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Common terms used to differentiate CRM solutions are analytical and operational. Operational CRM solutions denote the technology used to automate front-end customer touch point processes, such as a Sales Force or Call Center Automation solutions or a Website Content Management solution. Analytical CRM solutions, on the other hand, refer to technology that supplies decision makers with customer intelligence which provides a better understanding of a customer. When customer intelligence derived from Analytical CRM solutions is deployed through the Operational CRM technology, it enables companies to facilitate more effective interactions with customers -- at the point of contact -- and to build more profitable relationships.
Analytical CRM technology ranges from simple to sophisticated. For example, many companies derive basic customer intelligence from query and reporting capabilities for one particular channel. On the opposite end of the spectrum, even more valuable customer intelligence is derived by using predictive modeling and data mining with large volumes of data from multiple channels and operational systems. Predictive modeling and data mining allows companies to conduct customer segmentation, discover typical behaviors and identify the next most likely product a customer may purchase.
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