CRM vs Practice Management: How Do They Differ?

This contributed post is for informational purposes only. Please consult a business, financial and legal professional before making any decisions. We may earn money or products from the affiliate links in this post.

differences between crm and practice management

What are the key differences between CRM and practice management you need to know?

Cloud computing and centralized data management systems have proven results in simplifying business operations. The ease of data accumulation, reporting, and accessibility are some of the key factors behind their growing popularity.

Since every business needs to manage its relationships on both the ends, the customer and the supplier, a relationship management tool becomes all the more necessary. When it comes to managing relationships with the customer, CRM software is considered to be the most effective tool. But, it is not only the CRM that can help support good relations. Practicing healthy operations in order to ease the process for the customer as well as your team can also help improve customer relations. The tool used for the latter is known as practice management software, or simply a PM suite.

You may be wondering how do these two differ when both of them are focused on improving business relations with your customers? Well, to understand this better, it would be wise to understand what these tools are and how do they help your business.

What is a “CRM”?

CRM is a cloud-based technology that helps manage all the relations and interactions with the existing, as well as, potential customers. It can help your company stay connected with your customers and streamline your processes accordingly, in order to improve the overall profitability.

Simply put, CRM software is used to collect the data, including customer queries and feedback. This allows easy tracking for effective changes that you should be making in order to improve customer satisfaction.

What is a “PM Suite”?

Practice management software also enables the user to access client-related information. These usually include contact details and additional information but related solely to the existing key customers or a group of clients for a company. Unlike CRM, it is more focussed around individual clients and helps to improve a company’s relationships with them personally.

A typical example of a PM Suite application can be found in the medical industry. Hospitals and clinics, along with private practitioners make use of a practice management solution for maintaining their patient records. Another example can be prominently found in accounting and tax filing. Businesses, as well as, tax attorneys usually make use of such a system to track the information related to their key clients and their objectives.

Now, if you are looking for a tool to assist you with your target customers (existing and potential) in order to gain an insight into their experience, a CRM would be a great choice. But, in case you wish to manage your operations, along with simplifying your customers’ experience with your business, a practice management software can bring in unmatched benefits.

Here are a few more differences to help you choose what suits your business the best.

The Key Differences Between CRM and Practice Management

By now, it can be distinguished that CRM and PM Suite are not exactly the same. But the real question is, how do they differ in their fundamentals?

User Data Handling

CRM does not store any critical information related to customers. Moreover, the data may belong to existing as well as potential customers for your business. Whereas, in a PM Suite, the data stored is precisely for the existing clients. Experts at PracticePro 365 explain that often organizations that wish to stay in business with repeat customers, need to handle the data such as contact details, organizational hierarchy, and a lot more for their privileged customers. This data is typically used for identifying key problem areas and finding a solution for them. Whereas, CRM only handles the feedback and reviews, along with any queries from target consumers.

Data Tracking

Of course, data tracking is one of the most crucial features that any data management system needs to comply with. Though both the tools are sophisticated enough to offer data accessibility, the difference lies with who can access the data. CRM does not allow the consumers for your business to access any data that is fed into the system. Whereas, a practice management software allows both your client as well as you to track the data. This includes the orders or requests made by the client or the customer, their active projects, and the progress of their projects. Simply put, data tracking in CRM is enabled for the business operators only. Whereas, a PM Suite allows both parties to actively access the information, make changes. Though the permission level to modify the information are different for the business and the client.

Automation & Other Features

Feeding customer data into the system is a time-consuming process. Especially if the data is for a large group of audience. To ease the process, both the software offers automated data entry and lead generation. While CRM software does not always respond back to the customer, a PM tool promptly notifies the customer with any updates regarding their concerns. The users may not be notified of any resolution offered for their query or feedback by the CRM. Whereas, the key clients for your business will receive live updates for any or all of their requests. For example, when a patient books an appointment at a hospital, the practice management software automatically notifies the hospital staff as well as the patient with the details of their appointment. And to further ease the process, it also notifies if any changes are made to the schedule. Thus, offering a better workflow and simplifying the user experience for your business, effortlessly.

Analysis & Reporting

This is the most crucial difference between a CRM software and a PM Suite. Though both the tools are pretty handy in data analysis and reporting, the difference lies in the presentation of the same. While a CRM software makes use of a grouped data for analysis, a practice management software is more focussed on individual user data. Since the CRM is analyzing group data, the report includes trends and important information which holds true for a large group of audience. This allows a business to modify their processes and cater to a large group of audience at the same time. On the other hand, the practice management software only processes individual data, and report for the same. There are no external or group factors that can affect the data for your key clients, but only the information they provide.

Conclusion: Understanding the differences between CRM and practice management

So, by now you must have had a clear idea of which software can help you retain happy customers. In the end, it’s all up to you, whether you wish to refine your business operations for better targeting of your audience, or you wish to retain your existing customers.