Customer Relationship Management Can Transform the Small Business Sales Model

Topics: Customer relationship management, Customer service, Marketing Pages: 5 (1547 words) Published: June 19, 2013
ARTICLE TITLE: Customer Relationship Management Can Transform the Small Business Sales Model

RELEVANT TOPIC: Researching Customer Needs

1.0INTRODUCTION
In this modern world of science and technologies nowadays, companies in Malaysia may no longer be able to survive without prioritising customers. Regardless of the companies’ type, they are by no means should put customer as their king. The secret of winning customer heart is by managing relationship with them. Evans and Lindsay (2008) have introduced several aspect of customer relationship management for companies to follow. Among which are: being accessible and show commitment, develop customer contact employees, set customer contact requirements, enhance partnership and alliances and exploiting customer relationship technology. CRM, or Customer Relationship Management, is a way for businesses to find potential customers. While the first time term of CRM were used in the 1980s, it wasn't until the 2000s that it really began to shine. CRM software helps businesses identify and categorize existing customers. This allows them to see the specific demographics their products appeal to, in turn allowing them to market their products more effectively. Hence, in the context of exploiting customer relationship technology, technology is the key of customer relationship management (CRM) software or application, which is designed to help companies or organizations increase customer loyalty, target their most profitable customers and streamline customer process. BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES

Before CRM, businesses did very little to retain customers after the purchase. Many companies, especially larger ones, didn't feel any need to cater to the customers. Executives and higher-ups had the mentality that they could easily replace their customers. Though this may have been partially true in the past, upon entering the Information Age, everything changed. Beginning in the 1980's, customers began to become more aware of the products they buy, their alternative choices and the companies from which they bought. In the beginning, businesses in the 1980's began using databases to track existing and potential customers. This is what eventually led to the creation of CRM software. Referred to as "database marketing," this method entailed sending out surveys to customers and holding focus groups. However, many drawbacks existed with this particular method. For instance, while companies could collect the data, processing, analyzing and interpreting it was a very difficult and time-consuming task. In the 1990s, the term "Customer Relationship Management" was first coined. The 90s truly saw CRM technology and software evolve out of simple database marketing. Unlike in the past, companies were beginning to use CRM as a means to also give back to the customer. For example, many credit card and airline companies offered incentives such as reward points or frequent flyer miles. These programs were designed, not only to get new customers, but to improve customer loyalty by giving back to the customer. While the 90s saw an evolution in the concept of CRM itself, the early 2000s are when CRM as software really evolved. In the first few years of the 21st century software companies began releasing improved, easier-to-use and more affordable CRM software solutions. Often customizable, this newer CRM software applied to many fields, as each could modify it to for their specific needs. This newer software also helped CRM mature, as companies could then collect more varied levels of information and process it much faster and more efficiently than in the past. Today, CRM software is now primarily used in the customer service and technology industries. Financial institutions, technological businesses and the telecommunications industry typically use CRM software more than other industries and fields. Unlike CRM software in the past, which offered static, or no changing, information, newer CRM software's...

References: 1. Evans, J.R. and Lindsay W. M. (2008), The Management and Control of Quality: Eighth Edition, Canada: South-Western.
2. CMS Wire.Com. Customer Relationship Management Can Transform the Small Business Sales Model Retrieved May 21,2013 from http://www.cmswire.com/cms/customer-experience/customer-relationship-management-can-transform-the-small-business-sales-model-020099.php
3. CRM Application. Retrieved May 21, 2013 from http://www.crmapp.com/crmapp.html
4. 10 Hot Google CRM Apps. Retrieved May 21, 2013 from http://www.itbusinessedge.com/slideshows/show.aspx?c=87328&slide=5
5. CRM and Project Management. Easy. Powerful. Affordable. Retrieved May 21, 2013 from http://www.insightly.com/
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