Thursday, April 17, 2008

Learning and Understanding CRM

I have not been blogging recently as much as I used to blog earlier and the reason for that is I have been spending a lot of my time learning and understanding CRM and more specifically Microsoft CRM. It has been an interesting experience so far as I started without knowing anything other than what was the full form of CRM which happens to be Customer Relationship Management.

In any business finding and retaining the customer is the hardest. Whether it was selling Christmas decorations in the church or in the one and only exclusive online baby shop in India finding the customer, convincing the customer that you have something that they want and then finally being able to manage and sell the product to the customer is so hard. In an earlier article I lamented that it is easy to conceptualize and build a product but finding the customers for that product is so hard.

A CRM system will help you manage the customer right from when they are identified to when they are managed after they have been sold a product. It broadly consists of 3 modules
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Service Management
In Marketing you identify the customers called leads and you try and sell them your products. You use this module to educate your customers about your products and how it can help them.

Once the customer shows any kind of interest in what you have you convert that customer into an opportunity identifying the products that they might be interested in. Your sales team then tries to close the deal with the customer by making the actual sale. Your opportunity then becomes a client and is handed over to the Service Management team.

In the service management module you take service requests from the customer and manage their everyday whims and fancies.

So as you can see a CRM system helps you manage your customers so that you show that you care about them and their problems. I hope all the companies I have been complaining about the service offered by them buy a CRM system or improve the one that they already have.

This article is written with my naive one weeks knowledge about MS CRM. To know more about CRM read this wikipedia article.

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