Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a strategy for managing an organization’s relationships and interactions with customers and probable customers. It is a term that refers to practices, strategies, and technologies that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, with the goal of improving business relationships with customers, assisting in customer retention and driving sales growth. CRM systems are designed to compile information on customers across different channels or points of contact between the customer and the company which could include the company’s website, telephone, live chat, direct mail, marketing materials, and social media. CRM systems can also give customer-facing staff detailed information on customers’ personal information, purchase history, buying preferences and concerns. The goal is simple: Improve business relationships.
The four main vendors of CRM systems are – Salesforce.com, Microsoft, SAP, and Oracle. Other providers are popular among small to mid-market businesses, but these four tend to be the choice of large corporations. It helps companies stay connected to customers, streamline processes, and improve profitability.