What are customer relationship management systems? How do they benefit business?

Nowadays there are a lot of various types of businesses, developed in every economical sphere. Any of them is certainly very much dependant upon the customers it has or needs to have. It is usually considered for the small business to have better control over their customer’s needs and preferences. This is normal, that in the small shop the owner and the workers are aware of the actual customer’s needs, whereas in a huge trade center this is next to impossible. However attraction of customers is one of the primary targets in any business, either big or small, as usually the number of customers is in principle the decisive factor of business success and profitability. The only way to attract customers on the other hand is to know exactly, what they want to get and how they want to have it.

Realization of this was the major push for creation of the so-called customer relationship management – CRM. The key concept of it is rather simply on the surface ”“ to study the needs of the customers in order to provide the corresponding services, in reality, the roles of CRM should not be underestimated.

“Customer relationship management (CRM) consists of the processes a company uses to track and organize its contacts with its current and prospective customers” (Bligh and Turk, 2004). Usually the special software is used during these processes; the software is used for collection, entering, storing and accessing to the information about the customers for various departments of the company. This is closely related to the targeted marketing techniques.

“While the term CRM generally refers to a software-based approach to handling customer relationships, most CRM software vendors stress that a successful CRM effort requires a holistic approach” (Malthouse and  Calder, 2005).

This is very important to note here, that the installation of the corresponding software alone won’t be able to bring the sufficient positive results and improvements, as in reality it should be accompanied by special training, provided for the employees of the company for deep understanding and development of abilities to take the full advantages of such information systems. This means, that CRM should not be seen only as technology, as well as it can not be applied in any organization without any technology at all, there is thus a need of mutually supplemental key aspects of the whole system worked out, in order for the company to build a successful and worthwhile communication with their existing and potential customers (Selden, 2000). This is evident, that due to the huge amount of work and data, this process can not be simplified only to gathering some surveys’ results and building all the marketing and sales strategies based on such information. The percentage of accuracy of the information about customers sufficiently arises in case there is a chance to study multiple parameters of analysis, which can be provided only by CRM. “There are signs that the companies that are using the more sophisticated developments in CRM technology are seeing more benefits than those that settle for the more basic data collection approach” (Edwards, 2007). Nowadays, there are also systems, which are able to analyze not only the past data, but also to provide a kind of research for the future needs of the customers, which is certainly of the highest importance for building the business plans and marketing strategies for the future.

Overall, in this paper we studied the notion of CRM, its major functions and variety of advantages, it can bring to the development of any business structure or organization.

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