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Customer Relations Essentials for Small Business 

   
2018-03-02 
Jessica Bronte 
   
Customer relationship management (CRM) refers to the practices, strategies and technologies that companies use to manage, record and evaluate customer interactions in order to drive sales growth by deepening and enriching relationships with their customer bases. 

Margaret Rouse, TechTarget 

Customers are key to the success of a company. It is important for a business to understand who their customers are, as well as what their customers want and how they want it. Just some of the information that can be useful for a company to collect about their customers includes: 

Demographics: age, location, socioeconomic statues, etc. 

Products customers are purchasing How purchases are being made: in store vs online 

Customer origin: How did the customer find us? 

All of this information can increase a business's understanding of their target market, which allows them to better serve the customer. Customer relationship management (CRM) systems enable companies to accomplish this goal. 

How can a Customer Relationship Management system benefit your company? 

The marketing department can use information on how customers are finding out about your products and better allocate marketing funds. 

Demographics assist product buyers or engineers better understand what types of products the market desires. CRM systems can also track how often customers are engaging with your company or what types of things attract customers to your business. 

What is the best practice for a Customer Relationship Management system? 

One of the keys to an effective CRM system is tracking all the ways your company interacts with your customers. There are various ways to set up a system in your company. 

You could purchase a CRM system from a third party such as Salesforce, Pardot, or Insightly. By purchasing a system from one of these companies, the processes are already included in the software. This can save a business time and money by requiring less staff because they don't need to hire people to create a system or technically support the system because it is all done through the third party. 

It is also possible for a company to establish their own Customer Relationship Management process without purchasing an outside system. This will often require a person to manage the development and implementation of a system. The manager must ensure that systems are in place for all of the customer relationship needs. Although it can be more time intensive, creating your own system could potentially be more customizable to your specific business needs. 

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