CRM databases – characteristics and advantages
Not only large companies can benefit from CRM software – customer focus and therefore customer management is especially important for small companies. CRM databases are an excellent way of keeping track of all customer related processes and are the basis of customer relationship management systems.
What is a CRM database?
A CRM database does not differ very much from common databases. The main idea of customer database software is to store data from several sources, so that different employees and departments can access the same information. Databases need to have several characteristics in order to be both useful and functional. All information needs to be saved correctly and without e.g. spelling mistakes. There should not be any redundancy, and (especially in the area of CRM) customer data needs to be clearly identifiable, e.g. with an ID as a unique identifier.
Why is customer database software important for my business?
Not only small businesses often struggle with large amounts of data generated from all sorts of sources. In the worst case, data is saved separately in different departments or even on individual computers and hard drives. It is no surprise that communication between departments can be a problem when data is not consistently saved. Having a central storage for all relevant data can solve several problems of your business:
- Easy data cleansing. The best-case scenario is that data cleansing is not necessary at all. When every department has its own set of data, data cleansing is much more complex.
- Useful system integration. Communication with customers in day-to-day business is often done with a variety of software systems. When a CRM database is linked to e.g. your e-mail programme, all relevant information from your conversation with the customer can be directly transferred to the database of your CRM system. If other employees are in contact with the same customer, they can access the already existing data in the CRM database. This way the possibility of redundant data is significantly reduced.
- Data security. Concerning security, keeping centrally stored data safe is easier than managing the integrity of several data storages. When dealing with customer data it is also necessary to comply with privacy regulations. With a CRM database it is no problem to control different database accesses for certain employees, depending on which kind of information they need or areas they are allowed to access.
But regardless of all advantages, employees still need to make sure that they correctly enter the available information into the respective input areas. Of course it is also possible to import already existing data from sources such as contact forms, e-mails, or digital address books. As mentioned above, when importing data into your CRM database you need to make sure that there is no redundant data.