Successful CRM
A Way To CRM
(Customer Retention Management)


By

Davinder Kaur
Lecturer
Ludhiana College of Engineering & Technology
 


"CUSTOMER IS THE KING"

In today's scenario, it's a very well known fact to everyone. This is also one of the reasons that the level of difficulty is increasing day by day to retain customers. With the advancement in IT sector, customers are becoming more and more informed about their purchases. Media is educating them and they scout around for best product, brand name, product quality, operation and service support. In all these customer support is very essential. Organizations aim at satisfying customer's needs and desires. Traditional Customer Relationship Management used to face problems like delay in attending the customer query and delay in extending the timely service support due to manual operations. This can be achieved only with the best practices of E-CRM, as it helps organization provide high quality, interactive multimedia customer support and aims to improve customer acquisition, retention and transactions.

Today with the emergence of powerful info-tech tools, CRM has shifted to E-CRM. Due to which customer service/ support is becoming quick, timely and business- oriented.  Customer Relationship Management aims at exploring the future customers, building the existing customer database, purchasing patterns of existing and future customers and purchasing process like time of purchase, place of purchase, periodicity of purchase of customers etc. 

CRM Focus is on Customer Touch Point (CTP). It's about way of handling customer queries through electronic communications like e-mail, phone, fax for effective one-to-one communication. It aims at good and effective customer satisfaction through online and real-time computing facility.

Why firms should look at CRM?

    * Management of customer relationship

    * Managing sales force effectively

    * Manage customers in providing best service

    * Help customers to instantly access information and provide solutions instantaneously

    * Match customer needs with product plans and deliveries with the main aim of satisfying the customers

    * Remind customers of service requirements, periodic follow-up and alerts which give the customers a sense of binding with the company.

CRM encompasses

    * Helping an enterprise to enable its market department to plan best for its customers and build good sales team

    * Assisting the firm to improve telesales, accounting and sales management in prospective areas, providing information, demonstrations, attending to customers query and finally closing the deal

    * To allow the formulation of individualized relationship with customers for effective interaction

    * To provide employees the information regarding customers, their needs and to build relationships with company customer database and distribution parameters.

    * Focuses on CRM value chain like customer acquisition, customer purchase support, customer fulfillment, customer service channel like low-cost internet, e-mail strategy, for effective customer communication with the organization.

Effective implementation of E-CRM:

For improving customer relations through information technology, the firms should take care of:

    1. Budget Guidelines: Organizations look into the affordability of the info-tech applications in its implementation. It means that it should conduct a techno-economic feasibility analysis.

    2. Technology issues: Business is dynamic and technology supported organization has to understand the culture of the company. People need to understand the process for CRM implementation, and to communicate properly the importance of the new CRM system within the organization.

Information Technology in CRM:

    * Installation of implementation support: this aims at providing 24*7 service concept by the way of info-tech applications. Networked computers with data communication devices will help in the installation of proper implementation support.

    * Data mapping and system conversion: With this technique one can map the data and its interlinks to device a system that better suits the customers.

    * Interface design and development: A better info-tech interface design and development is a must for interacting with the customers for providing better services to them and also to have the best interface among the various functionaries of the organization.

    * Report Design and development: A proper report design is a must in CRM. Reports exist at various levels starting from customer compliant to the final stage of fixing up the problem/ providing solution and to keep the proper database of the customer complaint ans solutions offered. In all these, a well-designed report format using info-tech will help the organization to its success.

    * GUI design and customization: For the better info-tech-based CRM, a proper user-friendly interactive design of customer complaint format is important. One can design input/ output formats with the help of multimedia applications that is with the use of graphics, picture, text etc, which make the graphic user interface effective and also it can be customized for different applications.

    * System testing: The system, which is developed using IT applications, should be put on field testing before it is totally implemented.

    * Operation & support: The very important aspect of CRM is to effectively operate and give the best support to the customers.

    * Knowledge management: A critical factor emerging in the organization is how to maintain customer retention and to disseminate the knowledge and expertise acquired among all sections of the customers of the business to build new skills, learn from earlier experiences and avoid past mistakes. Knowledge management practices have matured and large organizations are having Knowledge Management Systems (KMS) to cater to this.

Delivering on Customer centric CRM:

Customer centric CRM ensures that businesses sell, market and care for customers based on their specific needs and preferences. It helps in the following way:

Fig: 1

CRM- A DREAM TOOL

The essence of CRM is to 'track and profit' from the retained customers in the business portfolio. Thus, CRM is a customer-focused strategy that mandates 'a fine coordination between people, process and technology'. A truly coordinated CRM is a tool for delivering on a variety of marketing dreams.

    * Dream to target and serve customers on an individual basis. It permits a one-to-one marketing as opposed to mass marketing.

    * Dream to enjoy long term relationships with customers, especially with the profitable one.

    * Dream to disintermediarise and/ or rid channels of the wasteful barriers and distortions.

    * Dream to reduce marketing cost progressively.

Who will benefit from E-CRM?

Customers definitely reap the benefits from E-CRM. The info-tech techniques like online enquiry, online transactions and online support will definitely give new dimensions to the customers, thereby making them feel satisfied.

Organizations get a systematized approach in their customer care. Organizations can create their own customer database and provide best and efficient customer support.

Vendors get benefited from E-CRM through better supply -chain management, Vendor management, value analysis and better delivery of spares and supply in repair management.

The CRM concept and technology is more than just identifying who our customers are, providing them with a quality service and analyzing their preferences. The true value of CRM is to transform strategy, operational processes and business functions in order to increase customer loyalty and profitability which ultimately leads to CUSTOMER RETENTION MANAGEMENT.
 


Davinder Kaur
Lecturer
Ludhiana College of Engineering & Technology
 

Source: E-mail August 27, 2007

          

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