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Integrated Tracking Solutions in CRM Tools

Two Different CRMs! There are two very different types of systems that are both commonly called 'CRM' by the trade press and the industry. One type is a tool used by support/help-desk/direct-sales personnel (the 'front office'). The other type is used by marketing managers to mount marketing campaigns (the 'back office').

CRM-Support systems are used to help support personnel 'know their customer'. At a minimum, such systems provide 'contract management':
  • They track whether a given customer has actually purchased a support contract
  • What type of a contract it is (regular, premium, unlimited)
  • How much time/incidents are left before the contract expires.
They frequently rate customers by importance, priority, friendliness, and special treatment the customer may need. CRM systems are usually integrated with Help-Desk/Call-Tracking systems (below). At the low-end, CRM systems are no more than glorified address books, such as the contact management systems that salesmen use to collect and scan through sales leads.

CRM-Marketing systems are used to gather
  • Names
  • Addresses
  • Desires
  • Interests of customers
These databases of consumer preferences can be mined for statistical information about consumer habits. These systems can then tracking and management techniques to mount targeted advertising campaigns (by bulk e-mail, surface mail, phone surveys, web polls, news-article and advertising placements, etc). Some of these systems support web front-ends so that users can register and fill out information about themselves, either in the form of a consumer-survey or opinion poll, or as a community-membership, or a product registration.

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Hit Box screen shot:

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