Even now, customer relationship management (CRM) is in its growth stage. Until recently, diverse individuals defined this concept differently. As the name suggests, the primary focal point is placed on the customer. If a company develops better customer relationships, it also improves business processes as well as its profits. In general CRM, is a more efficient automated method used to connect and improve all areas of business to focus on creating more solid customer relationships (CRM Research Center, 2001). All forces are coupled together to save, improve, and acquire greater business to customer relationships. The most common areas of business that are positively affected include marketing, sales, and customer service strategies (Digital Consulting Institute, 2002; CRM Research Center, 2001). CRM helps create time efficiency and savings on both sides of the business spectrum. Through correct implementation and use of CRM solutions, companies gain a better understanding of their strongest and weakest areas and how they can improve upon these. Therefore, customers gain better products and services from their businesses of choice. In order to achieve better insight on CRM, it is essential to consider all of its components. Analogous to other technologies, CRM has its goals, costs, implementation strategies, and success and failure stories.
If successful, CRM can assist businesses with many customer-oriented processes. In general, companies will be able to offer better customer service. By keeping track of customer preferences, a company will have a better idea of what type of questions to expect (Bannan, 2001). Through well-organized call centers they can provide faster more intelligent solutions to customers’ questions and complaints.
CRM does not come without its costs, however, according to a recent survey conducted by The Data Warehousing Institute, nearly half of the people surveyed stated that their CRM project expenses were less than $500,000. This demonstrates that not all CRM implementation has to be costly. On the other hand, this survey also presented that quite a few participants had budgets of more than $10 million (CRM Research Center, 2001). Until recently, not many options were available to put CRM software into operation. The alternatives available were to choose between a trained and certified company to execute the task or train your own IT people, however, neither choice was favorable. Using outside knowledge and expertise costs from half to two and a half times more plus the cost of the actual software. In addition, There is now a choice of combining the external and in-house skills (Goldenberg 2002).