Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is one of those magnificent concepts that swept the business world in the 1990's with the promise of forever changing the way businesses, small and large, interacted with their customer bases. In the short term, however, it proved to be an unwieldy process that was better in theory than in practice for a variety of reasons. First among these was that it was simply so difficult and expensive to track and keep the high volume of records needed accurately and constantly update them. In the last several years, however, newer software systems and advanced tracking features have vastly improved CRM capabilities and the real promise of CRM is becoming a reality. As the price of newer, more customizable Internet solutions have hit the marketplace; competition has driven the prices down so that even relatively small businesses are reaping the benefits of some custom CRM programs.
The 1980's saw the emergence of database marketing, which was simply a catch phrase to define the practice of setting up customer service groups to speak individually to all of a company's customers.
In the case of larger, key clients it was a valuable tool for keeping the lines of communication open and tailoring service to the clients needs. In the case of smaller clients, however, it tended to provide repetitive, survey-like information that cluttered databases and didn't provide much insight. As companies began tracking database information, they realized that the bare bones were all that was needed in most cases: what they buy regularly, what they spend, what they do.
[...] While big clients may look impressive on a customer list, they may be costing your organization more money than they bring in. These clients may have special needs, such as customized packaging, special distribution needs, more hand-holding, which take extra time and expenses. Look at overall customer profitability, not just sales, and send unprofitable clients to the competition. 36 Consider life stages. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are roughly 75 million baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964), more than 49 million gen Xers (born between 1965 and 1976), more than 72 million gen Yers (born between 1977 and 1994), and 40 million millennial (born between 1995 and now). [...]
[...] Let's buy it and then figure out how we can use it here.'" USF tapped Right Now Technologies' e-mail management software to help the IT department, financial aid office and other administrative groups that were bogged down with customer service inquiries from 40,000 students and staff Build and maintain a relationship with quality consultants. Consultants are important not only in an initial deployment, but also as project parameters change - which they will, Liddell says. Monster.com works with CRM consultant Akibia, which lets the company quickly expand its CRM resources when necessary. [...]
[...] E-CRM 10.1 E-CRM: Delivering a Superior Internet Customer Experience How one Internet retailer delivers the highest quality customer experience, builds customer loyalty, and drives revenue Retailing Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals on the Internet In 1997, a billion-dollar retailer of pharmaceutical, health, and beauty products decided to expand its business to the Internet, launching a web retail operation as a division of its brick-and-mortar operation—the first in its industry to go online. As with many of the early web-based forays into e-commerce, this site was deployed primarily to establish a web presence for the company. [...]
[...] CRM was now being used as a way to increase sales passively as well as through active improvement of customer service Introduction Customer Relationship Management - CRM The generally accepted purpose of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is to enable organizations to better serve its customers through the introduction of reliable processes and procedures for interacting with those customers. In today's competitive business environment, a successful CRM strategy cannot be implemented by only installing and integrating a software package designed to support CRM processes. [...]
[...] Gartner recognizes this with a forward-looking view of what CRM is really about: “Customer relationship management refers to the concept of moving ownership of the customer up to the enterprise level and away from individual departments and channels. These departments are responsible for customer interactions, but the enterprise is responsible for the customer.” Gartner Research Note, Ferrara and Nelson Even the best business minds often assume that customer management is the concern of the marketing department, however, the customer-centric enterprise of tomorrow knows better. [...]
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