Customer Relationship Management (CRM) represents the idea of promoting the improved relationship between a company and its stakeholders. Customers play an essential role in supporting a business; hence, they must be treated with high regard to guarantee loyalty. The concept of CRM, thus, directs special attention to aspects, including customers and marketers, to increase long-term relationships. CRM may be defined in accordance with the company’s point of view and objectives. Firstly, CRM may refer to the strategic process implemented by an organization to enhance relationships with their customers and other third parties. On the other hand, CRM may also be defined as a technology that integrates sales, marketing, and information systems within the business to improve relationships with customers (Wyne et al 203). Consequently, CRM plays a significant role both as a process and as a technology to improve engagement with clients in the long run.
CRM as a Strategic Process
In this case, CRM involves the alignment of company goals with client expectations to foster better relationships. These processes, thus, become adopted by the business and form part of the culture with regard to handling customer interactions. For instance, the company can adopt value creation, performance assessment, and strategy development. In this case, strategy development would require the building of appropriate relationships both for the business and for the customers as shown in figure 1 below. Additionally, value creation adds more to the products and services provided to lure and entice customers, increasing loyalty. Finally, performance assessment monitors individual aspects including clients, stakeholders, and shareholders in a bid to increase efficiency (Kumar and Reinartz 231). As a result, such processes streamline operations, enabling the business to concentrate on critical aspects that drive revenue generation. Strategic processes, thus, guide the business and can use CRM as a basis for initiating viable change.
CRM as a Technology
CRM in technology involves the integration of a variety of systems to gather information critical to improving service delivery. Under this system, the organization collects data, records, analyzes, and interprets it to evaluate the relationship between the company and its users (Raab et al. 29). Additionally, the information collected can also be organized to provide individualized records to better understand their customers. Thus, CRM systems provide an avenue for tracking and managing customer accounts.
A CRM system may contain such features as contact management, lead management, sales forecasting, messaging, email tracking, file sharing, and analytics. From such information, the business can easily access contact data for any updates, track prospective clients to conversion, forecast sales to motivate employees, and answer queries both internally and externally swiftly (Raab et al. 30). Furthermore, the company can also simplify email conversations, store files in a central location, and analyze data from meaningful dashboards.
Therefore, CRM can be defined as either a process or a technology in the quest to offer enhanced client engagement and relationships. CRM as a process involves the alignment of company objectives to meet client demands. This involves the use of such strategies as value addition or performance assessment that builds up the abilities of the company to deal with clients efficiently. On the other hand, as a technology, it entails the integration of systems to enhance knowledge management. In this case, a business may collect data to improve its knowledge of client needs. CRM, therefore, can be a useful tool, either way, to improve how an organization interacts with its internal and external stakeholders.
Kumar, V. and Werner Reinartz. Customer Relationship Management: Concept, Strategy, and Tools. Springer, 2018.
Raab, Gerhard, et al. Customer Relationship Management: A Global Perspective. CRC Press, 2016.
Wyne, Salma Rizwan, et al. “Customer Relationship Management: Complications and Implementations in an Organization.” International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, vol. 7, no. 3, 2017, pp. 202-206.