CRM stands for customer relationship management so CRM software is software that manages a database of customer information. These systems can be as simple as a small Access database or even a simple spreadsheet. However, even a small business can benefit from using purpose-built software designed to make customer management easier.
Customer relationship management software products are designed to help any company keep track on each contact with a customer. If the employee in contact writes detailed notes, it makes the next contact with that customer easier. Most people have deal with someone in customer service that does not note things properly, which during the next contact makes the customer frustrated, if not irate at the person on the other end of the line.
CRM software helps fix this. By not everything, there is less need to only deal directly with one person. This ability to note everything also makes management's job easier. They can review notes if there is an irate customer or can do audits to make sure that all the customers are being contacted at the proper intervals.
The customer, absolutely, wins out when the business they are dealing with uses customer relationship management utilities. Most all large companies, customer service and support centers and the like use this type of software to effectively manage thousands, if not millions, of customers. Even small companies that use these products retain customers better as they are better able to focus on the customer. Even products that were not originally intended to be CRM products have added features that give the mimic the features that a CRM product would.
A great example of this is Quickbooks. Quickbooks originally was not a CRM product, it was a money management tool for businesses. As the new editions have come out, this product has grown to include many fields designed to store customer information, notes about interactions. This powerful product has grown into and added customer relationship abilities over the years as one way to stay competitive.
Customer relationship management really is a new word for an old concept: If you build a business and maintain relationships with customers by recognizing them as individuals, you will have a stronger business. The software makes this easy and adds so much other functionality that it makes the office office more productive and allows those who do the majority of the work to work more efficiently.