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CRM (Customer Relationship Management )


Businesswoman holding phone in conference room
Klaus Vedfelt/ Iconica/ Getty Images


Customer Relationship Management (CRM) refers to the methodologies and tools that help businesses manage customer relationships in an organized way.


For small businesses, customer relationship management includes:

 - Processes that help identify and target their best customers, generate quality sales leads, and plan and implement marketing campaigns with clear goals and objectives;

- Processes that help form individualized relationships with customers (to improve customer satisfaction) and provide the highest level of customer service to the most profitable customers;

- Processes that provide employees with the information they need to know their customers' wants and needs, and build relationships between the company and its customers.

Customer relationship management tools include desktop and browser-based software applications that collect and organize information about customers. For instance, as part of their CRM strategy, a business might use a database of customer information to help construct a customer satisfaction survey, or decide which new product their customers might be interested in.  For information on CRM Tools see What to Look For in a CRM System for Small Business and 5 Inexpensive Online CRM Solutions for Small Businesses.

For general information on CRM see Customer and Client Relationship Management.

Also Known As: CRM; sometimes called customer service management. 

Common Misspellings: Customer relationship management.

Examples: Using customer relationship management (CRM) tools, Termite Extermination Inc. was able to develop and implement a marketing plan that increased sales dramatically.

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