CRM deals with long term mutually beneficial relationship among consumers, companies and other stakeholders. It’s a new technology enabled way to do business that revives the simple notion that “keep pleasing customers and they keep coming back.” CRM is a well-defined series of functions, skills, processes and technologies which together allow businesses to manage customers profitably as tangible assets.

Effective customer relationship management allows the formation of individualized relationships with customers, with the aim of improving customer satisfaction and maximizing profits. That is identifying the most profitable customers and providing them with the highest level of customer service. CRM is about providing employees with information and processes necessary to know their customers, understand their needs and effectively build relationships between the business, its customer base and distribution partners. It helps the company’s marketing team to identify and target their best customers, manage marketing campaigns with clear goals and objectives to generate leads for the sales team.

Changes in the process, people and technology should be evaluated and business impact should be quantified and prioritized, supported by a solid business case and tangible return on investment. Develop an incremental approach focused on addressing high value opportunities, first think big, start small and deliver results quickly. Align to corporate strategies, ensuring that CRM initiatives are in complete alignment with the company’s overall business. Measure the effectiveness of your initiatives and create accountability for customer and business results. What is your baseline performance and what key performance indicators will you measure to know that you are getting results from your CRM initiatives. Create an overall CRM vision for the company.  Develop and communicate the CRM vision to your organisation and key players such as customers, employees and partners. Secure the commitment and buy in of senior management to the overall project vision, project objectives and measurements of results. Recognize the organisational change and motivations required to achieve full benefits and create the action plans to achieve and sustain the future state of organisational readiness.

When CRM is done right, you will be able to provide better customer service, simplify marketing and sales process and improve customer satisfaction. Marketing efforts are directed specifically to individuals thereby reducing costs. CRM increases customer revenue and builds strong customer loyalty.