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Customer relationship management (CRM)


Customer relationship management (CRM) is the strategic approach and technological support that companies use to manage and analyze their relationships with current and potential customers. The main goal of CRM systems is to improve customer loyalty by effectively addressing customer needs and optimizing customer interactions across various channels.


CRM concepts developed in the late 1980s when companies began to focus more on customer satisfaction and less on individual sales processes. With the digital revolution and the introduction of database technologies in the 1990s, CRM systems were further developed to systematically collect, store and analyze large amounts of customer information.

Areas of application

CRM systems are used across industries, from small companies to multinational corporations. The areas of application range from the automotive industry to retail and financial services to non-profit organizations. Any company that wants to improve its customer relationships can benefit from a CRM system.


The introduction of CRM systems has numerous advantages:

  • Improved customer insights: Collection and analysis of customer data enable a deeper understanding of customer needs and behavior.
  • Increasing efficiency in marketing and sales: Targeted marketing campaigns and sales strategies can be optimized based on the data obtained.
  • Increasing customer satisfaction: Personalized customer interactions lead to higher satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Centralizing information: A central access point for all customer data facilitates communication and coordination within the company.


Challenges in implementing and using CRM systems include integration into existing IT structures, ensuring data quality and security, and acceptance and use by users. Aspects of data protection law are also critical, particularly in the context of strict data protection laws such as the GDPR.


A practical example of using CRM is the customer management of a large online retailer, which uses a CRM system to analyze purchase histories, create personalized email marketing campaigns, and efficiently process customer service requests. This results in an improved response rate for marketing campaigns and increased customer satisfaction.


CRM is a crucial factor for building and maintaining customer relationships in the modern business world. Through the strategic use of CRM systems, companies can significantly increase their customer proximity and market efficiency.