What is a CRM System and Do I Need One?

Updated: December 16, 2009

What is a CRM system?

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is one such enabler that allows organizations to track every customer interaction be it a phone call, an email, a web form enquiry, even a tweet(!) and then use this incredibly valuable information to get closer to and understand better their customers and prospects.

But CRM does much more than just track customer interactions. It also helps organizations streamline their operations by automating routine tasks and enforcing best practices with the result that individuals within your organisation spend more time on the interesting stuff like engaging with customers rather than dull, monotonous administrative tasks that add minimal value and increase frustration saving huge amounts of time and effort.

A well planned implementation of a CRM system makes it easier for everyone inside your company to work together efficiently and share understanding of critical customer and prospect information.
Ultimately, CRM allows organizations to better acquire, manage, serve, and extract value from their customers while improving operational efficiency—something that is critical in today's economy.

The ultimate aim and goal of CRM being the true 360 degree view of a customer and every interaction. Never again having to ask, when did you call in and how do you spell your name again.

So, how do you decide if you really needs CRM software?

Surprisingly, there is no simple answer.

Experience and analysis shows that many companies have spent lots of time, effort and money on CRM software and associated services with minimal benefits.

The main observation is that the work has just gone on as before. The mistake that these companies have made is that they have just jumped on the bandwagon without really understanding their needs and evaluating what the CRM software really has to offer them.

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