Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Many businesses opt for Customer Relationship Management systems, often abbreviated as CRM. This is a process for companies thatwant to organize customer data and use it to their advantages. CRM software applications are particularly useful for large companies but midsized companies are also using such apps extensively. CRM has emerged as a viable means for customer retention and customer base expansion.

With Customer Relationship Management systems, storage and manipulation of customer data becomes easier for companies. This can be described as an organized framework accessible by company personnel to helpthem keep track of customer details. With compatible CRM systemand app, errors are minimized during work process as these systems provide unified working procedure and parameters. The employees can locate any information about a customer with these apps as and when they need. This is also helpful for relation management with loyal customers. Whenever such customers call up, employees can see their background and relation with company. This in turn helps them to treat these customers in a more personalized manner.

However, CRM apps are run and maintained by employees in an organization. Its effectiveness, therefore, depends to an extent on expertise and proper usage by employees. For instance, sales section of a company will not get much assistance from CRM software if other department stafffail to input adequate data in the system. Therefore, companies thatuse CRM apps should ensure that their employees get trained in the apps properly.

There are various types of CRM apps available and a company needs to choose one that meets the company requirement the best. Web based CRM tools have become quite popular nowadays. These are also being offered as part of an ERP system. Advantage of web based CRM is that it can run easily ona remote server or on a compatible cloud network. A little more flexible variant is eCRM, where latest technology is put to use apart from traditional methods to manage customer relationship. These CRM apps enable customers to put in their personal information. They can also input data in polls and online surveys through these apps. ERP CRM apps are even more advanced and they are often compatible with user level supply chain applications. Examples of ERP CRM modules are Oracle Siebel and IBM Salesplace.

With time, CRM industry preference leans towards eCRM from standalone CRM apps. CRM app providers nowadays also offer data centers and cloud systems to vendors. Open-source CRM appsare also becoming popular.



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