Thursday, March 27, 2008


There are many aspects of CRM which were mistakenly thought to be capable of being implemented in isolation from each other. [4]

From the outside of the organization, a customer experiences the business as one entity operating over extended periods of time. Thus piecemeal CRM implementation can come across to the customer as unsynchronized where employees and web sites and services are acting independently of one another, yet together represent a common entity.

CRM is the philosophy, policy and coordinating strategy connecting different players within an organization so as to coordinate their efforts in creating an overall valuable series of experiences, products and services for the customer.

The different players within the organization are in identifiable groups:

  • Customer Facing Operations - The people and the technology support of processes that affect a customer's experience at the frontline interface between the customer and the organization. This can include face to face, phone, IM, chat, email, web and combinations of all medium. Self-service kiosk and web self-service are doing the job of vocals and they belong here.
  • Internal Collaborative Functional Operations - The people and technology support of processes at the policy and back office which ultimately affect the activities of the Customer Facing Operations concerning the building and maintaining of customer relationships. This can include IT, billing, invoicing, maintenance, planning, marketing, advertising, finance, services planning and manufacturing.
  • External Collaboration functions - The people and technology support of processes supporting an organization and its cultivation of customer relationships that are affected by the organization's own relationship with suppliers/vendors and retail outlets/distributors. Some would also include industry cooperative networks, e.g. lobbying groups, trade associations. This is the external network foundation which supports the internal Operations and Customer facing Operations.
  • Customer Advocates and Experience Designers - Creative designers of customer experience that meet customer relationship goals of delivering value to the customer and profit to the organization (or desired outcomes and achievement of goals for non-profit and government organizations)
  • Performance Managers and Marketing Analysts - Designers of Key Performance Indicators and collectors of metrics and data so as to execute/implement marketing campaigns, call campaigns, Web strategy and keep the customer relationship activities on track. This would be the milestones and data that allow activities to be coordinated, that determine if the CRM strategy is working in delivering ultimate outcomes of CRM activities: market share, numbers and types of customers, revenue, profitability, intellectual property concerning customers preferences.
  • Customer and Employee Surveyors and Analysts - Customer Relationships are both fact driven and impression driven - the quality of an interaction is as important as the information and outcome achieved, in determining whether the relationship is growing or shrinking in value to the participants.

CRM For Beginners – Customer Relationship Management Basics

In order to maintain a successful business, the business must understand and maintain a positive relationship with its customers. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is the process of bringing the customer and the company closer together. There are many different areas in which Customer Relationship Management can be implemented. The goal of CRM is to help a company maintain current customers, as well as gain new customers.

Targeted Marketing

Targeted marketing is accomplished through collecting information about the customer. This information can be buying habits or simply demographics. The idea behind this is that a business analyzes what a customer buys and then markets specific products to that customer based on his or her buying habits. Businesses track buying habits using discount cards, and special store credit cards. Targeted marketing can also be implemented on the Internet. has product recommendations based on buying habits, and product ratings. Customers can also be sent e-mails that market targeted products. Marketing the right products to the right customers can significantly increase a business' sales with minimal associated costs.

Call Centers and Customer Service

Have you ever called a business to complain or ordered a product and encountered an automated call response (I.E. “please press 1 for questions, 2 for comments” etc.)? That’s CRM. Call centers that take calls and monitor customer/business interactions are often running on hosted CRM programs. CRM managers want to make call centers as efficient and customer-friendly as possible. A customer who can easily navigate through an automated system is more likely to do business with the same company in the future. In the case of a complaint, a customer whose problems are responded to immediately is more likely to forgive and forget a company’s transgressions. Customer service is the backbone of all CRM processes and strategies.

CRM Vendors

Not surprisingly, in order to successfully collect data, manage call centers, analyze data, and make changes, businesses need CRM software. There are many CRM vendors in the world. The most widely-recognized vendors are Siebel,, and Microsoft. Each of these vendors has contributed to CRM in its own way.

CRM Applications

There are many different types of CRM applications. Some CRM applications are Web-based so they can be accessed via a browser. Other CRM applications have programs built in for integrating data entries and data management across several applications. CRM vendors also have specific strategies that are unique to every client. The goal of a CRM vendor is to not only upgrade a company with the latest CRM technology, but also to design the companies infrastructure in such a way that the customer/company relationship can flourish.


Knowing the customer is the key to a successful business. Customer Relationship Management is the process through which a business analyzes their customers and makes changes accordingly. CRM vendors provide applications and advice on the best CRM methods. Most observers believe that CRM practices will continue to flourish as new CRM strategies and technologies are developed. For any business, a successful CRM approach is a must-have.