Those immersed in CRM take it for granted that people understand what the acronym stands for and what it really means -- the technology, people and processes that go into building stronger relationships with customers, or customer relationship management. Quite naturally, the people who sell, support and comment on CRM understand all of that. But do the intended users?
It is astounding that so many people haven't the slightest notion what "CRM" means. In many cases, it's small-business owners who could benefit directly from a CRM system, and who have been the targets of many a big-budget marketing campaign over the last several years. For whatever reason, the message has yet to penetrate the consciousness of a vast percentage of decision makers.
Yet almost to a person, these small business owners are confronting the issues at the core of CRM -- lead generation, customer service, customer loyalty and sales information management, among others -- and handling them through home-grown and usually totally unconnected systems. In many cases, it never occurs to them that they are practicing CRM. These are simply the activities they need to do to run their businesses.
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