What is CRM
What is CRM – what the acronym stands for, and its business improvement promise.
CRM is an acronym for Customer Relationship Management.
Some call it technology, but at its core, it is software. It is special software though: Honed and refined by the business requirements over many years, CRM systems track the interactions and touch points between a business and its customers. Typically, these interactions will be with:
These three functions will mean different things to different businesses, and CRM systems have evolved to cater for these difference.
In the past, systems were very rigid, and if the business did not conform to standard sales and marketing operation, then the system felt a bit like a square peg in a round hole. On the other hand, Modern CRM systems are more like a development platform, allowing the use of business-specific jargon and descriptive labels that make sense in the particular industry.
Modern CRM goes further…
Modern systems can be configured to reflect the business model exactly; for example it makes sense that the CRM system should reflect the journey of the customer – from initial awareness to becoming a customer and beyond. The emphasis of CRM is on openness, so that everyone at the coalface has access to up to date information about the customer – with the ultimate promise of enabling and motivating every single person in the business to delight customers.
CRM systems come in many flavours and capabilities, and there are a number online systems available to choose from. It is important to understand the criteria used to determine which CRM system is best for a particular business.
A CRM implementation takes a fair amount of effort, and with multiple, incremental improvements over an extended time-period, it is advisable to choose a tool that can grow and expand with future needs.