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CRM Trajectory
Sidebar to "The Technology/Customer Disconnect"
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The term "CRM" is ubiquitous, and every company has its own definition of it—ranging from quarterly reports based on simple static data on customer transactions, to implementation of a few modules of customer-relationship management systems, to active engagement with customers and real-time response to customer issues.

By our definition, CRM is an approach to managing the customer-relationship experience through the methodologies, software, and business-process capabilities implemented on traditional and Internet channels. The notion of CRM can be traced back to 1997 when it was offered as a solution to redefine customer relationships using computer-based tools.

CRM spread like wildfire and, according to a recent Forrester Research estimate, the total CRM market—including applications, infrastructure, and services—is likely to grow from $42.8 billion in 2002 to $73.8 billion in 2007. CRM applications alone are expected to increase from $11.7 billion to $20.6 billion over the same period. Services will likely represent 56.8% of the total CRM market in 2007.

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