DURING THE SUMMER OF 2001, Steve Wightman’s financial-planning intern, an M.B.A., persuaded him to buy a customer-relationship-management (CRM) system. Wightman, president of Lexington Financial Management in Lexington, Mass., had been using Microsoft Outlook to keep records of all customer contacts and he found Outlook easy to learn and use. But Outlook didn’t
have all the features he wanted. For example, he wanted to keep track of anniversaries, birthdays, employee reviews, and other special notations, and maintain a history of communications with clients. Outlook can do some of this, through its contact entries’ notes section, but it can get cluttered, Wightman says.
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