CRM is described as a cross-functional e-business application that integrates and automates many customer-serving processes in sales, direct marketing, accounting and order management, and customer service and support. CRM systems create an IT framework that integrates all the functional processes with the rest of a company‘s business operations. CRM systems consist of a family of software modules that perform the business activities involved in such front office processes. CRM software provides the tools that enable a business and its employees to provide fast, convenient, dependable, and consistent service to its customers.
Merits of CRM are
• CRM allows a business to identify and target their best customers; those who are the most profitable to the business, so they can be retained as lifelong customers for greater and more profitable services.
• CRM enables real-time customization and personalization of products and services based on customer wants, needs, buying habits, and life cycles.
• CRM can keep track of when a customer contacts the company, regardless of the contact point.
• CRM enables a company to provide a consistent customer experience and superior service and support across all the contact points a customer chooses.
Challenges of CRM
• Business managers and IT professionals underestimate the complexity of the planning, development, and training that are needed to prepare for a new CRM system
• Failure to involve affected employees in the planning and development phases and change management programs
• Trying to do too much too fast in the conversion process.
• Insufficient training in the new work tasks required the CRM system.
• Failure to do enough data conversion and testing.
• Overreliance company or IT management on claims of CRM software vendors or the assistance of prestigious consulting firms hired to lead the implementation.