What is CRM, Customer Relationship Management?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

It’s hard to find a definitive definition of what CRM means. So I’ll outline the broad meaning and then give some examples.

You may have heard of the terms CRM and Customer Relationship Management in regards to software. Well CRM is not just a piece of software. It’s more than that.

The CRM Customer Relationship Management software is a vital component, yet the whole business needs to understand CRM Customer Relationship Management in all departments and functions of the business and behave appropriately to make CRM Customer Relationship Management work.

An effective CRM Customer Relationship Management will include methodologies, strategies, software, and web-based capabilities that help an enterprise organize and manage customer relationships.

Why use CRM Customer Relationship Management?

CRM Customer Relationship Management is used to help businesses (a.) understand their customer, and (b.) understand their customers’ wants and needs and (c.) help the business serve them more efficiently and effectively

In turn this will help the business to improve customer satisfaction, increase staff productivity, slash operational costs and maximize the effectiveness of each customer interaction.

Let’s talk about these three different areas.

CRM Customer Relationship Management to understand the customer

In a CRM Customer Relationship Management application and approach a user will collect as much information about a customer that they can. They’ll collect names, addresses, contact numbers, age, sex, number of children etc. A CRM Customer Relationship Management process does this to, amongst other things; help ‘classify’ their customers.

A benefit of a CRM Customer Relationship Management system is that a user can help analyse which types of customers are best for their business.

Then once they know what customer ‘types’ are best they can then market to them in a ‘personal’ way – using the information gained about them.

CRM Customer Relationship Management to understand the customers wants and needs

As information is collected about the customers’ personal life, information is also collected about their buying habits and stored in CRM Customer Relationship Management software.

Humans are creatures of habit. By analysing the information collected about the customer and their buying habits the CRM Customer Relationship Management can be used to help the business identify what the customers would most likely want or need to buy.

For example, if your CRM Customer Relationship Management information lets you know that your best customers typically like buying ‘red apples’ in November for an average sale price of $15. You can prepare a marketing approach that is sent out to them prior to November that will steer them towards buying $30 worth of apples.

The customer sees it as useful because it’s something they like to do at that time of year, and you’re offering them a reminder and perhaps an incentive to buy more. The business benefits by structuring the offer to increase the sales value and therefore increasing the profit return.

CRM Customer Relationship Management is useful to also target new customers

Information gathered in the CRM Customer Relationship Management will help the business to target more of the preferred customers. An analysis using CRM Customer Relationship Management software could tell the business, for example, that single males between 30 to 35 years of age that earn between $50,000 and $60,000 are the best type of customer for the business.

Knowing that information from the CRM Customer Relationship Management, the business can then hire a list from a direct mail list broker of all the single men that fit the description and target their marketing towards them.

The CRM Customer Relationship Management activity of improving the relationship with the customer is to help keep the customer more loyal to the company and thus improve the profitability of the business.

CRM Customer Relationship Management to help efficiency and effectiveness of business

A good CRM Customer Relationship Management application will help the business to become more efficient and effective.

The business can become more efficient because if a customer contacts the business, within seconds the customer service representative can produce the customers file. This will tell the employee all about the customer and their interaction with the business.

So a CRM Customer Relationship Management saves time for the business and is able to help the employees deliver high levels of personalised service.

A CRM Customer Relationship Management software program and approach can help the business become more effective. An example would be marketing.

Knowing all the information about the customers, the marketing strategies can be targeted towards the customers in a personal way. Thus marketing to a defined target market with a past history the potential of improved results is far greater than marketing to a ‘cold’ list.

This article should only be viewed a very broad overview of what CRM Customer Relationship Management is.

On this website you’ll find more detail and resources to help you understand and use CRM Customer Relationship Management for your business.

Copyright © 2005 by Casey Gollan. All Rights Reserved

Casey A Gollan, The Business Growth Specialist for CRM Software Center - CRM Software Center- All the general information and resources for everything CRM - Customer Relationship Management. Visit http://www.crmsoftwarecenter.com for more articles and info on CRM.

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