CRM, popularly known as Customer Relation Management is a concept as old as buying & selling itself. However, in recent times the definition of CRM has been transformed into CRM software. The concept has evolved to a large extent, especially in the Indian context. If you look a couple of decades back, CRM software was used by only large-scale enterprises albeit with limitations like basic functionality and a narrow customer database. However, in recent times the importance and awareness of CRM have grown and almost every enterprise in recent times, even small-scale enterprises, has seriously considered implementing CRM software.
The newer technologies & work styles like Software as a Service (SAAS) & Social Media integrations have eventually turned out to be more help practical for the enterprises. The scope of CRM has now increased from a basic customer database to a 360-degree view of customer interactions through various channels including chat, emails, telephonic, customer portals & mobile applications.
Basic Customer Database
Initially, CRM was used as a customer database and as an extension of any larger ERP implementation. These were large database applications that had essential inquiry management features. The primary purpose of these CRM systems was to give MIS reports. They were more of reporting tools and less of day-to-day productivity tools, as the CRM is today. The MIS reports were merely used by the marketing division to understand customer segments and target marketing efforts accordingly, which is no longer the case.