‘Customer is king’ is an old age mantra that has become more relevant than ever in a highly globalised world marked by easy accessibility to information, changing consumer preferences and a highly competitive business landscape. Technological advancement has compelled organisations to be incessantly on the lookout for developing new products and services that can satisfactorily take care of the unsatisfied needs of their customers.
The advent and popularity of social media has made consumers more powerful than ever. Today they can simply post some negative comments or reviews about your offerings and it can reach hundreds of thousands of your present and potential customers in a matter of seconds.
What is Customer relationship management (CRM)?
Customer relationship management (CRM) refers to a series of technologies, strategies and practices that organizations use to manage and analyse interactions they have had with their customers. The data collected in the process helps companies to devise strategies that enable them to develop better relationships with their customers, in the process achieving the twin purpose of achieving customer retention and enhanced sales growth. In other words the primary purpose of CRM is to introduce all those important policies and procedures that will assist organizations in better serving their customers.
The term CRM first coined in 1990s came into prominence at the height of the internet bubble in 2000/2001. There was general disillusionment with the system after the initial euphoria as these expensive systems were late and failed to live up to the raised expectations of the users. Nowadays though, it is considered to be a very useful tool helping organisations bring to the relationship a value that comprehensively meets a customer’s needs and expectations.
As is the fad with IT companies of incorporating buzzwords, the term CRM too was incorporated by IT system vendors to fit their particular product. Various CRM systems are available in market today and they all strive to streamline business functions and increase profitability in sales, marketing, social and service divisions. For example, CRM might be used to describe a Cloud CRM system for sales people using Sales Force Automation.
The need and benefits of CRM certification are aplenty if the focus is on learning. Simply qualifying the certificate exam can only help initially, but what matters is real knowledge that translates to real world application of learned skills. In our next part, we will discuss how CRM certification can be a valuable asset and who needs to achieve this credential.