Customer relationship management (CRM) is a widely implemented strategy for managing a e-tourism company’s interactions with customers, clients and sales prospects. It involves using technology to organize, automate, and synchronize business processes—principally sales activities, but also those for marketing, customer service, and technical support. The overall goals are to find, attract, and win new clients, nurture and retain those the company already has, entice former clients back into the fold, and reduce the costs of marketing and client service. Customer relationship management describes a company-wide business strategy including customer-interface departments as well as other departments. For the tourism industry measuring and valuing customer relationships is critical to implementing this strategy.
- Successful development, implementation, use and support of customer relationship management systems can provide a significant advantage to the user, but often, there are obstacles that obstruct the user from using the system to its full potential. Instances of a CRM attempting to contain a large, complex group of data can become cumbersome and difficult to understand for an ill-trained user.
- Additionally, an interface that is difficult to navigate or understand can hinder the CRM’s effectiveness, causing users to pick and choose which areas of the system to be used, while others may be pushed aside. This fragmented implementation can cause inherent challenges, as only certain parts are used and the system is not fully functional. The increased use of customer relationship management software has also led to an industry-wide shift in evaluating the role of the developer in designing and maintaining its software. Companies are urged to consider the overall impact of a viable CRM software suite and the potential for good or bad in its use.
- Tools and workflows can be complex, especially for large businesses. Previously these tools were generally limited to simple CRM solutions which focused on monitoring and recording interactions and communications. Software solutions then expanded to embrace deal tracking, territories, opportunities, and the sales pipeline itself. Next come up to the advent of tools for other client-interface business functions, as described below. These tools have been, and still are, offered as on-premises software that companies purchase and run on their own IT infrastructure.
- One of the largest challenges that customer relationship management systems face is poor usability. With a difficult interface for a user to navigate, implementation can be fragmented or not entirely complete.
Customer service and support
- CRM software provides a business with the ability to create, assign and manage requests made by customers. An example would be Call Center software which helps to direct a customer to the agent who can best help them with their current problem. Recognizing that this type of service is an important factor in attracting and retaining customers, organizations are increasingly turning to travel technology to help them improve their clients’ experience while aiming to increase efficiency and minimize costs.