The lowdown on CRM software

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CRM crosses over

What is it? CRM software helps agencies organize and manage relationships with customers using data collection, analysis and routing features, among others. Originally used primarily in industry for sales force automation, some CRM software is being designed for government use.

What are its key elements? Enterprise CRM packages include a searchable knowledge base of information on each customer or constituent'including agency employees'along with functions such as workflow management and call center routing. Case management is a feature particularly helpful to agencies. And CRM applications typically integrate with ERP and other back-office systems.

Must-know info? The automated features of CRM can improve service and reduce labor costs, but these systems can be difficult to install at agencies. Disparate legacy systems and security and privacy rules present significant hurdles. A successful implementation will likely require extensive consulting and some cultural readjustment.

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