CRM – 10 Critical Factors

A Brief History of CRM

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, a term coined in the 1990s to describe a system whereby every contact with a customer could be recorded and analysed. Like many buzzwords, the term CRM now stand for pretty well whatever each vendor of CRM systems wants it to, whether it is systems for sales people (Sales Force Automation, Opportunity Management), for marketing people (Marketing Automation, Campaign Management), Helpdesks (Customer Service and Support), email and voice logging, and so on.

According to Wikipedia:

“the generally accepted purpose of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is to enable organizations to better serve their customers through the introduction of reliable processes and procedures for interacting with those customers”.

Which is as good a definition as any. CRM systems were the must-have products at the height of the Internet bubble in 2000/2001. There followed a few years of disillusionment as expensive systems were late and then failed to deliver the results to meet the raised expectations of the users. The Gartner Group, a US firm of analysts, have a Hype Cycle Graph showing the traditional pattern of a slow start, followed by unjustified euphoria, down to disillusionment and back to a level of realisable sanity. Which is where we are today, at last.

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