What does a Customer Relationship Manager do?

R. Kimball

A customer relationship manager generally works with existing clients of an organization to create a beneficial relationship with another organization. These employees focus on expanding a customer’s use of the company’s products and services while managing any issues that arise throughout the course of the customer’s contract. A customer relationship manager uses a variety of sales and marketing skills to interact with his or her customer base on a daily basis.

A customer relationship manager works with established clients to make sure business continues to run smoothly.
A customer relationship manager works with established clients to make sure business continues to run smoothly.

In some positions, the customer relationship manager is a part of the sales organization. This person works with the rest of the sales staff to grow the depth and breadth of products the customer purchases from the organization. The way in which the relationship manager implements these processes depends upon the products his or her organization provides. Software and service companies may have different employees working with the customer at various stages within the relationship. The manager is generally involved throughout all stages.

In some positions, the customer relationship manager is part of the sales organization.
In some positions, the customer relationship manager is part of the sales organization.

Some organizations have a separate customer service department that employs the customer relationship. In these instances, the manager usually works to make sure the customer is having a good experience using the company’s products and services. In these types of organizations, the customer may have an assigned customer relationship manager or he or she might have call-in support. The organizational structure might be set so that the company may make the best use of its personnel and still provide the customer with good product and service support.

A customer relationship manager uses a variety of sales and marketing skills to interact with customers.
A customer relationship manager uses a variety of sales and marketing skills to interact with customers.

When a company sells technical products and services, the customer relations manager needs to have the skills necessary to support the customer in the use of these products. The relationship manager does not need to know everything to support the customer’s detailed use of the products; however, he or she should know enough to answer the most basic questions regarding product usage. In these types of organizations, the relationship manager is often promoted from within the organization rather than hiring someone from outside.

Some customer relations managers may travel often. These relationship managers need to visit their client base personally to ensure that they are happy with the company’s products and services. During a specific product or service implementation, the customer relationship manager may temporarily relocate in order to manage the process at the customer’s location rather than from the company’s offices. Each company tries to manage the way in which its relationship managers interact with the customer so as to best support the company’s and customer’s needs.

A customer relationship manager may have to deal with unhappy clients on occasion.
A customer relationship manager may have to deal with unhappy clients on occasion.

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