INTRODUCTION Customer relationship management (CRM) is a widely implemented strategy for managing a company’s 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. Benefits of Customer Relationship Management A Customer Relationship Management system may be chosen because it is thought to provide the following advantages: Quality and efficiency Decrease in overall costs Decision support Enterprise ability Customer Attention Increase profitability Customer relationship management (CRM) has attracted the expanded Attention, more and more companies are adopting customer-centric strategies, programs, tools, and technology for efficient and effective customer relationship management. They are realizing the need for indepth and integrated customer knowledge in order to build close cooperative and partnering relationships with their customers. The emergence of new channels and technologies is significantly altering how companies interface with their customers, a development bringing about a greater degree of integration between marketing, sales, and customer service functions in organizations. CRM represents an enterprise approach to developing full-knowledge about customer behaviour and preferences and to developing programs and strategies that encourage customers to continually enhance their business relationship with the company.
The emergence of CRM In recent years however, several factors have contributed to the rapid development and evolution of CRM. These include the growing deintermediation process in many industries due to the advent of sophisticated computer and telecommunication technologies that allow producers to directly interact with end-customers. For example, in many industries such as the airline, banking, insurance, computer software, or household appliances industries and even consumables, the deintermediation process is fast changing the nature of marketing and consequently making relationship marketing more popular. Databases and direct marketing tools give these industries the means to individualize their marketing efforts. As a result, producers do not need the functions formerly performed by middlemen. Even consumers are willing to undertake some of the responsibilities of direct ordering, personal merchandising, and product use related services with little help from the producers. The recent success of on-line banking, direct selling of books, automobiles, insurance, etc., on the Internet all attest to the growing consumer interest in maintaining a direct relationship with marketers. The de-intermediation process and consequent prevalence of CRM is also due to the growth of the service economy. Since services are typically produced and delivered at the same institution, it minimizes the role of middlemen. Between the service provider and the service user an emotional bond also develops creating the need for maintaining and enhancing the relationship. It is therefore not difficult to see that CRM is important. Another force driving the adoption of CRM has been the total quality movement. When companies embraced the Total Quality Management (TQM) philosophy to improve quality and reduce costs, it became necessary to involve suppliers and customers in implementing the program at all levels of the value chain. This created the need for closer working relationships with customers, suppliers, and other members of the marketing infrastructure. Thus, several companies, such as Motorola, IBM, General Motors, Xerox, Ford, and Toyota, formed partnering relationships with suppliers and customers to practice TQM. Also, customer expectations have been changing rapidly over the last two decades. Fuelled by new technology and the growing availability of advanced product features and services, customer expectations are changing almost on a daily basis. Consumers are less willing to make compromises or trade-offs in product and service quality. In a world of ever changing customer expectations, building cooperative and
collaborative relationships with customers seems to be the most prudent way to keep track of their changing expectations and appropriately influencing them. Second.
. It is also becoming more the case with automated services such as automatic teller machines. where one without the other is less useful to users and consumers. is all about interaction and activities. it occurs as an interactive process and not as a transactional exchange. At the same time. they must be handled at the individual-entity level. telephone answering systems. CRM. and. First. with electronic ordering and Internet commerce. however. Just as hardware and software create a symbiotic value addition. unique aspect of customer relationship management is that it is a value-added activity through mutual interdependence and collaboration between suppliers and customers. Finally. an accountant. and gasoline pumps. relationships cannot be pursued in the aggregate. one stating CRM's own distinct properties. and equally important. it is also becoming prevalent for traditional product offerings. a lawyer. This is a fundamental distinction because marketing is founded on the principle of exchange and transactions. or a teacher. This is very obvious in services industries where the user must cooperate and collaborate with the provider whether it is a doctor. therefore. What is needed is a definition that will articulate the uniqueness of the concept. In other words. There are at least three aspects unique to CRM and relationship marketing. each member in the value chain is a distinct and independent organization with its own capital and management. it relates to a one-toone relationship between the marketer and the customer. similar to what has been done related to services marketing. and identity boundaries between the supplier and the customers blur into one extended supply-and-demand chain of management. especially in business-to-business marketing. location. The third. customer relationship management adds value through collaborative and partnering mindsets and the resulting behaviours of the suppliers and customers. it involves co-production and co-consumption in which time. there is a virtually integrated network of organizations and not a traditional vertically integrated organization.
namely. as a perspective. How many companies create a slogan without any supporting initiatives. Collaborative CRM . customer satisfaction has dropped in nearly every sector of the economy according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index compiled by the University of Michigan. since 1994. Yet.Investigating Customer Data with a huge volume of functions and reasons. thereby disillusioning employees and creating a "flavour of the month?" To establish a good strategy certain key practices are required: Understand the overall organisational vision and mission Define the organisation's customer service direction. So many companies "jump on the bandwagon" of improving customer service in order to impact customer retention levels. So why is this? Raising customer satisfaction levels requires a comprehensive systems approach. sales and other related service. Analytical CRM .Offering full front end support for marketing. STEPS TO CRM One of the ongoing challenges successful businesses face is in optimizing customer satisfaction and developing Customer Relationship Management. • Operational CRM • Collaborative CRM • Analytical CRM. Setting a Clear Customer Experience Strategy Often organisations confuse defining a customer experience strategy with creating a "slogan". Operational CRM .Features of CRM Customer Relationship Management has 3 key features.Having a direct communication with the clients without any interference from service or sales representatives. slogan and values Ensure customer service is defined as a key responsibility for the business/department
it is important to: Provide training in key areas required to deliver exceptional personal service Reinforce these skills using ongoing coaching and feedback Measure current performance levels
. there is still a need to orient them into the organisation's customer relationship culture and define key communication skills. lack of the right attitude can drastically impact client satisfaction levels. it is amazing how often we hear organisations say. Therefore to build a customer relationship culture. the competitive differentiator. Research has in fact shown that attitude is the most important requirement: skills and functional expertise can be taught. This can result in providing acceptable material service. As consultants. In Call Centers and Technical Support departments. there is a tendency to rely on technical/functional skills and neglect interpersonal skills development.Share the customer experience strategy via a comprehensive communications program Ensure that this strategy does not conflict with other business strategies.
Selecting the Correct People When recruiting employees to provide customer service. and we are also introducing stringent cost-cutting measures. "Improving Customer Service is a priority. the more tangible aspect." This can present a tough dichotomy. technical competence and knowledge rather than interpersonal skills. the process often tends to concentrate more on functional expertise. yet unacceptable personal service. Therefore in selecting the right people: Define the critical job requirements Develop scenario-based interviews/assessment centres to screen and select candidates Involve multiple team members in the hiring process Ensure evaluation is based on objective. not the subjective "Be Like Me" criteria
Developing. However. Motivating and Managing your People Even though you have hired the right people.
In order to recover effectively.Reward performance using a combination of monetary awards and non-monetary recognition
Establishing Effective Service Delivery Processes Effective processes and procedures provide the foundation for smoothing or inhibiting the material service element of the customer interaction. The critical elements in ensuring a positive material customer experience are: Mapping the service delivery processes Evaluating critical success points in the process Defining service standards and objectives for these essential points Establishing service delivery procedures to optimise material service Creating service level agreements to smooth internal service delivery
Building in Continuous Improvement No matter how effective the service delivery processes. Customers get frustrated.
. This process known as "recovery" is an important differentiator in building customer loyalty. not just the symptoms. Efficient service delivery systems appear transparent to the customer. apologising and resolution. Train staff how to handle customer complaints effectively using the correct mix of empathising. Things slip through the cracks. Make sure that the real problem is solved. The organisations that are built around managing the customer experience are able to resolve these issues effectively. it is necessary to: Actively seek customer feedback and complaints: you cannot improve if you don't know what went wrong in the first place. Poor systems create those 'speed bumps' that necessitate personal intervention in order to satisfy the customer requirements. things go wrong. or well-trained the service deliverers. Products have faults.
and empowering them to be the key change-agents. The "make or break" element is in involving middle management in the change process. a tool that aids you in doing all these process is called as CRM Tool (Customer Relationship Management Tool). it is important to: Engage the management team early and often in the process Involve management members in articulating the customer experience strategy Teach managers coaching skills so that they are able to articulate and reinforce the key personal service skills Use managers as facilitators when rolling out interpersonal skills training Reward managers on establishing. This
. intention and commitment to introduce a comprehensive customer relationship management system. The time investment can be high.
All businesses are there to support its clients for it to achieve success.Focus on proactive (prevention) as well as reactive (cure) problem solving. it is essential to build a customer relationship focused culture. monitoring and updating service delivery processes Ensure managers are able to act as an example to their teams. but the pay-off can be enormous building long-term customer loyalty and helping to ensure business profitability. in order to deliver outstanding service. group and analyze customer details. The focus of all the companies should be on their clients.
Ensuring Managers are the Key Change-Agents As consultants. By knowing the likings and disliking of your customer will help you build a strong bond with existing clients and also to attract many more new clients. we observe that senior management often has the vision. To do this. you will have to collect. This can take up to two years and can involve changing the way the company operates in all aspects of service delivery. In order to know the customer preferences.
By unifying and creating visibility around the information gathered. The results of interactions must also be tracked and analyzed to refine and improve future actions. CRM strategies seek to achieve all these benefits with lower costs. CRM initiatives are designed to promote the effective acquisition and utilization of knowledge about customers. • • • • Billing and Expense Sales and Marketing Human Resources Project Management CRM FOR BUSINESS USE Essentially. That knowledge is then used in the development of marketing strategies and customer account plans. or keeping customers longer. continually improving results. A corporation's customer base can be made more profitable by acquiring more customers.strategy not only applies to conventional multinational companies even to small businesses that entail dealing directly with clients like cleaning franchises. This process includes not only the maintenance of quality customer interactions. empowering a company to sell more of its products or services more efficiently.g. Ideally. The customer targeted scheme will help companies build a strong link with their customers and thus increasing its stronghold with its customer. satisfied customer relationships. and with the help of CRM tools you can access these details. CRM should become a repeatable process ensuring consistent. managing. increasing the value of current customers. The customer data and information will be stored in a central site. By defining. giving a profitable Return of Investments thru the business. but also securing knowledge about the customer each time an interaction occurs. all the resources of the company can be utilized to
. interactions). CRM strategies typically start with an analysis of customers' behavior to achieve in-depth knowledge of their habits and requirements. companies hope to maintain long-lasting.. and controlling customer interactions at critical "touch points" (e. manipulate them and make your decision from anyplace in the world at all times. Completeness and accuracy of data gathered and analyzed are vital to the success of CRM. Managing different types are business activates are made easy because of these CRM tools.
This provides one consistent. accurate. if not eliminated all together. and insightful cycle times are also a main goal (and are also measurable). uncoordinated messages from various company representatives can be minimized. intelligent company face to the customer. it still remains a primary goal for today's businesses and is the focus of all CRM strategies and technologies.help satisfy the customer. or from the call center. from the sales force. but actually it is not. satisfied customers buy more over their lifetime and are willing to pay more to do business with a vendor that delivers and is trustworthy. maintaining customer loyalty has never been so important. business emailing or video conferencing technology so that you keep a clear communicate both internally and externally. The CRM methodology sounds simple. high quality. While there is no true measuring stick for customer satisfaction. friendly. the confusion that ensues when customers receive multiple. You must show more concern while hiring a CRM solution provider or the actual purpose of having a CRM will never be accomplished. The customer is capturing mind share and is more intelligent in terms of shopping savvy. Other Gartner research describes the cost of acquiring new customers as being five to ten times greater than retaining an existing one. Studies show that loyal. Customers should be able to get the same information about a company and its products or services from the Web. as opposed to a collection of loosely organized departments. Hence. The cost of acquiring new customers is also becoming extremely expensive. The perfect CRM system can be supported with a good communication system such as a business telephone system. Angry customers are also much more likely to tell others about their problems than a satisfied customer. Most of the service providers concentrate only on
. The Perfect CRM Solution A perfect CRM solution is a one that is going to make the existing customers as lifelong customers and potential customers into new customers. There is several number of CRM service providers available out there in the market place. but the customer service process improvements derived from CRM often lead to greater efficiency and cost savings. Fast. The fight to acquire and keep customers is intensifying. CRM strategies and enabling technologies are designed to capitalize on these insights by providing a holistic approach that balances the targeting of prospects with satisfying current customers. When CRM strategies are planned and implemented properly.
new product introductions. CRM initiatives involve the marketing. and. CRM-enabling technologies help enterprises: · Understand key customer groups · Define what customers need and value · Target customer groups · Tailor products and services for customers · Refine channel strategies · Measure customer activity in relation to marketing campaigns. and service entities within an organization. companies are deploying CRM-enabling technologies. they want to get up close and personal with clients. to please the "never satisfied customer. Acting on the notion that effectively managing the customer relationship from initial contact through the sale and follow-up service(s) yields the greatest chance of keeping their best customers satisfied. whereas the rest of the service providers have their attention on small or medium sized businesses. most importantly. such as call centre software and self-service Web sites. it becomes increasingly difficult to provide personalized levels of service. retain existing ones. Choosing the CRM solution only on the basis of price is a worse thing to. sales. Instead. Thus.corporate businesses.
Functionality CRM initiatives involve one or more of the following general functions: · Marketing automation · Sales force automation · Customer service · Electronic commerce
. you must also follow these steps to choose the best one." Most companies invest in CRM-enabling technologies to provide competitive differentiation in a world where products can become obsolete overnight. Enterprises no longer view their customer base as a homogeneous collection of revenue generating units. etc. CRM projects focus on integrating and leveraging all of a company's outward-facing actions to acquire new customers. identify the most profitable prospects so that their value can be maximized over time. As an enterprise grows. however.
Customer service personnel can pull up the entire interactive history of a customer. marketing and lead generation campaigns must be developed. product. and closing business. Examples of CRM-Enabling Technologies at Work A unified. return on investment (ROI) must be tracked against sales to ascertain success or failure of the campaigns and refine future marketing approaches. Margins can also be identified earlier in the sales cycle. effective CRM initiative will provide sales and customer service reps with immediate access to customer. and marketing campaigns are managed. sales force automation. and competitive information. allowing for better initiatives in the future. leads are generated. Next. E-Commerce E-Commerce integrates and leverages marketing automation. Sales Force Automation Sales Force Automation is an automated sales management process that includes lead generation. they can focus on more profitable deals. Customer Service Customer Service addresses post-sales issues in a responsive manner. forecasting. Product configurations can be linked to back-end inventory systems providing immediate feedback on availability.Marketing Automation Marketing Automation is an automated process in which customers are targeted. and customer service via Web technology. Because sales representatives have better information. Finally. As campaigns are executed. leads must quickly be routed to appropriate sales channels." The marketing team can track campaigns against sales activity. customer data must be analyzed and graded to identify top prospects. CRM IN BANKING SECTOR
. Accurate quotes and delivery dates translate into happier customers. Marketing Automation can be broken down into four primary functions. Initially. Tight links to marketing databases help reps cross-sell by matching products to clients at the immediate "point of need.
It doesn't happen by simply buying software and installing it. discretionary decision making. insurance companies. At this point. call centres. discover new customers. Web sites. For example. many financial institutions keep track of customers' life stages in order to market appropriate banking products like mortgages or IRAs to them at the right time to fit their needs. a business can: provide better customer service. for instance. and other service providers realize the importance of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and its potential to help them acquire new customers retain existing ones and maximize their lifetime value. Next. brick-and-mortar stores. This collected data flows between operational systems (like sales and inventory systems) and analytical systems that can help sort through these records for patterns. Thus showing the role of Customer Relationship Management in banking sector and the need for Customer Relationship Management to increase customer value by using some analytical methods in CRM applications. repricing. close relationship with customers will require a strong coordination between IT and marketing departments to provide a long-term retention of selected customers. make call centres more efficient. Solid CRM systems link up each of these points. One company. mobile sales force staff and marketing and advertising efforts. may interact with customers in a myriad of different ways including mail campaigns. help sales staff close deals faster. If it works as hoped. where and how this data is stored and how it is currently used. Company analysts can then comb through the data to obtain a holistic view of each customer and pinpoint areas where better services are needed. For CRM to be truly effective an organization must first decide what kind of customer information it is looking for and it must decide what it intends to do with that information.Today. and increase customer revenues. and customized service-all delivered through the various sales channels that the bank uses. the organization must look into all of the different ways information about customers comes into a business. and devotes time and attention to expanding account relationships with those customers through individualized marketing. CRM Objectives in Banking Sector The idea of CRM is that it helps businesses use technology and human resources gain insight into the behaviour of customers and the value of those customers. simplify marketing and sales processes. cross sell products more effectively. CRM is a sound business strategy to identify the bank’s most profitable customers and prospects. many businesses such as banks.
Insurers have now realized that CRM is essential if they want to deliver high quality services since it satisfies current customers and gains new ones. CRM helps insurance companies to ensure that the customer is understood better. The answer? Choosing a customer centric strategy can go a long way in achieving this. 5) Web registration data. 7) Demographic data. Customers tend to lose out as they are not buying from the right provider. Right now insurers can achieve excellent policy administration. CRM IN INSURANCE SECTOR The current scenario in the insurance industry is a complex and competitive environment tinged with little stability. Long considered a job only restricted to insurance companies.In CRM projects. It has become increasingly difficult for this particular sector to gain profits while curtailing costs. CRM Customer Relationship Management holds the key. have all contributed to the difficulty insurance agents and other professionals from this industry face. This is because policies get sold only if relationships are built. 6) Service and support records. web-based CRM tools that increase sales opportunities Why Opt for CRM Insurance Software? • Insurance CRM decreases the time required to make product changes • A holistic integrated customer view • Targeted marketing
. selling insurance policies has now become an option for banks as well. good billing systems etc but fall short on the customer front. mergers. In addition to this the Internet has increased the pressure for insurance companies in capturing the market. 3)Sales and purchase data. Acquisitions. 2) Shipping and fulfilment dates. What is required is a comprehensive database of information about customers who hold your insurance policies. 8) Web sales data. However this alone is insufficient to survive on. following data should be collected to run process engine: 1) Responses to campaigns. All this has succeeded in making the insurance world more complicated. CRM solves these problems with its userfriendly. This is due to the fact that the big fish in the insurance industry dominate the sector. This has resulted in a lot of increased as well as unwelcome competition. The major hassle the industry faces is obtaining clients. 4) Account information.
Having ample customer information on hand enables a CSR to be more confident of dealing with the client. It manages to enhance your customer relationships based on customer's unique requirements. change their account information. submit complaints etc.• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Customer retention Increased growth Increased policy sales Increased insurance market share CRM Insurance integrates marketing with other operations Efficient distribution channels are secured CRM provides the chance to reduce operating expenses It provides for more affective and efficient communication It improves the response time It increases customers satisfaction Insurance application queries/ claim status queries can be answered sooner It reduces the time that is normally taken for printing Policy mailing time is reduced It decreases overall costs Aids the call centre activities Insurance CRM guarantees lead management Insurance CRM Gains Since most insurance companies are not adequately equipped to help their agents deal with customer centered problems CRM insurance enables insurance organizations to survive in a tough economic climate by using the data the insurance company has on the existing customers and then use it to increase the level of profitability. A wealth of customer data is available but insurance companies do not have it readily assessable nor is it coherent. Insurance CRM assists Customer Service Representatives when they are not able to properly access customer data. It removes the chance of errors. CRM enables customers themselves to do research on products. CRM insurance software creates a holistic view of the customer which helps eliminate customer irritation experienced due to this. In addition to this policyholders or beneficiaries can check their claim status. Insurers find that
. have answers to their questions etc. when they need to identify themselves repeatedly.
but also Web-based.CRM is assisting them in their marketing efforts as well through a comprehensive understanding of the client base. Web-based CRM solutions designed specifically for partner sales are starting to emerge. self-service applications can. Using workflow.
. allowing customer service personnel to view what a customer was looking for to assist them further. EMERGING TRENDS CRM-Enabling Technologies for Indirect Channels Implementing CRM for the direct sales force is a top priority for many companies. Customer Web site interactions can be logged and tracked. Properly implemented self-service systems can reduce some pressure associated with sales and call centre operations. Web sites can be made available 24×7. E-Commerce and Web-Based CRM-Enabling Technologies The power of the Web as a business venue lies not only in the ability to sell products regardless of physical and geographical location. Web consumers can check their records online. using a single Web interface. Customers of CRM-enabling technologies are selecting products that unite several customer-service functions. but also in the ability to create stronger relationships with customers and to provide higher levels of service. Some corporations also allow customer access to the same account information that the service reps see. at times. especially high tech industries where partners commonly handle and account for more than 50% of a company's overall sales. and even chat with service representatives. CRM aids the insurance companies by ensuring that campaigns are more affective. be more accurate than call centres or conversations with sales representatives because the data is entered directly into the back-end applications. such as order entry. minimizing administrative error. Not only can customers sign up for new services and order products on a company's Web site. access knowledge bases. processes can be linked across several applications. ask questions. Indirect channels are critical to many industries. call centre. Self-Service Knowledge Bases Knowledge bases allow customers to independently access a vendor's Web site and find answers to questions and solutions to problems without the intervention of service personnel. and help desk.
the company can more efficiently tailor services to its needs and spending levels.g. make inferences about user habits and needs. reducing the possibility of inconsistencies and errors. Real-time Information Availability Sales and service reps can provide customers with product availability information on a line-by-line basis. when implemented correctly. with IA-based systems. IA can support the management of the customer interaction cycles by reducing the need of human resources and by shortening the duration of a single cycle. Shared information helps companies provide better service. predictable information no matter what touch point they use. locations. The inventory management system is typically accessed through a secure Web site to check on the product availability. This is especially beneficial to sales. the status of orders. the more the agents learn and improve their knowledge about customers. BENEFITS AND RISKS Benefit: Single View of Customer Data Customers get consistent. ship dates. Moreover. CRM solutions keep customer information in a central database (as opposed to disparate systems). As
. and estimated delivery times. Benefit: Immediate. Benefit: Knowledge Retention Information loss due to staff turnover can be reduced.Intelligent Agents and Rules-Based Applications Intelligent Agent (IA) technologies are designed to allow companies to interact at a single-user level (e. "market of one") while minimizing the use of human resources. Benefit: Knowing and Understanding Your Customers Better Because the company "knows" who its customers are at a higher level of granularity.. the more customer interaction cycles are executed. The company can also target priority accounts. This technology can. Redundancy and duplication can also be reduced. where staff turnover can be fairly high.
customer information and interactive history are safely retained in the secure. Best Business Practice Enforcement Best-practice methodologies and processes providing and enforcing uniformity across the enterprise can be put in place. This is due primarily to six things: 1. The CRM initiative was not carefully thought out and planned. Benefit: Automation of Time-Consuming Tasks The automation of time-consuming tasks emancipates sales and service personnel. allowing them to focus on direct customer activity and keeping them in front of the customers. Data is inaccurate. Forecasting modules allow sales leads to be tracked back to marketing campaigns. Leads can be channelled into the organization by salespeople. Benefit: Standardized. or widely distributed across different formats. Literature requests can be fulfilled automatically. not available. consistent manner. trade show attendance scans. sales leads are stored and processed in a predefined. In a CRM strategy and technology implementation. 2. or via forms-based applications. Risk: Difficult to Implement Enterprise-level CRM solutions have a reputation for being expensive and difficult to implement.representatives head out the door. Additionally. Benefit: Product and Competitive Information at Fingertips Online marketing encyclopaedias ensure that up-to-date product and competitive information is available at the point of sale. central database. sales configuration engines ensure that representatives accurately configure products and produce accurate quotes. Benefit: Lost Leads Reduced Lost leads equal lost sales. Sales call logs can be updated and kept current automatically.
A company should make sure it has a technology infrastructure in place that will support the Web site. Phased approaches are highly recommended. have not worked together and may have competed against each other for resources and recognition. 4. CRM and other enterprise initiatives require cooperation and participation across business units that. concentrating on priority requirements first. and other innovative technologies are great advances. 5. Risk: Web Dependency When relying on the Web. Companies should strike a proper balance in leveraging Web technology in a CRM initiative and invest wisely to minimize risk. voice response systems. dialling a phone number and speaking to the warm. friendly voice of a sales or service representative are all a customer needs to purchase a product. scalability must be considered. historically. Technology infrastructure requirements were underestimated. Risk: Over-Automating Self-service Web sites. Risk: CRM Is Not Guaranteed There is no concrete evidence proving that CRM works. Customer satisfaction can spiral down rapidly. Is a substantial investment required to deliver the expected capability? Traditional applications may have served a thousand or more internal users. Although it is true that CRM may not attract customers that are less than desirable for a company. Inner office politics and the existing organizational structure can make implementation difficult. If a company becomes too dependent on the Web and the system or network goes down. Commercial Web applications may be required to support hundreds of thousands of transactions per day. investments in CRM do not guarantee the attraction of
. not to alienate them. Companies implementing CRM strategies and enabling technology should be wary of driving technology to the point where it reaches diminishing returns. Efforts become bogged down in getting required systems integrated. significant revenues may be lost. At times. 6.3. but the goal of CRM is to bring companies closer to their customers. Business processes and workflow are not properly defined and then aligned across required system inputs.
Technology Analysis IT professionals involved in CRM efforts have the opportunity to become enablers of a customer centric business strategy while also positively impacting the organization's bottom line. and sophisticated call centre applications.desirable customers. The synergy created by these technologies. has the potential to provide huge economies of scale to enterprises. is paramount. Conversely. out of. and marketing components. The warehouse becomes the nucleus for all the data required to perform prospect assessment and grading and from which all information is disseminated to call centres. CRM projects will also typically call for the resources necessary to integrate an array of disparate. Companies that reap success from CRM initiatives will be the ones that can use it to better understand how a customer wants to be related to the company. especially in areas such as data warehousing. if an enterprise does a poor job of defining and using available and acquired data. will reap inaccurate and error prone results. IT professionals. CRM solution. There are many risks involved and the socalled CRM "solutions" available today are all but rapid and inexpensive. must keep in mind that CRM is a business strategy. the Web. SFA. not a technology.the-box. if achieved. The data warehouse is often the critical hinge upon which CRM architectures are built. One thing IT professionals can assume is that a typical CRM project will include substantial investment in technology infrastructure. if business processes and workflow are not rationalized and well thought
. Unfortunately. and then promptly acting on that analysis by carrying out a strategy designed specifically for that individual customer relationship--a process known as Customer Relationship Planning or CRP. however. when mulling the launch of a CRM-based project. but IT professionals should not assume that any one vendor and/or product offer an all-inclusive. as well. There are many technologies that aid CRM. then the process. isolated systems. Pitching a CRM implementation project is subject to scrutiny in the face of odds unfavourable to the successful completion of complex. no matter how well constructed. This is achieved using accurate data and analysis. infrastructure-based projects. and data mining (for sorting through the volumes of data required to extract meaningful customer data). The appropriate use and proper implementation of CRM-enabling technology. OLAP.
integrator(s). but more complex CRM projects will require the acquisition of different best-ofbreed products. IT professionals should assess the condition of the organization's infrastructure as part of a CRM strategy development process. and/or service provider(s) selection. as well as the employment of external service providers and/or systems integrators.).) need to be updated. Goals should be defined early.out. etc. and integrated to reach the goals. and what technological pieces (infrastructure. modified. so that the company knows exactly what it wants to achieve. and is enough bandwidth available to accommodate this load? · What security considerations need to be made?
. architecture. The following questions should also be answered during CRM project planning phases: · What kinds and how many processors will be required to perform the tasks? · How will assorted applications be integrated? · How do you create a common definition of the term "customer"? · How will data be stored and distributed? · If you are going to utilize the Web. it will be impossible to develop data models that adequately support them. what kind of traffic will be expected on the network infrastructure. what physical parts of the business (departments) will be affected. products. The definition of these goals early in the CRM implementation project is particularly critical to proper and effective CRM-based vendor(s). product(s). The scope and complexity level of the CRM project will also govern the evaluation and ultimate selection of the aforementioned pieces (vendors. CRM may actually cause more problems and customer dissatisfaction than it solves. etc. Unless the work performed by sales and service representatives and marketers is well understood. Some vendors and system integrators offer packaged CRM enabling technologies that would suit pointed. focused CRM initiatives.
CRM refers to a conceptually broad phenomenon of business activity. both successful and unsuccessful. freestanding. CRM has the potential to emerge as the predominant perspective of marketing. The lessons learned from previous efforts. CRM should not be misunderstood to simply mean a software solution implementation project.
. and distinct discipline in marketing. Its recent prominence is facilitated by the convergence of several other paradigms of marketing and by corporate initiatives that have developed around the theme of cooperation and the collaboration of organizational units and their stakeholders. From the corporate implementation point of view. and it requires a holistic strategy and process to make it successful. of various marketing domains that have tried to become disciplines provide a good road map of how to develop CRM and relationship marketing into a distinct discipline. Building relationships with customers is a fundamental business of every enterprise. and if the phenomenon of cooperation and collaboration with customers becomes the dominant paradigm of marketing practice and research.CONCLUSION The domain of customer relationship management extends into many areas of marketing and strategic decisions. including customers. Our belief is that it certainly has the potential. From an academic standpoint an important question is whether CRM or relationship marketing will become a well-respected. and we wish that it would happen because marketing will benefit enormously from it.