Customer Relationship Management

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a widely implemented model for managing a company’s interactions with customers, clients, and sales prospects. It involves using technology to organize, automate, and synchronize business processes—principally sales activities, but also those for marketing, customer service, and technical support. The overall goals are to find, attract, and win new clients, service and retain those the company already has, entice former clients to return, and reduce the costs of marketing and client service. Customer relationship management describes a company-wide business strategy including customer-interface departments as well as other departments. Measuring and valuing customer relationships is critical to implementing this strategy.

Excellent customer service is about being aware of customer needs and reacting to them effectively. CRM helps you to understand, anticipate and respond to your customers’ needs in a consistent way, right across your organization. Practicing Customer Resource Management requires an efficient and integrated internal business system. Many businesses benefit from the organizational discipline CRM imposes, as well as from the technology itself. CRM will help your business if you view it as a set of tools that let you do more for, and get more from, your customer.
CRM can:

  • Develop better communication channels
  • Collect vital data, like customer details and order histories
  • Create detailed profiles such as customer preferences
  • Deliver instant, company-wide access to customer histories
  • Identify new selling opportunities

Customer Relationship Management Software:
CRM software seeks to manage and automate CRM business strategies. While CRM software vendors use varying definitions to describe their software solutions, most industry pundits agree that CRM software should at least offer sales force automation, marketing and customer support. The below table illustrates CRM software components (often called modules) in more detail.

Sales Force AutomationMarketing AutomationCustomer Service
Sales Order Processing
Lead management
Account Management
Contact management
Activity management
Opportunity management
Pipeline reporting
Sales forecasting
Mobile sales
Marketing management
Campaign management
Telesales & call scripts
Email distributions
Nurture marketing
Marketing analytics

Case management
Help Desk
Asset management
Self Service

Quote management
Sales orders
Up-sell & cross sell
Shipping & RMAs

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