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What is Customer Relationship Management (CRM)?

A lot of people ask me in meetings that what is a CRM application. I thought it will be a good idea to write a detailed article around this.
In general, CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. It is a process of managing the relationship with your customer. The relationship with the customer doesn’t just start when a business or an individual buys something (product or service) from you but the relationship starts way before that. Sometimes even before you meet the person:

  • You are given a name by a fellow networker in a networking meeting
  • or you get the name of the person from a social media post
  • or the customer comes to your website and fills up your contact us form to get in touch with you
  • or when they send you an email to get in touch
  • or even an outgoing phone call from the prospect list that you created from your market research
All of the above processes give you the contact details of a customer, how do you track that customers activities with your organisation is Customer Relationship Management and the software which allows you to manage the interaction and later on provide you the history of this interaction and activities is called a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM).
This is the core of any CRM application but there are other features of various CRMs out there which make this process very easy. Also, there are CRM applications which are business function specific. For Example,
  • Sales Management CRM – CRM which specifically allows you to manage the sales pipeline in your organisation.
  • Help Desk/Trouble Ticket Management CRM – CRM which specifically allows you to manage the issues/trouble tickets/customer queries in your organisation
  • Project Management CRM – CRM which specifically manages projects and tasks for the customer
  • Membership Management CRM – CRM which specifically manages memberships of an organisation (Associations/Clubs/Chamber of Commerce etc.)
There are Open Source CRM applications which may manage more than one function of your business and can very easily be customised to track your specific information or your specific business support cycle, to know more about them drop me an email at [email protected] and I’ll be happy to discuss your specific requirements.

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