 CRM “is a business strategy that aims to understand. anticipate and manage the needs of an organisation‟s current and potential customers” CRM is a shift from traditional marketing as it focuses on the retention of customers in addition to the acquisition of new customers  .

 CRM enables organisations to gain „competitive advantage‟ over competitors that supply similar products or services . they are less likely to look to alternative suppliers for their needs . “The focus [of CRM] is on creating value for the customer and the company over the longer term” When customers value the customer service that  they receive from suppliers.

which drives changes in the organization and work processes. and achieving high customer satisfaction.   CRM must start with a business strategy. which are in turn enabled by Information Technology The seeds of modern-day CRM were sown in the 1960s By the 1980s. . delivering ongoing quality service. "Relationship Marketing" was used to describe this new focus on understanding customer segments.

Sales Force Automation systems quickly evolved from simple contact managers. while Customer Service and Support systems became the backbone of automated call centers. .  In the 1990s. computer systems were deployed to support sales and service processes. "CRM" became the umbrella term as it became clear that sales and service systems should share information. By the mid-1990s.

the real action was outside the corporate firewall. theoretically. support direct. .  By the late-1990s. Internet.“ Now. while allowing users to use whatever mode of communication they pleased. and partner channels. Explosive growth in Internet usage spawned a proliferation of e-business applications to manage online customer and partner relationships. "multi-channel CRM" systems were available to. often called "e-CRM" and "Partner Relationship Management.

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