Customer Relationship Manager: Salary and Career Facts

Explore the career requirements for a customer relationship manager. Get the facts about the education requirements, necessary skills, job outlook and salary ranges to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Customer Service degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Customer Relationship Manager?

Every good store or company has someone in charge of taking care of customer problems. You won't have much of a profit if the customers aren't happy. Customer relationship managers take care of the day to day situations between issues concerning products or employees. In many cases these professionals work at companies looking into new products or services that may enhance the store or company they work for. They write reports and make presentations to those in charge.

Customer relationship managers work to ensure training programs and standard operating procedures are up-to-date. They also assign tasks and monitor the productivity of the staff, service representatives or supervisors who report to them. Take a look at the following table that outlines the general requirements for a career as a customer relationship manager.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Management, consumer science, management information systems, marketing
Key Skills Verbal and written communication, customer service, administrative, technical
Job Growth (2014-2024) 9% (for marketing managers)*, 5% (for sales managers)*
Median Salary (2017) $68,364 (for customer relationship managers)**

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Salary.com.

What Education Do I Need to Be a Customer Relationship Manager?

A bachelor's degree is usually the minimum education requirement for this career. You may consider a bachelor's degree program that offers a relevant major, such as management, consumer science, management information systems or marketing.

Common courses offered through these bachelor's degree programs include managerial and interpersonal behavior, consumer behavior, marketing communications and database management. With these courses you can learn employee communication techniques, consumer behavior theories, sales promotion strategies and data analysis procedures to perform forecasting.

If you're already working in this field, a master's degree program can provide an in-depth understanding and help with advancing your career. One of the most common degree programs that you would enroll in is the Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in areas like brand management, operations management and marketing analysis. You may also consider a certificate program in customer relationship management and professional sales, which generally requires you to already have a bachelor's degree.

What Skills Do I Need?

Customer relationship managers need excellent verbal and written communication skills. You will also need to develop good customer service techniques and administrative skills such as time management, multitasking, planning and organizing.

With this job you may also need technical skills, such as creating spreadsheet reports or navigating your company's website. Some other important skills include negotiation, persuasion when dealing with clients and attention to detail, as well as being able to manage, delegate and work well under pressure.

What Would My Job Duties Be?

As a customer relationship manager you may have staff, service representatives or supervisors who report to you. Some of your responsibilities may be to make sure trainings and knowledge of standard operating procedures are up-to-date, assign tasks and monitor productivity.

Other responsibilities include administering solutions to identify and resolve problems, implementing retention-building strategies and training clients. You may also be required to perform analytical tasks, such as examining trends, performing profit forecasting and managing user interactions with technology.

What Salary Could I Expect to Earn?

According to Salary.com, in 2017 the median salary for customer relationship managers was $68,364. For similar job titles, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in May 2015 that the median salary was $128,750 for marketing managers and $113,860 for sales managers (www.bls.gov). Your salary may vary depending on your education level, industry, location and work experience.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Some related career fields in this area could include work as a public relations specialist whose skills are put to use creating positive customer opinion for a product or service for a company or business. Another position could be as a buyer and purchasing agent representing a business to buy products or services for resell. You could find a career in financial management working to keep a company's financial situation healthy watching sales trends and creating reports. There's also employment as a market research analyst researching market trends to aid a company's potential profit. They prepare and present reports of their analysis to directors and executives so they can make educated decisions. All of these jobs need a bachelor's degree and experience in the fields.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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