Sound incredible? The fact is that everything in the above scenario is within reach today. All of the technology currently exists, and some small and mid-sized institutions are already beginning to implement parts of it. Better customer service and more productive cross-selling, all at lower costs and higher profits – this is the promise of customer relationship management (CRM).

CRM is the notion that businesses should focus on the customer and reinvent themselves to deliver personalized, service-driven sales and support. Some pundits will argue that the overall objectives of CRM are to drive productivity and measurable ROI while improving profitability and expanding market or wallet share. While these objectives are sometimes the result of a well executed CRM initiative, many CRM projects start more simply to help organizations achieve a specific objective such as improving customer satisfaction or retention.

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