Customer relationship management (CRM) is a 21st-century business marketing system that links database technology with the benefits of customer retention and loyalty. The CRM experience refers to the unique relationship benefits customers receive from companies that operate CRM programs.
Enhancing the total customer experience is the perpetual and primary goal of a CRM program. Companies collect data on customers, analyze it, and use it to deliver a better product and service experience to top customers.
When it emerged as a popular marketing system at the turn of the century, CRM was viewed largely as a technology-driven process. Companies often focused too much on technology and data and not enough on the customer.
The total customer experience is delivered across various touch points (eg. physical store, online, phone) by employees across the organization. Front-end (sales and service) employees interact directly with customers while back-end (IT, finance, operations) employees collect data, analyze it, and implement effective CRM plans.
- customer service image by Kurhan from Fotolia.com