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Crm For Beginners - Customer Relationship Management Basics
By Matt Hogansworth, Wed Dec 7th

In order to maintain a successful business, the business must understand and maintain a positive relationship with its customers. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is the process of bringing the customer and the company closer together. Thereare many different areas in which Customer Relationship Management can be implemented. The goal of CRM is to help acompany maintain current customers, as well as gain newcustomers.

Targeted Marketing

Targeted marketing is accomplished through collecting information about the customer. This information can be buying habits or simply demographics. The idea behind this is that abusiness analyzes what a customer buys and then markets specific products to that customer based on his or her buying habits. Businesses track buying habits using discount cards, and special store credit cards. Targeted marketing can also be implementedon the Internet. has product recommendations based onbuying habits, and product ratings. Customers can also be sente-mails that market targeted products. Marketing the rightproducts to the right customers can significantly increase a business' sales with minimal associated costs.

Call Centers and Customer Service

Have you ever called a business to complain or ordered a productand encountered an automated call response (I.E. “please press 1for questions, 2 for comments” etc.)? That’s CRM. Call centersthat take calls and monitor customer/business interactions areoften running on hosted CRM programs. CRM managers want to makecall centers as efficient and customer-friendly as possible. Acustomer who can easily navigate through an automated


system ismore likely to do business with the same company in the future.In the case of a complaint, a customer whose problems areresponded to immediately is more likely to forgive and forget acompany’s transgressions. Customer service is the backbone ofall CRM processes and strategies.

CRM Vendors

Not surprisingly, in order to successfully collect data, managecall centers, analyze data, and make changes, businesses needCRM software. There are many CRM vendors in the world. The mostwidely-recognized vendors are Siebel,, andMicrosoft. Each of these vendors has contributed to CRM in itsown way.

CRM Applications

There are many different types of CRM applications. Some CRMapplications are Web-based so they can be accessed via abrowser. Other CRM applications have programs built in forintegrating data entries and data management across severalapplications. CRM vendors also have specific strategies that areunique to every client. The goal of a CRM vendor is to not onlyupgrade a company with the latest CRM technology, but also todesign the companies infrastructure in such a way that thecustomer/company relationship can flourish.


Knowing the customer is the key to a successful business.Customer Relationship Management is the process through which abusiness analyzes their customers and makes changes accordingly.CRM vendors provide applications and advice on the best CRMmethods. Most observers believe that CRM practices will continueto flourish as new CRM strategies and technologies aredeveloped. For any business, a successful CRM approach is amust-have.



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