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CRM For Beginners - Customer Relationship Management Basics


In order to maintain a successful business, the business must understand and maintain a positive relationship with its customers. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is the process of bringing the customer and the company closer together. There are many different areas in which Customer Relationship Management can be implemented. The goal of CRM is to help a company maintain current customers, as well as gain new customers.

Targeted Marketing

Targeted marketing is accomplished through collecting information about the customer. This information can be buying habits or simply demographics. The idea behind this is that a business analyzes what a customer buys and then markets specific products to that customer based on his or her buying habits. Businesses track buying habits using discount cards, and special store credit cards. Targeted marketing can also be implemented on the Internet. Amazon.com has product recommendations based on buying habits, and product ratings. Customers can also be sent e-mails that market targeted products. Marketing the right products to the right customers can significantly increase a business' sales with minimal associated costs.

Call Centers and Customer Service

Have you ever called a business to complain or ordered a product and encountered an automated call response (I.E. "please press 1 for questions, 2 for comments" etc.)? That's CRM. Call centers that take calls and monitor customer/business interactions are often running on hosted CRM programs. CRM managers want to make call centers as efficient and customer-friendly as possible. A customer who can easily navigate through an automated system is more likely to do business with the same company in the future. In the case of a complaint, a customer whose problems are responded to immediately is more likely to forgive and forget a company's transgressions. Customer service is the backbone of all CRM processes and strategies.

CRM Vendors

Not surprisingly, in order to successfully collect data, manage call centers, analyze data, and make changes, businesses need CRM software. There are many CRM vendors in the world. The most widely-recognized vendors are Siebel, Salesforce.com, and Microsoft. Each of these vendors has contributed to CRM in its own way.

CRM Applications

There are many different types of CRM applications. Some CRM applications are Web-based so they can be accessed via a browser. Other CRM applications have programs built in for integrating data entries and data management across several applications. CRM vendors also have specific strategies that are unique to every client. The goal of a CRM vendor is to not only upgrade a company with the latest CRM technology, but also to design the companies infrastructure in such a way that the customer/company relationship can flourish.

Conclusion

Knowing the customer is the key to a successful business. Customer Relationship Management is the process through which a business analyzes their customers and makes changes accordingly. CRM vendors provide applications and advice on the best CRM methods. Most observers believe that CRM practices will continue to flourish as new CRM strategies and technologies are developed. For any business, a successful CRM approach is a must-have.

Matt Hogansworth writes about CRM software and other CRM topics.


MORE RESOURCES:

Customer Service - Google News

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Customer Service Is The New Marketing - Forbes


Forbes

Customer Service Is The New Marketing
Forbes
Customer service is the new marketing. This statement may sound suspect coming from me, a customer service consultant; it sounds like an example of “when you have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail” thinking on my part, or even the drunk-looking ...

Customers are looking at overall experience a business provides - Jackson Clarion Ledger


Jackson Clarion Ledger

Customers are looking at overall experience a business provides
Jackson Clarion Ledger
Providing extraordinary customer service is what sets one business apart from its competition. It requires efficiently helping customers, being friendly and surpassing customer expectations. A business wants to create loyal customers who will refer ...

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The True Value Of Customer Service - Forbes


Forbes

The True Value Of Customer Service
Forbes
In my experience, being a captive insurance manager is a great niche business with high barriers to entry, but despite the competitive advantages for an expert in captive insurance, the most important criteria for success as a captive manager is not ...

Ruthless heroin dealers innovated drug dealing with focus on customer service in Milwaukee - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Ruthless heroin dealers innovated drug dealing with focus on customer service in Milwaukee
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The Big Money Addicts did more than just sell heroin in Milwaukee — they created a business model that maximized profits by putting a premium on customer service. Using stolen cars, the gang offered round-the-clock, curbside drug delivery service ...

Grocers' Customer Service Can Counter Online Threat | Progressive ... - Progressive Grocer


Progressive Grocer

Grocers' Customer Service Can Counter Online Threat | Progressive ...
Progressive Grocer
In a bid to compete with Amazon, Seamless, Peapod, FreshDirect and the other countless businesses that deliver food and individual meals to your home, supermarkets are seeking ways to get shoppers into their stores and buy. The rise of the internet ...

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Customer service staff need to be problem solving not apologising - The Conversation AU


The Conversation AU

Customer service staff need to be problem solving not apologising
The Conversation AU
Traditional customer service is struggling as consumers solve problems online and expect options in person.

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For better customer service, travelers turn to Facebook Messenger ... - Chicago Tribune


Chicago Tribune

For better customer service, travelers turn to Facebook Messenger ...
Chicago Tribune
Using a social network to contact a travel company may sound counterintuitive, but companies are quietly allocating customer-service resources there.

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How Customer Service Fueled T-Mobile's Big Comeback | Fortune - Fortune


Fortune

How Customer Service Fueled T-Mobile's Big Comeback | Fortune
Fortune
The formerly fading wireless carrier T-Mobile has doubled its revenue and subscriber base since CEO John Legere took the helm.

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Hoping for better customer service, travelers turn to Facebook's Messenger - Washington Post


Washington Post

Hoping for better customer service, travelers turn to Facebook's Messenger
Washington Post
When Karen Korr wanted to change part of her European itinerary, she didn't call Travelocity, her online travel agency. She didn't send an email or a text message, either. Instead, Korr, who works for a nonprofit organization in San Diego, clicked on ...
Feeling the Love with Messenger | Facebook Newsroom Facebook Newsroom

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