In an article written by Darrell Zahorsky, on about.com, he speaks about how it is getting harder and harder for firms to distinguish themselves from each other. With more competition in the marketplace comes an infinite selection of choices and selections in products and services. When many firms of the same industry are all offering similar products and services, one must distinguish itself from competitors.

In today’s business world, it is becoming more difficult to win over customers in such an environment without this “above-and-beyond” factor. Due to the fact that there are so many players in the marketplace, it is crucial for companies to set themselves apart by going above and beyond where it counts. In today’s society, we continue to hear more and more about the customer. In fact, it has been proven that success will lie in the hands of those firms that have outstanding customer relations; after all, the key to success is customer satisfaction.

The great Peter Drucker himself said that a company’s primary responsibility must be to serve its customers. How, then, do we manage customer relations? The answer is simple, Customer Relationship Management. CRM is defined as the methodology and tools of finding, communicating, and retaining your best customers.

It is no longer an option to just sit back and watch the success or failure of an advertising campaign, more work must be done. Instead, a firm must take the initiative to ensure positive experiences with leads and deal sources from the very beginning.

It is also no longer an option to only pay attention to the most “promising” potential leads and deal sources. Firms must remember that they cannot forget about the “other” leads who although may not show off the cash right now, may decide to purchase in the future.

The firm must keep in mind that any and all leads and customers are important.

And finally, it is no longer an option to use an Excel spreadsheet, or even worse, pen and notepad to keep track of leads. This could be tedious, time-consuming, unnecessary work that may be a waste of time, time that could be spent towards other important aspects of customer satisfaction.

Luckily for the firms who are currently using outdated methods, there are many software programs available. Therefore, there are no excuses as to why a company does not have a system in place. Companies looking to win over their competition must know that CRM is essential to becoming successful. CRM software allows employees to build lead lists, merge mail, handle contacts and track financials, just to name a few. So, let’s face the facts, CRM tools are necessary in order to win what author Darrell Zahorsky considers the “customer game.” The more you know your customers and the more you work on developing a strong relationship with those customers, the more likely your odds at winning against competitors in the marketplace, thus leading to overall success.


Photo: http://www.phaseware.com/PhaseWare-Files-blog/bid/80594/Customer-Relationship-Management-Essential-to-a-Successful-Business

About Cathie Briggette

Cathie is responsible for planning, development and implementation of all Touch Ahead Software’s marketing strategies, marketing communications and public relations, both internally and externally. She also serves as the Marketing Director for NSK Inc., which she joined as an associate in 1997 and where she worked as a developer on multiple mission-critical projects — including several financial projects. Prior to Touch Ahead and NSK Inc, Cathie was the Marketing Manager for the US Software Division of Objects 9000, a German-based company. And before that she was the Marketing Director for Pelikan Pens.

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