Can you share your experience with CRM (Customer Relationship Management)?
In my opinion, the majority of businesses that [removed] , first and foremost, are looking for a way to improve the quality and consistency of their relationships with customers and [removed] .
This means that they want to improve their core business processes – managing contact information and streamlining their relations with customers.
What benefits have you seen using CRM?
Do you find customer contact to be the best feature of CRM? What about tracking interactions? What about scheduling reminders?
CRM is quite a large subject area, in itself. The core business drivers generally determine the model in use - for example; Sales, Customer Support, Marketing, Incident Management, Retail Support, Logistics Management, etc. The main concept of CRM is to maintain (product or item) subjects and (customer) interaction information, coupled with commercial and associated values in a succinct and accessible manner, supporting those core business drivers. As a concept, CRM may contain data blocks from various sources, bound together as records, presented in various the manners, as required by the business.
The "up" side of CRM is having all of the relevant and up-to-date information available, that is required to support interactions with customers, in a single solution. That may have a dozen data sources - but all roads should ultimately lead to CRM. It provides a central repository of customer, business and commercial information which can be readily integrated with customer channels - voice, web, email, sms, Apps or Social Media. A single pane of glass - or a single version of the truth.
The "down" side - and what most businesses don't figure into the deployment of a CRM system - is the sheer amount of effort required to deploy it, initially - and the amount of ongoing maintenance it requires. Where integrations are deployed, these have to be maintained - where external data sources reside, they need to be monitored. Everything then revolves around the accessibility of the data driving the CRM model.
As I mentioned, CRM in itself is a vast subject. Getting into the details (Accounts, Customers, Contacts, Leads, Products, Opportunities, Marketing, Quotes, Orders, Invoices, Products, Sales, Campaigns, Reporting, Management... the list goes on...) really does depend on the core business drivers, which aren't defined in your question.