Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has advanced as one of the primary applications to help business organization deliver in-bound service to customers, and to develop outbound value adding and marketing services.
Customer Relationship Management
CRM is simply defined as an information industry term for applications, processes, and network capabilities that help companies manage and work with their customers through a relationship program that is organized and modularized (Isaksson, 2005). The term CRM has changed over the years, as its educational theoretical bases as a strategic tool for more sales and increased loyalty made it fall into the arms of information technology. In effect, CRM was transformed to a set of applications and a complete technical solution or a software package that is deployed on corporations and institutions.
As a consequence of both eras, CRM is now a marketing tool and a technical solution that helps companies build relations that generate better sales and increases revenue (La Valle, Scheld). The industry has matured over the past years, according to William Band, a principal analyst at Forrester Research and the author of the report, “Trends 2006: Customer Relationship Management.” CRM has moved, Band says, from times of unrealistic expectations and exaggerated pessimism to acceptance as a core pillar of an organization’s competitive strategy (Haskins, 2006).
Company’s focus in retaining and capitalizing on profit from their current customers has been the motive for deploying CRM integrated information systems. These usually support in planning marketing campaigns, scheduling promotions, and supporting sales activities (Choo, 2001) One major benefit that has been realized by many corporations is the need to have a solution that is built for the organization and customized to its requirements (Haskins, 2006). When Microsoft developed its CRM, it made it adaptable and expandable through the use of web services architecture. The concept of out-of-the-box ready made package is no longer popular among corporations (Haskins, 2006). Further more, CRM applications have evolved to include advanced customer behaviour tracking tools that have analytic abilities to extract information from transactional data; thus, providing insights for the organization to direct its products and services, customizing campaigns and offers to meet the expectations of their customers (Mithas, Krishnan, and Fornell, 2005).