Organizations live in an era of continuous changes, which forces them to consider new variables and approaches that are key to their success.
A fundamental aspect of their optimal functioning, both internally and with their customers, is to simplify the operational interactions. To this end, technology has become an indispensable ally, thanks to innovative tools. Now, we will bring to your attention one of the most beneficial tolos: CRM. But, …..what is a CRM, and what is it for?
What´s a CRM?
As you may have guessed, CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management.
From a holistic point of view, it refers to the management of all the actions and processes that an organization carries out to attract, retain and improve its customers satisfaction and loyalty.
Within the technological dimension, it refers to the software that manages the interactions between both parties. A CRM tool allows to record, organize and automate all data that an organization gets from its relationships with it´s donors and members.
This application makes it possible to concentrate and store all this information and additionally, it also allows segmenting and automating repetitive tasks, thus increasing the organization’s productivity.
Last but not least, this makes it particularly suitable for all types of activities, including the Non-Governmental Organizations.
Characteristics of a CRM. What is it for?
You already know, broadly speaking, what a CRM is, but what is it for? The best way to understand it is to detail some of its characteristics.
• It manages all the information and establishes common customer patterns. All the data that a user leaves when he/she enters the website is recorded. From them, it gathers the common characteristics, from aspects linked to their behavior to demographic factors.
• Automate relevant user interaction actions. Thanks to the data collected, it is possible to automate aspects of communication that would otherwise take a long time, such as sending e-mails or targeting advertising actions.
• Centralize documentation. A CRM organizes all documents related to the organization and linked to it´s donors and members. Thus, any member of the organization can access them, avoiding duplicity errors that can damage the customer experience.
• Facilitates integration with external tools. Nowadays, interaction with users can be performed through several channels, from the website to different social networks. A CRM integrates the customers information and automates its proccessing, i.e. agenda or calendars. Therefore, the entire workflow is concentrated in a single tool.
• It generates analysis and reports. This is key to understand the NGO’s current situation and its potential prospects. From the interactions between different elements integrated in the CRM it is possible to predict what is the evolution could be and therefore, which aspects are feasible to be improved.
How can a CRM help an NGO?
Third Sector organizations are one of the great beneficiaries of the CRM tools. Usually they work with a very large number of contacts: from donors to partners, and including affiliates and collaborators.
Centralizing all the information in one tool facilitates these processes and improves the performance of all the NGO related parties. The results are not long in coming, as demonstrated by the success, for example, of CiviCRM’s experience with Doctors without Borders (MSF) Argentina.
Let’s go into a little more detail. What is the specific purpose of a CRM in an NGO beyond the aspects we have already mentioned?
• To manage fundraising. The NGO process implies the receipt of different types of incomes, which may or may not be periodic. From membership fees, to events, occasional donations or sponsorships. In addition, it must be taken into account that organizations often receive income through different payment methods and in different currencies. All of this is seamlessly and securely integrated into one software, such as CiviCRM.
• Focused communications with partners and collaborators. Relationships with people who support the NGO’s cause is essential to show the benefits of their actions and stimulate new collaborations. A CRM centralize all your data and automate the sending of newsletters or communications, depending on the type of collaboration or needs. With the data management offered by a CRM, it is possible to recover contact with former donors at critical moments, or when specific actions need to be developed.
• Analyze the needs of the organization. Reports are critical for NGOs, since they can show the type of events that generate the most revenue, or actions that attract the most attention from users. Based on the estimation of expenditure and income data, the future strategy and the way to act can be assessed.
So we said….. What´s a CRM is and what it is for?….
This is demonstrating that the good use of technological innovations favors the management of activities whitin an organization, improves customer satisfaction and generates new opportunities.