Customer relationship management (CRM) is a widely-implemented strategy 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, nurture and retain those the company already has, entice former clients back into the fold, 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
Benefits of CRM
The use of a CRM system will confer several advantages to a company
- Quality and efficiency
- Decrease in overall costs
- Decision support
- Enterprise agility
- Customer Attention
- Tools and workflows can be complex, especially for large businesses. Previously these tools were generally limited to contact management: monitoring and recording interactions and communications. Software solutions then expanded to embrace deal tracking, territories, opportunities, and at the sales pipeline itself. Next came the advent of tools for other client-interface business functions, as described below. These tools have been, and still are, offered as on-premises software that companies purchase and run on their own IT infrastructure.
- Often, implementations are fragmented - isolated initiatives by individual departments to address their own needs. Systems that start disunited usually stay that way: siloed thinking and decision processes frequently lead to separate and incompatible systems, and dysfunctional processes.
- Business reputation has become a growing challenge. The outcome of internal fragmentation that is observed and commented upon by customers is now visible to the rest of the world in the era of the social customer, where in the past, only employees or partners were aware of it. Addressing the fragmentation requires a shift in philosophy and mindset within an organization so that everyone considers the impact to the customer of policy, decisions and actions. Human response at all levels of the organization can affect the customer experience for good or ill. Even one unhappy customer can deliver a body blow to a business.