in order management refers to the use of CRM tools to handle and optimize the various stages of the ordering process in one centralized system. This includes order placement, processing, fulfillment, and after-sales service, all of which can affect a customer's overall experience and satisfaction with complete order management solution.
All in one CRM solutions play a crucial role in order management in several ways:
Centralized Customer Data:
A CRM system can serve as a single platform for all customer information, including past orders, online payments, preferences, communication history, and more. This information can help companies personalize their interactions with customers and better meet their needs as related to the product catalog.
Order Processing and Tracking:
CRMs automate certain aspects of order tracking, reducing errors and speeding up fulfillment times. Many also provide customers with the ability to track their orders in real time, improving and satisfaction.
A CRM system help businesses provide better service. For instance, they can facilitate quick responses to inquiries about orders, help resolve issues or complaints, and keep customers informed about any changes or delays in their orders.
CRM platforms provide valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences, as well as the efficiency of the order management process. These insights can help businesses identify areas for improvement and make more informed decisions.
In essence, CRM tools in an order management system are about leveraging customer knowledge and relationships to improve the order management process, with the ultimate goal of enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Best Practices for Using CRM for Order Management
Optimizing your CRM order management system can vastly improve how you manage customer service, operational efficiency, and overall business performance.
Here are some best practices for using CRM order management:
Centralize Buyer Knowledge:
Use your CRM to create a single, centralized source of buyer details. This allows for better visibility of sales orders, purchase history, preferences, and communication across all departments.
Integrate with Other Systems:
Integrating your CRM and order management systems with your other applications and business systems can provide a holistic view of the customer facing tasks, from the point of customer interaction to order fulfillment and delivery. Two systems that you might integrate with include ERP or inventory management systems. An API application helps with this.
Automate Where Possible:
Use CRM to automatically update information, as well as to automate repetitive tasks such as order confirmations, shipping notifications, and follow-up communications. This not only saves time but also reduces the chance of human error.
Provide Real-Time Access:
Your CRM tool provides real-time access to order information. Customers should be able to track their orders, and your team should be able to quickly answer any questions related to shipping details or to order status.
Focus on Customer Service:
Use your CRM to improve customer services in relation to order management. Quick responses to inquiries, proactive communication about any issues or delays, and easy returns or refunds can all contribute to improved customer satisfaction.
Regularly Update and Train Your Team:
CRM systems are continually evolving, so ensure your team is up-to-date with the latest features and knows how to use the system effectively as an order management system.
By leveraging a CRM as an order management application, businesses can provide a seamless customer experience, make more informed decisions, and ultimately improve their bottom line.
Closing Thoughts on CRM as Order Management Systems
Surefront is a Unified Product Collaboration Platform to power growth and ROI. Surefront offers companies patented PIM, CRM - with an integrated order management system - and PLM solutions to streamline the omni channel sales, merchandising and product development processes.
By combining these essential functionalities, Surefront creates a single source of truth throughout your sales and listing processes. The results? Up to 150% more revenue per employee and a 40% shorter product development cycle is just the beginning.
Try our 10x ROI calculator to see your company’s potential profits. Or, skip the noise and book a custom demo with one of our unified product collaboration management experts today.
You May Also Like
These Related Stories