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In business, customer relationship management (CRM) refers to the way in which caring for customers can provide better results than focusing primarily on advertising and sales activities. By developing favorable relationships with customers through direct and indirect contact methods, organizations lay down the foundation for better overall growth. Customer relationship management is unlike any other form of marketing in that it recognizes the value in establishing long-term relationships with consumers rather than trying to engage them in a one-time sale through the use of advertising campaigns.
When an organization hopes to earn more customers and generate revenues, it must produce a method for keeping in contact with more consumers in a non-intrusive way. The most basic form of customer relationship marketing involves capturing contact information from websites or store visits so that follow up contact can be made with customers. Usually, this takes the form of a follow up email or survey, which gives the consumer a chance to share his experience and learn more about the organization.
In addition to using technology as a customer relationship marketing strategy, organizations often use traditional communication methods such as the telephone or in-person meetings. Often consumers visit a place of business on several occasions before making a purchase or talking to someone in person. Reaching out sooner to consumers to engage and educate them can result in a favorable experience for consumers so that they feel comfortable about making purchases. It also adds a human touch in a technology-saturated world.
Customer relationship management can also take the form of providing more ways for consumers to talk to a live person rather than just receiving tons of junk mail. Many businesses have customer service agents who are available to speak with consumers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, consumers are invited to take surveys to rate the organization and voice any concerns or complaints. With effective customer relationship marketing practices, these issues are resolved quickly and to the customers’ satisfaction.
Another very popular and powerful form of customer relationship marketing used by many organizations is social media marketing. Social media is providing a low-cost means for organizations to connect with consumers on a more personal, non-threatening level, which can produce better and faster results. In addition, by using social media as a customer relationship marketing strategy, it’s easy to create exclusive communities in specific niches, which attract more consumers who are actually interested, rather than just blindly marketing to everyone.