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CRM applications


IT/ITES, FMCG, Retailing and Healthcare



Prof. Sunitha Ratnakaram


Vishnu G

Reg: No: 6001


VVISM-PGDM (10-12)

Customer relationship management

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a widely implemented strategy

for managing a companys interactions with customers, clients and sales prospects. It

involves using technology to organize, automate, and synchronize business processes

principally sales activities, but also those for marketing, customer service, and technical

support. The overall goals are to find, attract, and win new clients, nurture and retain

those the company already has, entice former clients back into the fold, and reduce the

costs of marketing and client service. Customer relationship management describes

a company-wide business strategy including customer-interface departments as well

as other departments. Measuring and valuing customer relationships is critical to

implementing this strategy.

CRM applications in Retailing

The past few years has witnessed a strong upsurge in the number of retailers

looking for a lifetime strategy that will cater to their customer requirements. Most of

them have seen that the need of the moment is a customer strategy that caters to lifetime

responsibilities. As a result they have turned to a customer strategy - CRM retail software

to fulfill those needs.

Let's take a look at some of the ways in which retailers have sought to hang onto their

most valuable customers prior to employing CRM:

Offering workshops and classes wherein the customer can have a hands on

learning experience

Offering repeated demonstrations

Mailbox offerings catered to suit the individual customer

Offering the chance to try before you buy

Maintaining the line of communication with the customer

Encouraging customer feedback and making sure that it is paid attention to

Providing customers with a chance to share their experiences with other customers

Treating their customers as friends not as mere customers

Little unique gifts and customized mailbox offers ensures that their best customers

keep coming back.

Retailers experience a vast difference when they treat their customers as a partner.

This serves to basically improve the entire supply chain. The wholesaler as well benefits

when the retail industry maintains and sustains a good relationship with the customer.

Another factor that contributed to CRM success in the retail industry is the failure of

enterprise resource (ERP) systems in lending the competitive edge that is needed.

CRM retail software encourages good marketing which includes the usage of

CRM software as a means of collecting and managing customer information, using that

information to segment your market and basically endeavoring to do so, on the basis of

this collated information. It means using a CRM product to collect and manage customer

intelligence to segment your database by common interests, purchasing history,

demographics and other relevant customer information.

CRM enables retailers to address the right information to the most appropriate

customer segment. It helps the retail industry to send personalized messages to each

customer with information catered to his likes. CRM helps retailers take their customers

successfully through the sales and marketing process.

Market analysts dispute the correct figure but all are of the opinion that companies

will pour billions of dollars into the CRM industry. This is because of its ability to

maneuver customer relationships in the direction of profitability. The philosophy behind

adopting retail CRM - the way the retail industry treats its customers influences future

profitability. Companies are making bigger investments in CRM solutions. Retail CRM

serves to support marketing, sales, and service processes involved in the business. CRM

causes changes in the organization and the business work processes. CRM helps achieve

a way of managing customer relationships in a better manner. Partner Relationship

Management is yet another offshoot of CRM projects. It serves to support channel

partners and all other channels as well between an enterprise and its end customers.

CRM Retail Software Benefits:

targeting prospects

acquiring new customers

campaign management

lead distribution

long-term relationship value

effective selling processes


transactions done at the lowest cost

better service and

handling post-sales service

support issues with call center

CRM applications in HealthCare

In today's world the medical sector is finding the need to know more and more

about their current and prospective clients. The more efficient service, hospitals can give

their patients the further they will go in retaining them. It springs from the eternal truth

that the more you know your patients, the better you can respond to their current needs

and predict what their future needs may be as well.

The Health Care sector is now opting for Customer Relationship Management

(CRM) in its daily application. CRM Health Care consists of a wide array of software

products that help healthcare organizations to maintain excellent relationships with their

clients. CRM enables the health care industry to get essential customer information and

use it as efficiently as possible. CRM thus enables the health care sector to improve

patient health, increase patient loyalty and patient retention and add new services as

well.CRM Health Care Services applications include the following

CRM Aids Customer Service

CRM provides the organization with the chance to acquire and retain customer

relationships. It serves to convert almost every customer interaction into a health

management opportunity. Its diverse functionality enables employers, customers

and employees to access common information. Millions of patients or customers are

being contacted daily through phone, e-mail, fax, and face to face interactions. All

these increase the need for an affective and well coordinated customer approach.CRM

Healthcare supports the call centre by providing customer service representatives with

essential customer information.

This helps the health care sector to access critical information and deliver

value to customers.CRM solutions succeed in transforming healthcare organizations

into customer-centric efficient providers of health care. The healthcare industry has

realized the importance of quality of service. CRM industry leaders now offer customer

relationship management solutions to help healthcare organizations deal with customer

service issues while delivering excellent health services.

Health Care CRM Boosts Sales and Marketing

CRM for the health care sector caters to largest health organization's sales,

marketing, and customer service demands. CRM Healthcare helps sales professionals

to forecast business and increases the existing sales effectiveness through excellent

customer approaches. It facilitates sales in that it enables the sharing of information

across sales teams ,increases and hangs onto existing sales leads and ultimately provides

excellent sales as well as after sales support. In addition CRM helps Health Care

organizations plan and carry out sales and medical management campaigns.

Health care CRM software increases the efficiency of call centers. It also assists

the initiatives of medical management and facilitates the collation of information

regarding physicians, hospitals and supplementary medical providers. In addition to this

it maintains secure and comprehensive information regarding physician profiles that can

be used by both the sales and marketing department.

CRM Aids in Overall Profitability

Most CRM industry leaders possess the latest IT technology along with excellent

healthcare market industry knowledge and thus succeed in enabling the reduction of

medical errors. The element of cost has also to be taken into consideration and healthcare

organizations have realized that they need to make the patient the focal point of the

business application. CRM helps the health sector to reduce operating costs, reduces

errors, and facilitates better relationships with patients.

While improving overall efficiency it assists in supplying medical professionals

and their patients with a means by which they can communicate effectively. It also

maintains a comprehensive database of health care providers, thus enabling health care

organizations to effectively manage their relationships with them.

Health care organizations using CRM can easily sell their products right across

the globe on account of its sales enhancing capacities. CRM products enable increased

efficiency, better health, and increased customer retention. The role of CRM in health

care is thus diverse and crucial making it an absolute perquisite for the industry.

CRM applications in FMCG

In todays consumer orientated and highly competitive market, organizations

are seeking reliable feedback from their consumers about their products and services.

Based on quality feedback they are able to improve their products and services, better

identify real consumer needs, improve marketing activities, increase value delivered from

consumer services and build consumer loyalty and brand awareness.

CRM for FMCGs (fast moving consumer goods) helps companies improve their

supply channels' performance and boost revenues. By streamlining marketing strategies,

distribution channels and sales forecasting on a powerful technology platform, enabling

transformation from a product centric to a customer centric organization. Even a specific

software named as Ulysses FMCG CRM Software is used for serving the same purpose

by many leading FMCG companies

Such CRM softwares are essential for FMCG marketing when launching a new

product to optimize campaigns and take the necessary steps, in order to move products

off the shelves. The complaint management facilities provide real customer feedback to

track product quality and processes, and respond to actual complaints. Many practitioners

have claimed that complaint management provides the best free customer survey.

While the practice of adhering to the 4Ps of marketing remains sacrosanct within

the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry, another marketing tool that's making

its presence felt loud and clear is CRM. In this industry, CRM's definition translates into

including managing relationships with channel partners and helping them reach out to

the end consumer. While the FMCG sector has traditionally recognised the importance

of dealer relationship programmes, end-consumer relationship programmes have been by

and large disjointed. The reasons aren't too hard to find. Some examples are

Dabur India, which is now toying with the idea of setting up call centres with

toll-free numbers or interactive Web sites or both. The problem of the consumers being

too many and too scattered remains. But we do recognize that CRM is an emerging

industry trend. And though we have not yet decided on the medium to deploy consumer-

end CRM, the effort would be to provide a platform to the consumer to get closer to the

company and encouraging her to offer solutions, feedback and suggestions,'' observes

Sunil Duggal, Chief Executive Officer, Dabur India.

Echoing the problem with reaching the end-consumer directly, a Pepsi India

official points out to the recent controversy that broke over Pepsi and Coca-Cola being

charged in court for `damaging the environment' by painting advertisements of their

products on rocks in Manali. "We were hauled up for this, which shows the extent of our

brand's penetration. With locations being so remote, reaching the consumer directly is

obviously tough. But we do inculcate regular global practices like setting up national-

level call centres to address consumer complaints,'' says the Pepsi official.

Coca-Cola India says it trains consumer response coordinators (CRCs), who in

turn train their sales teams to understand and implement its global systems. According to

Sunil Gupta, Vice-President, Public Affairs, Coca-Cola India, the CRM system generates

daily, weekly, monthly and annual reports that keep the management aware of routine

and evolving consumer concerns, with management reviews undertaken routinely.

Chennai-based FMCG Company Cavin Kare Pvt Ltd, meets up with identified

members of consumer panels once a quarter for every brand in its portfolio to take first

level feedback on user experience or to test a hypothesis based on feedback from the

sales force.

While consumer-level CRM efforts are beginning to cover ground, the big

challenge is to do with channel-level partnerships, which have moved beyond the `free

gold coin' days. Unstructured trade-level CRM can cost the company heavily. On the

other hand, if practiced optimally, it guarantees returns on investment.

CRM applications in IT/ITES

CRM is more than just software. For the purposes of this introduction -

Information Technology (IT) and CRM have three key elements, namely Customer

Touch Points, Applications, and Data Stores.

Customer Touch Points are vital since your business has a marketing orientation

and focuses upon the customer and his or her current and future needs. This is the

interface between your organization and its customers. For example you buy a new car

from a dealership, and you enter a showroom. The dealership is a contact point. You meet

with a salesperson that demonstrates the car. The salesperson is a contact point. You go

home and look at the car manufacturer's website, and then send the company an e-mail.

Both are contact points. Other contact points include 3G telephone, video conferencing,

Interactive TV, telephone, and letters.

Applications are essentially the software and programmes that support the process.

Incidentally, this is what some would call CRM - but we know better. Applications serve

Marketing (e.g. data mining software and permission marketing), Sales (e.g. monitoring

Customer Touch Points), and Service (e.g. customer care).

Data Stores contain data on every aspect of the customer, and the Customer Life

Cycle (CLC). For example, an organization keeps data on the products you buy, when

you buy them, and where they are sent. Data is also kept on the web pages that you visit

and the products that you consider, but then do not buy. Leads are stored here. Data

on the life time value of individual customers is stored here, as well as details of how

and when the customer was recruited, how - and for how long - individuals have been

retained, and details of any products that have been extended to individuals are also

stored. The data is analyzed using Applications.

CRM helps ITES companies for outsourcing by enabling an enterprise to provide

the best customer service while working hand in hand with clients and also strives to

regain an in-depth focus on business objectives. Since the distance factor is one that is

likely to acutely affect the relationship with the outsourcing partner and has the potential

to bring detrimental results, there are several factors that need to be addressed. Adopting

the best CRM practices can go a long way in alleviating potential outsourcing problems.

CRM helps outsourcing through ways such as

Ample encouragement to outsourcing activities through its comprehensive

customer databases

The launching of pilot projects

Valuable information gained being assessed and used by the outsourcing

partner as well as the holding company

Restructuring made possible

Reducing operating costs

Operations being greatly improved

Increased cross selling as well as increased customer retention.

A strong and lasting partnership that serves to benefit the enterprise the

outsourcer and the customer

superior customer relationship management

Better business processes

Business improvement

Effective and increased customer service

Advantage over the competitor

Excellent ROI