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Customer relationship management (CRM) refers to a strategy widely used by companies and organizations (including related integrated information systems and technology, often in the form of software) to record and manage their overall data and interactions with current, past and potential customers.
CRM works to ensure that all customer-interfacing organizational functions (i.e., sales, marketing, technical support) are efficient and synchronized, ensuring that former and potential customers are adequately and appropriately served.
The most critical purpose of CRM is to manage each instance of the company’s customer interaction. CRM manages, stores and disseminates customer information with many built-in tools that can be applied to raw data pertaining to a customer or any given category of customer. For example, data may be analyzed to segregate customers according to demographic, occupation and age, etc.
CRM plays a vital role in an organization’s marketing and research departments. For example, if data indicates that a majority of customers are from Texas, a sales and marketing department can customize strategies for that state. These and other data-mining efforts may show trends to help businesses make better strategic decisions, utilizing technology wisely to serve the needs and wants of customers.