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Customer Relationship Management

Establishing and maintaining good relationship with the customers is the most fundamental element for the successful running of any business or organization. Over the years, several marketing techniques or concepts have been introduced to help organizations create a distinct position in the customers mind. The term Customer Relationship Management most commonly known as CRM has been created with the concept of merging marketing techniques with information technology to manage interactions with customers, clients or sales prospects in an organized and effective manner. It involves using technology to organize, computerize and coordinate business processes for sales activities, marketing, customer service and technical support. Customer Relationship Management is a business strategy or concept designed to attract and win customers, as well as reduce costs and increase profitability by solidifying customer loyalty. There are multiple definitions of CRM and the actual definition may vary according to the particular department or industry defining the concept. Generally Customer Relationship Management can be defined as a management policy that enables an organisation to become customer focused and develop stronger relationships with its clients. CRM will help to built a team relationship among sales, marketing and customer support activities within an organization. Many organizations now turn to CRM software's, a technology that makes the customer - company interaction quick and effortless. Customer relationship management software's helps the company to keep track of contacts and conversations with customers through telephone calls, e-mail, fax, instant messaging, video conferencing or any other interaction through the web. CRM software's are designed to follow the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) strategies such as Customer Service, Sales Management, Marketing, Document Management etc. The key elements to a successful Customer Relationship Management plan are people, process and technology. If one of these foundations is not sound, the entire CRM structure will crumble. The three major tools for implementing a CRM solution are Customer information system (CIS) - which is a database consisting of all the information relating to customers, i.e their preferences, their expenditure, stocks etc ; Middleware - an interface between CIS and data warehousing which helps in proper data collection and analysis and Data warehousing - a central database that stores information relating to customers. This information can be accessed from any part of the organisation. The major CRM solution providers in India are IBM, Wipro, HP, Siemens, Nucleus, Nortel, DSQ, SAS, Cambridge Technology Partners and eCapital Solutions. Some of the most popular CRM software used in India are SAP, Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics, Open CRX, vTiger, GoldMine, Sugar, Maximizer Software etc. Formerly Customer Relationship Management was considered as an avenue for experts, but now more and more freshers are opting it as their career choice. In the present scenario, Customer Relationship Management has become an interesting and rewarding option and there will be no dearth of job opportunities for CRM professionals. Customer Relationship Managers are very much essential in an organization to manage relationships with customers systematically, efficiently and profitably. Large organizations are looking for talented Customer Relationship Managers who can successfully manage a customer - company relation within an organization. Customer Relationship Managers are responsible to search out and gain new clients, work to expand and retain existing client relationships, strengthen client commitment, reduce costs and increase productivity and profits for the company by solidifying customer satisfaction, loyalty and support. They manage marketing campaigns and generate quality leads for the sales team. Customer relationship managers should provide necessary information and processes to the employees to understand their customers, identify their needs and to build relationships between the company, its customer base and distribution partners. They help an organization to enable its marketing departments, to identify the most profitable customers and to improve telesales, account and sales management. Eligibility Graduates in any discipline (BSc/ BE/ BTech (Computer science)/ MCA degree) can make a career in customer relationship management. There is no specified under graduate or post graduate courses in CRM, except MBA in CRM and marketing. Several Indian Institutes are offering Certificate, Advance Certificate, Diploma and PG Diploma programs in Customer Relationship Management through their regular and distance learning programs. The duration of these courses vary from a few days to few months to 1 year, depending on the type of the course. AMITY Center for CRM, Noida; XLRI; Indian Management School and Research Centre (IMSR); National Institute of Retail Management (NIRM) Mumbai; Indian School of Business Management and Administration (ISBM), New Delhi etc. are some of the institutes in India offering courses in Customer Relationship Management. The basic eligibility for enrolling in a CRM course, wheatear it is certificate or diploma course, is graduation in any field. Admission is carried out through an aptitude test followed by personal interview. Candidates are advised to go for these courses to enhance the job prospects in CRM. However to become a Customer Relationship Manager in a reputed firm or company, one must have an MBA degree in Customer Relationship Management. Course Details : Customer Relationship Management courses has been designed keeping in view the increasing demand from the industry for marketing professionals equipped with understanding of CRM. The CRM courses includes everything from CRM inception right through to CRM operation which aims to equip students with not only an in-depth knowledge of the marketing discipline but also orientation towards both CRM processes and technology. CRM courses provides individuals with knowledge about the skills, techniques, drawbacks etc. of CRM. It helps them to keep their skills current by participating in updates that are generally open only to certified professionals. Personal skill: The basic and the most essential attribute required to become a Customer Relationship Manager is good communication skills. A good customer relationship manager should be well organized, possess excellent interpersonal and leadership skills. Regular communications through email, telephone and sales is an important aspect in this field. So they should have good listening, understanding, writing and computer skills. As CRM have to deal with different types of clients, they should be very tactful and patient.

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