Customer relationship management (CRM) encompasses the capabilities, methodologies, and technologies that support an enterprise in managing customer relationships. The general purpose of CRM is to enable organizations to better manage their customers through the introduction of reliable systems, processes and procedures.
Customer relationship management is a corporate level strategy which focuses on creating and maintaining lasting relationships with its customers.
CRM, in its broadest sense, means managing all interactions and business with customers. This includes, but is not limited to, improving customer service. A good CRM program will allow a business to acquire customers, service the customer, increase the value of the customer to the company, retain good customers, and determine which customers can be retained or given a higher level of service. A good CRM program can improve customer service by facilitating communication in several ways:
Provide product information, product use information, and technical assistance on web sites that are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Identify how each individual customer defines quality, and then design a service strategy for each customer based on these individual requirements and expectations.
Provide a fast mechanism for managing and scheduling follow-up sales calls to assess post-purchase cognitive dissonance, repurchase probabilities, repurchase times, and repurchase frequencies.
Provide a mechanism to track all points of contact between a customer and the company, and do it in an integrated way so that all sources and types of contact are included, and all users of the system see the same view of the customer (reduces confusion).
Help to identify potential problems quickly, before they occur.
Provide a user-friendly mechanism for registering customer complaints (complaints that are not registered with the company cannot be resolved, and are a major source of customer dissatisfaction).
Provide a fast mechanism for handling problems and complaints (complaints that are resolved quickly can increase customer satisfaction).
Provide a fast mechanism for correcting service deficiencies (correct the problem before other customers experience the same dissatisfaction).
Use internet cookies to track customer interests and personalize product offerings accordingly.
Use the Internet to engage in collaborative customization or real-time customization.
Provide a fast mechanism for managing and scheduling maintenance, repair, and on-going support (improve efficiency and effectiveness).
The CRM can be integrated into other cross-functional systems and thereby provide accounting and production information to customers when they want it.
Ismael D. Tabije is the Publisher-Editor of http://www.bestmanagementarticles.com/, a unique niche-topic article directory that features exclusively business and management topics. For a large dose of customer relationship management tips, ideas and strategies, see http://customer-relationship-mgt.bestmanagementarticles.com/ .