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Featured Customer Relationship Management Article

Customer Relationship Management

´╗┐Understanding Customer Relationship Management


No matter how large or small a company you run Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has to be a part of your overall business strategy. CRM refers to an organized method of managing and tracking contacts with a businesses customer base, on a daily basis. Typically, CRM is organized with software designed specifically for this purpose.

Businesses using CRM are looking to improve their customer service and to better target the needs of their customers as well as improve their marketing efforts. By learning about their customers needs a business can better meet customer needs, understand what behaviors drive customer decisions and create brand loyalty by better meeting the needs of customers. Employees are often trained to use CRM software and it is an effective tool for managing customer. Ideally, CRM is suitable for small businesses with only one or two employees or large corporations with thousands of employees spread across different branches, all having access.

All companies have customers and the use of CRM is an effective tool in banking, education, electronics, engineering, restaurants and non-profit businesses. Basically, CRM is flexible and adaptable to the needs of any type of business. Though a companies primary business strategy may be too find and attract new customers, unless they take the time too improve the relationships with existing customers their growth and sales will be limited.

Their are several different types of CRM that a company might choose to use. A company might choose to focus on tracking of expenses, the number of direct sales generated through a targeted marketing campaign, gauging the effectiveness of a marketing campaign or to understand customers purchasing habits. Once an organization understands its CRM needs its an easy process to decide how they plan to retrieve CRM for their company. All CRM solutions require a technological approach.

Three CRM Solutions

1. Web-based CRM

Web-based CRM is ideal for companies who want to save time and need information that can quickly be accessed or store away. Making it ideal for e-commerce as well as allowing access in different locations without the need for stored software or files. Web-based CRM is a great solution for smaller companies that cannot afford the cost or lack the workers to develop their own CRM solution.

2. Software CRM Packages

These are great for companies looking for a standardized CRM solution. Software packages offer versions with different applications suitable for use in small and medium sized businesses. Standard software packages are ideal price wise but businesses may find the program doesn't offer all the options or solutions they need.

3. Customized CRM system

Companies can choose to have software engineers and CRM consultants develop a system that is fully designed with the needs of their business in mind. This approach will be more expensive and will take a lot of time to develop, most small businesses would fair better with a cheaper standardized or web based solution. CRM is about much more than software, it allows companies to adapt their business practices to learn and meet the needs of their customers over time.