[Ranjan K Baruah]
We are still worried about COVID 19 and the pandemic. The cases have increased in many parts of the country. Exams are either postponed or cancelled by a few boards and we are uncertain about other exams. Students are still worried and it is a serious concern. In spite of all that, we have to move ahead and keep planning for our career options. Log down may be strict or partial but we have to take precaution and protect ourselves and others from the pandemic.
Let us talk about an option which will continue even if there is lock down. For any business the most important word is customer or client. Whatever business we do, we need to have good customers to make more profit and increase the business. To become successful in business or in any commercial activities we need to have people who can manage customers and at the same time increase customers. One of the career options related to this field is customer relationship management. Customer relationship management (CRM) is a model for managing a company’s interactions with current and future customers. It involves using technology to organize, automate, and synchronize sales, marketing, customer service, and technical support.
It entails all aspects of interaction that a company has with its customer, whether it is sales or service-related. Apart from working with existing customers it also deals with future potential customers. CRM is most commonly used to describe a business-customer relationship; CRM systems are used in the same way to manage business contacts, clients, contract wins and sales leads. Many organizations now use CRM software, a technology that makes the customer – company interaction swift and graceful.
The key elements to a successful Customer Relationship Management plan are people, process and technology. Customer Relationship Managers are very much essential in an organization to manage relationships with customers systematically, efficiently and profitably. These people may be technical who can manage the system and at the same time sales professionals who can deal with the people directly. CRM involves many designations and avenues like project engineer, consultants, technical consultant, functional consultant, manager, project leaders, sales professional, solutions developers etc. The responsibility of these professionals varies according to their position. Graduates in any discipline can make a career in customer relationship management. Though there is no specific course for this but graduates with computer background or knowledge of computers are always preferable. There are courses like MBA in CRM. Some institutes offer Certificate, Advance Certificate, Diploma and PG Diploma programs in CRM through their regular and distance learning programs.
Like other professions, aspirants must have good communication skills if they want to choose this profession. Apart from good communication skills, a positive attitude and effective interpersonal qualities are must for success in this area. They must have leadership qualities and also good personalities as they need to meet and face different kinds of customers or other clients. We should not confuse the term with customer care executives or customer care directly. There are links to all these but all are different and have different roles and responsibilities. There are growing demands in this field as business is enhancing everywhere. Big companies and corporations are looking for trained and qualified people for CRM.
Even during lock down we saw few businesses could make profit though most had challenges. Customers are important for any company or even anyone who is into business. New startups also need good relationships with customers to excel in the field. Though the scope is not tremendous in North East at present but in future there would be demand for the same. (The writer can be reach at firstname.lastname@example.org)