This article was taken from CRM Assist
What is CRM?
Customer Relationship Management is an information industry term for methodologies, software, and, usually, Internet capabilities that help an enterprise manage customer relationships in an organized way. For example, an enterprise might build a database about its customers that described relationships in sufficient detail. Therefore, management, salespeople, people providing services, and perhaps the customers could directly access information, match customer needs with product plans and offerings, remind customers of service requirements, and know what other products a customer had purchased. According to one industry view, CRM consists of:
Brief history of CRM
With the advent of e-commerce comes the e-customer. According to Vantive, a customer relationship management solutions provider, the e-customer expects constant access to a company; through e- mails, call centers, faxes and websites. They demand immediate response and a personalized touch. Meeting their needs places new demands on the enterprise. Since traditional enterprise resource planning applications did not include a customer management aspect, CRM was the logical next step. Vantive, for example, has been developing and implementing customer-facing applications since 1992.
Two trends have brought CRM to the forefront, explains Boston University professor Tom Davenport, who directs Andersen Consulting’s Institute for Strategic Change. First, as global competition has increased and products have become harder to differentiate, “companies have begun moving from a product-centric view of the world to a customer-centric one,” says Davenport.
Second, technology has ripened to the point where it is possible to put customer information from all over the enterprise into a single system. “Until recently, we didn’t have the ability to manage the complex information about customers, because information was stored in 20 different systems,” says Davenport. But as network and Internet technology has matured, CRM software has found its place in the world.
Why is it necessary?
Many companies are turning to customer-relationship management systems to better understand customer wants and needs. CRM applications, often used in combination with data warehousing, E-commerce applications, and call centers, allow companies to gather and access information about customers’ buying histories, preferences, complaints, and other data so they can better anticipate what customers will want. The goal is to instill greater customer loyalty.
Other benefits include:
The top vendors of CRM software include Siebel, Vantive, and Clarify along with ERP vendors Baan Co. and Oracle Corp. These top five vendors contributed 40 percent of overall CRM revenue, with the market leaders growing a hardy 90 percent combined in 1998.
In the growing segment of CRM professional services, market leaders include Andersen Consulting, Cambridge Technology Partners, CSC, Deloitte Consulting, EDS/Centrobe, eLoyalty, Ernst & Young, IBM Global Services, KPMG, and PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
The future of CRM
AMR Research expects the CRM market to change dramatically, reaching $16.8 billion by the year 2003. The CRM segment is expected to witness 60% revenue growth this year, with compound annual growth of 49% by 2003. Companies are developing business plans with CRM strategies as the driving element, as customer service is a top priority.
Get practical ideas and good models with dozens of examples of successful marketing plans with Sales and Marketing Pro.
Finish your own Marketing Plan
Get practical ideas and good models with dozens
of examples of successful marketing plans