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imageToday’s guest post is from the team at ALL Things CRM, a comprehensive and easy-to-understand resource where you can learn about all aspects of customer relationship management, and the best ways to achieve superior results for your business.

You have probably seen the acronym CRM floating around online, and might have seen the word contact management along with it, but thought little of either. For the business world, they are very important things to know about, and are easy to understand. CRM, or customer relationship management, is used to describe the methods in which a company manages it’s customer base. A comprehensive CRM system includes different elements for sales and marketing, and one of these important elements is contact management.


Today, companies interact with customers in a variety of ways: over the Internet through chat, over the phone, by e-mail, through social networking, and more. When a company uses multiple channels for customer service, information can get lost in the shuffle, leading to unhappy customers down the road. With CRM and contact management, you can easily organize that information, helping to make your business better and create happy, satisfied customers.


Every business in the world needs some type of contact management system, especially if they do their business primarily online or through e-mail. The reason for this is so that every e-mail will be saved, contact information will be up to date, and lists or groups can be made to make sure each customer receives the right information. Special marketing e-mails or newsletters can be sent at any time to this list of either previous clients or potential clients.


In order to get the most out of your CRM system or platform, make sure that contact management is part of the package. CRMs have many additional functions, too. They can keep track of inventory, record employee/customer interaction, and can even record a customer’s previous purchases and personal information. All this information is valuable to a company, as it is the needed information for future sales and customer service needs. CRM allows any business large, or small to interact with the customer quickly and efficiently through a variety of different ways.


Just as there are different versions of office management software, document management software, there are different versions of CRM and contact management, each with their own unique solutions. For instance, operational CRM handles marketing campaigns, while analytical CRM bases its operations on data received from customers. Sales intelligence CRM is like analytical CRM in that it shows what the customer behavior is allowing a company to up-sell, or to tailor their sales, but it is more of a direct marketing tool which offers sales alerts that sales staff can offer to customers.


Contact management programs also analyze and store statistics and responses to sales campaigns. With the right CRM in place, a company will interact with customers through several departments like sales, technical support and marketing, thus allowing for smoother transactions and storing of important customer information and histories.


Newer contact management programs also use social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and others to gauge customers sentiment toward a certain product, and to help a company interact with potential customers from social network sites.


Whichever system you choose, make sure it will be compatible with your existing services. There are many solutions that are based online, or “in the cloud,” that are easily accessed through just a web browser, and can be accessed on any mobile computing device as well. The advancement of technology has made it easier than ever to provide great customer service at a fraction of what it used to cost.