Do you remember those old black and white western shows you used to watch on TV Land? Where Old Man Abel visits the local saloon for his daily glass of whiskey. He greets his good pal and saloon owner, Bart, and settles down for a drink, when all of a sudden a gang of robbers break in and starts tearing the house down. Then Old Man Abel starts to beat down each of the five men even though he has one arm in a sling and a wooden leg from fighting in the war yet somehow still manages to save the town?

Well him being a war veteran and saving the town is not important. What is most important, if you had read carefully, was that Old Man Abel and Bart the saloon owner were good pals. Yes, the customer and the employees are friends. Now considering that this is a fictional small town, I’m sure Bart was friends with each and every single one of the 90 residents there. What you must’ve caught while watching these western shows was how close and almost family-like the townspeople and storeowners were with each other. No wonder they keep returning to same store day after day.

Now isn’t that the kind of relationship you want with your customers too? Trust and familiarity is what people are looking for and as a company, those are things you have to provide too (along with awesome products and services of course). That means seeing each customer as more than a one-time buyer; it is knowing what are their likes, dislikes, shopping tendencies, etc.

So, we know that westerns did it right in the 1800s. How has customer relationship management evolved over the years. Well once technology has become advanced and reliable enough to use, CRM softwares became a mainstay in retail stores and huge corporations.

In the 1980s, the concept of understanding customers’ needs and adjust to cater to that was integrated into businesses, then called “relationship marketing.” The idea was right, but they didn’t have the technology to see to it. Then a decade later, computer systems were installed specifically to process sales and services in an organized manner. It contained new features such as analyzing each customer’s track record in comparison with others and managing different marketing campaigns.

Later in the late 1990s, Internet use among the public exploded, and so did online shopping. Now, CRMs stretched and became even more advanced in order to cover customer activities online. This has given birth to the modern CRMs that we know today. It is so advanced that it knows a lot more about our purchases more than we do.

For example, log on to your Ebay account and at a click of a button, you can scan the history of all your purchases including when you bought them. No detail is forgotten (even that Big Mouth Billy Bass that you hope no one will even know you bought appears on the screen).

These days, Salesforce has become the leading and most preferred CRM systems for every small to big company. Credited as one of the most innovative companies, the software is also easy to use and you will witness your customer data becoming more organized and as well as an improved service delivered to them.

Try the Benchmark-Salesforce plugin and your business, and customers, will thank you.