Customer relationship management (CRM) involves tracking customers’ habits and creating personalized marketing based on customer information that is stored in databases. Most types of customer relationship management models involve information technology, because complex data management is an integral part of CRM systems. Types of customer relationship management models include analytics, marketing, customer support, social media and collaborative databases.
Analytic models collect consumer data at the point of sale and through subsequent interactions such as loyalty programs and consumer surveys. The collected data is used to chart trends and link purchasing habits with customer demographics. Almost all other types of CRM models include some sort of analytic program.
Marketers use CRM information to create demographic-specific promotions and product features. The information helps a marketer track how customers hear about a product, so that he or she can focus on lucrative media channels. Highly customer–specific customer relationship management models might tailor promotions and product features for very small markets, which, in some cases, might be only one or two customers.
Specific CRM promotions usually happen only for luxury goods, such as vacation packages or leisure boats. Websites that allow customers to personalize and order products are one form of management models, but the customers themselves input that data and create their products and promotions. Often, companies with these websites will store the customers’ information for future CRM and analytical purposes.
Support and service customer relationship management models use stored information to support the product. This type of CRM is often used in the technology and electronics market. When a customer calls for support for a cellphone or a personal computer, the service representative looks up the customer's information using a CRM database. The database lists the product’s model and any previous technical issues. This makes support easier for both the tech team and the customer.
Social media is an example of CRM evolving from existing technology. Although social media isn’t typical of customer relationship management models, the websites can be viewed as interactive databases full of customer information. On social networks, consumers volunteer everything from demographics to purchasing habits. Public relations specialists and customer support personnel might even interact with consumers using social media platforms.
Collaborative databases have customer information collected by two or more businesses. One company might use this information to sell products to the customers of the other company. Businesses using collaborative databases tend to be in industries that are separate but related.