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Customer relationship management (CRM)

Customer-relationship management (CRM) is an approach to manage a company's interaction with current and potential customers. It uses data analysis about customers' history with the company to improve business relationships and outcomes.

One important aspect of the CRM approach is the systems of CRM that compile data from a range of different communication channels, including a company's website, telephone, email, live chat, marketing materials and more recently, social media. Through the CRM approach and the systems used to facilitate it, businesses learn more about their target audiences and how to best cater to their needs.

Salesforce is the most popular Saas CRM system as of 2019.

History of the CRM

The 1980s: Digital Rolodexes and Database Marketing

Pioneered by Robert and Kate Kestnbaum, database marketing collected and analyzed customer information. Using statistical modeling, that data was then used to help customize communications with other potential customers.

In 1986, ACT! introduced the business world to contact management software. Essentially a digital rolodex, ACT! allowed for the efficient storage and organization of customer contact information. Goldmine and other vendors also released CMS programs throughout the 80s.

Near the close of the decade, the proliferation of personal computers and the advent of server/client architecture paved the way for an explosive growth in software development.

Timeline

Patents

Further Resources

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News

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Brand Post
June 3, 2021
CIO
It's Critical that On Premises and Cloud Work Together

References

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