CRM-Customer Relationship Management-an Introduction
What is customer relationship management? Whenever I see this term CRM, I wonder what it is really and why I should know anything about it. Is it a software suite comprising various tools to manage your customers? Does a small business or a professional like a doctor or home business need it? Or it is only for large corporations or business houses? Come, let us find out more about CRM now.
I want to make this simple and talk only about the CRM. Not lead you on to more and more definitions and abbreviations. This is a typical trait of the present day scenario, where one definition leads to another! For example, you start with CRM, then you will go on to SFA, B2B,B2C, Cloud and so on. So we are going to look at CRM and only CRM, if it is possible!
An Overview of CRM
Before we begin, let us go back in time and visualize a scenario, say 20 years back. The year 2000. If you wanted to buy something, what did you do? You certainly didn’t pull out your mobile and type “supermarkets near me”! Instead, you simply went about inquiring the big reputed stores in the city and walked into one of them.
After you made your purchases, if you paid by Cash, there may not be any ledger to sign and leave your phone number. On the other hand, if you paid by credit card, there may have been a ledger wherein, the supervisor may have requested you to write your address details, email and home phone number, date of birth, wedding anniversary day, just in case your card payment was declined by the issuing bank later!
Customer was King
Earlier, the customer was important, but no one collected any details about him or her. Even though the customer is the backbone of any business, there still was a limited role assigned to him or her. In fact, the only importance assigned to the customer was this quaint quote, which without fail always hung in every office, private or Government.
A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption of our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider of our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us the opportunity to do so.
What is CRM?
Your existing customers and potential customers need information. Therefore, you need a system or technology to manage that. Record and review the interactions to manage the relationship better with your customers. It results in improved profitability and simplifies the connection process for better communication through email or WhatsApp. In short, this is the gist of Customer Relationship Management.
There are so many types of CRM suites available depending on the size of your business. Even subscription based modules, so that your investment is minimal. Go for a suitable model and grow big in terms of revenue and profits. All the best for your initiative. The next part will be to review the various suites available. See you there, soon!