Customer Relationship Management (CRM)


Customer relationship management or CRM is sometimes called relationship marketing or sales management system. It is a way of working as well as a technology in which customer data is analyzed to improve the business relationship with customers, with the aim of binding them to the company or organization and thus ultimately increasing revenues.

Optionally, in an optimal implementation of the strategy, customers on whom the organization suffers loss can be motivated to seek (de-market) another supplier or service provider.

Strategies with CRM

According to certain value strategies, three main ideas can be distinguished. The first is that of the cost policy where everything is done to realize a low sales price (think easyJet or Aldi). In addition, there is the innovation concept. Here, companies make every effort to develop as many innovative products and services as possible (for example Apple and Philips). Finally, there is the customer intimacy, also known as CRM (think of Albert Heijn, Orange and Robeco). Hereby being in control of the customer experience, customer relationship and the customer’s appreciation for the company is central.

CRM system

The context in which the abbreviation CRM is used is usually that of CRM system, being a software package for managing customer data and interactions with these customers. The term CRM was introduced in the late nineties by Dr. Jon Anton. There are several tools that are used in CRM applications. The Patricia Seybold Group (2002) distinguishes three types of applications:

Customer-facing applications a where the customer interacts with the company. An example of this is a call center or a help desk.

Customer-touching applications a where the customer has direct contact with the application. An example of this application is self-service.

Customer-centric-intelligence applications. This concerns applications that can analyze the results of operational processing and use the results to improve the CRM applications. This is mainly about data mining and data warehousing


The term e-CRM was introduced when companies started using web browsers and the internet to manage their consumer relationships. Web-based CRM applications or ASP. SaaS solutions offer integrated marketing, sales, e-commerce and customer support services to companies through a dedicated web interface. An effective e-CRM infrastructure should ensure an unambiguous picture of consumers, regardless of how they interact with the company.

A part of the e-CRM infrastructure is analytical e-CRM. This provides reports on consumer behavior, consumer interactions and predictions.

E-CRM has increasingly become part of management information systems (MIS), which includes online applications that contribute to customer services. Today, e-CRM is a necessity to survive as a company. E-CRM occupies a central position within a company to optimally serve consumers. To this end, it is necessary to have complete data about the consumers, which can easily be obtained via e-CRM.

Social CRM

Social CRM (sCRM) is a separate field. The elaboration of social media on marketing, sales and services is enormous and organizations that are gearing their business strategy, processes and tools to this are engaged in social CRM. Connecting with customers via social media and recording this data is part of it. Analyzes of these contacts can be performed and companies gain insight into the contacts that take place via social media.

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