With a CRM system, you can manage your contacts and customer activities, enforce your business strategy with technology to consistently meet customer needs, share a single 360-degree view of your customers with your company, and personalize new and ongoing customer interactions to cost-effectively acquire, nurture, and retain good customers.
What is CRM?
Customer relationship management (CRM) is a comprehensive way to manage the relationships you have with your customers—including potential customers—for long-lasting mutual benefit. Effective CRM systems capture information about customer interactions and present that information to customer-facing users to service those customers more effectively and efficiently.
CRM: Then and Now
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all CRM solution. Organizations differ in how they do business and serve their customers—and their CRM solutions vary, too. Back in the late 1980s when CRM was in its infancy, the client/server model for on-premise CRM software implementations required an IT infrastructure, including networks and servers. Today, hosted CRM—also known as online CRM or Web-based CRM—is offered as a subscription: You pay to use this software as a service (SaaS) and access your CRM applications online, making it cost-effective, easy to use, and quick to deploy.
CRM: The Payoff
Customers with successful CRM systems report growth in revenue, higher profits, lower costs to attract and retain customers, greater customer loyalty, and smoother, more streamlined workflows. Specific benefits cited include more timely and targeted customer services, improved employee productivity, shorter sales cycles, improved visibility into business performance, more accurate sales forecasting, greater cross-sell and up-sell success, better-informed marketing decisions, more-efficient call center operations, and fewer customer problems