Career Development

What Does a Customer Relationship Manager Do?

Find out what a customer relationship manager does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a customer relationship manager.

Customer relationship managers (CRMs) are the liaisons between companies and their customers. They work to maintain positive relationships with current customers and find new ways to attract new ones.

Customer relationship managers may be responsible for managing all aspects of a company’s interactions with its customers, from initial contact through ongoing communication and even into sales or other transactions. They may also be tasked with developing strategies to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Customer Relationship Manager Job Duties

A customer relationship manager typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Communicate with customers to understand their needs, provide support, and resolve issues
  • Research marketing opportunities and trends to determine which strategies will be most effective for the company’s products or services
  • Conducting market research on potential customers to identify new business opportunities, analyze customer demographics and buying patterns, and develop marketing strategies
  • Analyze data to determine the best ways to market products or services to specific groups, including analyzing customer data to determine their preferences or offering discounts to attract new customers
  • Coordinate with other departments within a company to ensure that products or services are delivered successfully to customers
  • Provide information about products or services to customers by answering questions, giving product demonstrations, and providing information about available options
  • Establishing relationships with customers by building rapport, identifying needs, and proposing solutions
  • Gather information about customer needs and preferences to create personalized marketing campaigns that will increase sales for the company
  • Work with other departments within a company to develop and implement new products or services

Customer Relationship Manager Salary & Outlook

Customer relationship managers’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the size and industry of the company. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of commissions and bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $47,000 ($22.6/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $184,000 ($88.46/hour)

The employment of customer relationship managers is expected to decline over the next decade.

Employment growth will be limited because many companies have already implemented customer relationship management (CRM) systems, which automate some of the tasks that these workers do. In addition, automation and technology, such as voice recognition software, are expected to improve efficiency and productivity for customer service representatives, reducing the need for CRM workers.

Customer Relationship Manager Job Requirements

A customer relationship manager typically needs the following qualifications:

Education: Customer relationship managers are typically required to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Some employers prefer candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as business, communications or marketing. Some of the coursework that is beneficial for a customer relationship manager to complete includes marketing, business, statistics and economics.

Training & Experience: Customer relationship managers often start in entry-level customer service positions to gain experience. They can also receive on-the-job training in their role, depending on the company’s policies and procedures.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications can validate a professional’s qualifications to current and future employers. Customer relationship managers can earn certifications to gain more practical knowledge of their daily responsibilities, test their professional skills and further advance their career.

Customer Relationship Manager Skills

Customer Relationship Managers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication skills: Customer relationship managers communicate with a variety of people, including customers, team members, managers and clients. Effective communication is key to success in this role. You may use a variety of communication methods, including email, phone, video chat, in-person meetings and more.

Empathy and compassion: Empathy is the ability to understand another person’s perspective and feelings. Customer relationship managers can use empathy to help customers feel heard and valued. For example, if a customer is unhappy with a product, a manager might use empathy to understand the customer’s perspective and offer a solution.

Problem-solving skills: Problem-solving skills are essential for customer relationship managers. They often work with customers to find solutions to their problems and ensure their satisfaction. For example, if a customer is unhappy with a product, a customer relationship manager might work with the company’s customer service team to resolve the issue.

Analytical skills: Analytical skills are the ability to process information and draw conclusions from it. Customer relationship managers use analytical skills to assess customer data and determine the best way to improve customer satisfaction. They also use analytical skills to evaluate the success of their customer service strategies and make adjustments when needed.

Relationship building: Relationship building is the foundation of customer relationship management. As a customer relationship manager, you might be responsible for maintaining relationships with clients, colleagues and other stakeholders. This requires you to be friendly, approachable and willing to help others.

Customer Relationship Manager Work Environment

The customer relationship manager (CRM) work environment is typically fast-paced and deadline-oriented. CRMs typically work in an office setting, although they may travel to meet with clients or attend conferences. They typically work full time and may be required to work overtime to meet deadlines or resolve customer issues. The job can be stressful, as CRMs must often deal with difficult customer inquiries or complaints. However, CRMs also find the job to be rewarding, as they help customers solve problems and improve the quality of the customer’s experience.

Customer Relationship Manager Trends

Here are three trends influencing how customer relationship managers work. Customer relationship managers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Rise of the Customer-Centric Organization

The customer-centric organization is quickly becoming the norm in business, as companies are realizing the importance of keeping customers happy. This trend is leading to an increased demand for customer relationship managers, who can help businesses understand what their customers want and how to best meet their needs.

Customer relationship managers can capitalize on this trend by developing strong relationships with customers and understanding their needs. They can also use data analytics to better understand customer behavior and make informed decisions about how to market products and services.

More Focus on Digital Marketing

As digital marketing becomes more important, customer relationship managers will need to focus on developing strategies that utilize online channels.

This means that CRMs will need to develop skills in areas such as social media marketing, search engine optimization, and email marketing. By doing so, they will be able to reach more customers and build stronger relationships with them.

A Greater Emphasis on Employee Engagement

Employee engagement has become a major focus for many businesses in recent years. This is because employers have realized that having engaged employees leads to greater productivity and a more positive work environment.

As customer relationship managers are responsible for building relationships with customers, they are in a unique position to influence employee engagement. By creating a culture of engagement within their team, they can help to create a positive work environment that benefits everyone.

How to Become a Customer Relationship Manager

A customer relationship manager (CRM) career can be a great way to start your career in marketing. As a CRM, you’ll have the opportunity to work with a variety of companies and industries, so you’ll get a chance to learn about different products and services. You’ll also develop skills in communication, problem solving, and teamwork.

To become a CRM, you should have strong writing and communication skills, as well as an understanding of marketing principles. It’s also important to be able to think creatively when coming up with solutions to customer problems.

Related: How to Write a Customer Relationship Manager Resume

Advancement Prospects

The best way to advance in this career is to get more education and experience. Many customer relationship managers start out in entry-level customer service positions and work their way up. As they gain experience, they may move into supervisory or management positions. Those with a bachelor’s degree may advance to positions such as director of customer relations or vice president of customer service. Those with an advanced degree may become chief customer officers or hold other top executive positions.

Customer Relationship Manager Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we believe that happy customers are the key to a successful business. We’re looking for a customer relationship manager (CRM) to join our team and help us foster strong, lasting relationships with our customers. The ideal candidate will have experience managing customer relationships, developing customer loyalty programs, and handling customer complaints. He or she will be a skilled communicator with a positive attitude and a dedication to excellent customer service. In this role, you will be responsible for managing customer relationships from start to finish, ensuring that our customers are satisfied with our products and services.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Maintain and develop relationships with key customers, understanding their needs and requirements
  • Proactively manage customer expectations, ensuring they are kept up to date with progress and changes
  • Handle customer queries and complaints in a professional and timely manner, escalating where necessary
  • Work closely with other departments within the organization to ensure customer needs are being met
  • Understand the products and services offered by the company and be able to communicate this information to customers
  • Keep abreast of industry developments and competitor activity, sharing relevant information with the team
  • Develop and implement strategies to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty
  • Monitor customer feedback and create reports detailing this feedback for senior management
  • Analyze customer data to identify trends and patterns
  • Create and deliver presentations to internal and external stakeholders
  • Manage customer accounts, including billing and invoicing
  • Negotiate contracts with customers

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, or related field
  • 5+ years experience in customer service, sales, or a similar role
  • Proven track record of success in meeting and exceeding sales goals
  • Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills
  • Strong organizational and time-management skills
  • Ability to work independently and with a team

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • MBA or other advanced degree
  • 7+ years experience in customer service, sales, or a similar role
  • Experience managing a team of customer service or sales representatives
  • In-depth knowledge of customer relationship management software programs
  • Familiarity with data analysis and reporting

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