Customer Relationship Management

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Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is an important part of any companies' sales mix. As part of a sales mix, companies must have a strong sales team; a well planned and executed marketing strategy, and a method to record pertinent information to manage customer relations. A CRM system is an important part in any company. They have a variety of uses from holding basic information such as names and address, to holding other information including relationship history, contract information, and recording customer satisfaction levels.

What is a CRM System?

Defining a CRM system is difficult to do at best. These systems can range from something very simple, to something that is very complex. With this being said however, CRM can best be described as "methodologies, technologies, and e-commerce capabilities used by firms to manage customer relationships." Particularly, "CRM software used by companies' acts as an aid in the interaction between the customer and the company, which enables the company to coordinate all the communication efforts of the company, so that the customer is presented with a unified message and image."

Defining the Customer

When defining the customer in Customer Relationship Management, the first thought is usually that the customer is simply the end user of the products, when in fact; CRM's customers can be suppliers, partners, investors, employees, and other people or entities the firm may deal with. As a firm, it is important to know who your customer's are. In order to do this, the company will need to collect information each time a customer makes a purchase or when they come across relevant information about the customer. With this information, the firm can use this to track purchasing patterns, which will lead to the identification of the few largest buyers. With this knowledge of the consumer, the firms can distinguish where most of their business originates; thereby applying the 80/20 rule to their...
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