Customer relationship management system refers to the technologies, strategies, and practices that business organizations use to examine and manage customer data and interactions all through the customer lifecycle, with the aim of improving sales growth and enhancing customer service relationships.
Also, a Customer Relationship Management is a system which helps to manage and control any interaction with the customer. The whole relationship incorporates direct communication with customers, including
Sales and service-related processes, analyzing customer behavior
Predicting customer behaviors and trends
Generally, Customer Relationship Management serves to improve the overall experience of a customer.
Talking about CRM, a lot of people think CRM asa sales system only; however, you can use CRM systems for support, services, and more.
There is also a misconception that CRM only refers to the software. However, CRM is a management practice also- which is delivered through popular CRM softwares.
Historical Perspective of Customer relationship management system
I will tell you one interesting story here. Let’s go back to the era before the internet and electricity –lets go back to 17th century. There was a famous restaurant in some town of Italy. The owner of the restaurant was bit obsessed about providing service. In that restaurant, the staff used to keep meticulous records of customer preferences -especially what they order, cut of what thickness they like, duration of cooking, sauce preferences etc.The staff will then surprise the patrons, by telling them what they ordered last time and suggesting dishes for that day.If you think for a moment, this is what is CRM in practice.
The beginning of modern CRM
From Rolodex to the current latest and innovative Customer Relationship Management solutions, let us uncover the beginning of modern CRM and which platform has changed the business over the years.
Rolodex helped to centralize the contact management in a paper form. Rolodex basically is the card organizer. The Rolodex is a file device that rotates, allowing organizations to spin through various Contact cards. Anybody who is interested in contacting a specific customer will go to rolodex stand, get the contact details and then make the phone call.
Contact Management Software – Late 1980s
As the computers started making their way to offices, the software for contact management came into picture. Rolodex started going out of favor and the PC based software took its place. People also preferred it as they could keep their leads secret.
Centralized contact manager software
Within few years, server technology started making inroads into the offices. As central computers and databases become available, the contact manager software moved to the server, allowing access to common contact database to all the employees.
Emergence of modern CRM
As the contact manager become popular, other communication methods were added to the same software. Email was the first one to integrate and in some cases phone software was also added to some of the CRMs.
More channels and moving to cloud
Customer Relationship Management evolved to cloud where u can access the contact manager from anywhere. As it continues to evolve, other dimensions were added to CRM. From contact manager, Account management, ability to add email, chat, make calls, and more.
From here, where the CRM systems will go nobody knows. With emergence of AI, Chat, Machine learning maybe we will see some totally different picture of these systems in coming years.
The benefits of CRM
When implemented Professionally, CRM systems offer many benefits, including:
Customer Relationship Management brings consistency and helps track calls and work that is recorded in a centralized location. The system integrates the business’s workflow and saves the time used for daily tasks. As a result, it will increase customer engagement and provide consistency.
It will also create what is called as tickets or cases for each piece of work, on which all communication will be tracked.
CRM helps organizations accomplish clarity and organization of action, and firmly holds related information responsible for making customer communication very clear and yielding. Suddenly from distributed email inboxes you move to common platform where all business communication is available at a central location. If an agent is not available then other colleague or manager can intervene.
Once all the information is available at the central location, measurement of performance by processes, people and statistics of enquiries can be generated. This gives valuable insight into operations of the company.
Customer relationship management system can be an important piece in success and failure of your venture.