Customer Relationship Management
CRM (customer relationship management) is an information industry term for methodologies, software, and usually Internet capabilities that help an enterprise manage customer relationships in an organized way. For example, an enterprise might build a database about its customers that described relationships in sufficient detail so that management, salespeople, people providing service, and perhaps the customer directly could access information, match customer needs with product plans and offerings, remind customers of service requirements, know what other products a customer had purchased, and so forth.
According to one industry view, CRM consists of:
- Helping an enterprise to enable its marketing departments to identify and target their best customers, manage marketing campaigns with clear goals and objectives, and generate quality leads for the sales team.
- Assisting the organization to improve telesales, account, and sales management by optimizing information shared by multiple employees, and streamlining existing processes (for example, taking orders using mobile devices)
- Allowing the formation of individualized relationships with customers, with the aim of improving customer satisfaction and maximizing profits; identifying the most profitable customers and providing them the highest level of service.
- Providing employees with the information and processes necessary to know their customers, understand their needs, and effectively build relationships between the company, its customer base, and distribution partners.
CRM--Customer Relationship Management--has entered the mainstream. Despite the uncertainty of the economy, CRM is being thrust into corporate budgets and talked about as a critical initiative by hundreds of Fortune 1,000 and tens of thousands of other companies. It has gone from being an important edge in the business world to a necessary tool for survival. The notion of the customer as king or queen is once again the rule. How you treat this is a mission-critical business issue.
But, what is CRM and how does it change the way companies do business? The changes in the world have been so dynamic and so dramatic that the path isnt necessarily all that obvious. How CRM impacts that business path is a continuing source of debate in the world of corporate management.