Theresa Ton

Customer Relationship Management

Customer relationship management (CRM) revolves around the customer; it is the strategy of developing and strengthening relationships with potential and existing customers by learning about their needs, preferences, and behaviors.  CRM oftentimes uses technology to systematize different business aspects like sales, marketing, customer service, and technical support, by gathering information about their customers and the current market.  With the information, companies become more focused on their customers rather than on their product.  By placing more focus on the customer, organizations will realize that maintaining strong relationships is the best strategy towards success, profitability, and revenue growth.


Goals

With human and technology resources, businesses can gain an understanding of the behavior and value of their customers.  CRM helps businesses in increasing profit growth by:



Three Major Components of CRM

  • Solicitation
Attract potential customers and target markets through different means of contact: email, Web sites, direct mail, catalog, etc.

  • Lead Tracking (presale)
Track sales leads, customer responses and contacts. Responses should be prioritized in order to increase new customer revenue.

  • Relationship Management (postsale)
With existing customers, their values must be maximized. This can be done with sales management and customer support. Sales management must prioritize by purchase history, resell to high-value customers, and try to regain the lost high-value customers. Customer support manages orders, identifies problems and resolves, and gathers data for product and customer improvement.



CRM Software

Many organizations utilize CRM software to manage their customer relationships in an user-friendly and accessible environment.  Implementing CRM software makes it possible to track every interaction between the customer and business.  Through using software, different business activities are able to access and provide customer information easily.  By knowing your customer more, they are more inclined to feel like the relationship is more than just a financial transaction.  Businesses having more information on customers allows them to better serve them, which can increase satisfaction and loyalty.  The following are a few well-known CRM software applications:

Ten Digits’ MobileAccess was developed specifically for Microsoft Dynamics CRM software.  MobileAccess falls into CRM mobility. MobileAccess allows organizations to securely access their CRM database at any moment and place. Salespeople are able to constantly update the database through their mobile devices, allowing them and their company to be more effective and productive in their operations. Currently, MobileAccess is compatible with Blackberry and Windows devices, with iOS in the works.



References

Customer relationship management. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved May 09, 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Customer_relationship_management

Kroenke, D. M. (2010). Using MIS (3). New Jersey: Prentice Hall

Wailgum, T. & Patton, S. (n.d.). CRM Definition and Solutions. Retrieved from http://www.cio.com/article/40295/CRM_Definition_and_Solutions
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