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CRM IN COMPANIES Customer Relationship Management “ Process of creating and maintaining relationships with business customers or consumers” “ A holistic process of identifying, attracting, differentiating, and retaining customers” “ Integrating the firm’s value chain to create enhanced customer value at every step” “ An integrated cross-functional focus on improving customer retention and profitability for the company.” Customer Relationship Management Bottom-line: The use of information-enabled systems for enhancing individual customer relationships to ensure long-term customer loyalty and retention CRM Objectives Lifetime Value (LTV) Refers to the net present value of the potential revenue stream for any particular customer over a # of years Starts with current purchase activity then extrapolates to include potential additions from cross-selling, upgrades, total ownership, etc. Customer Ownership Attempts to “own” the lion share of customer spending and/or “share of mind” in a particular product category Building brand equity, maintaining vigilant customer contact, keeping current with the market trends is critical 5% points increase in customer retention=20-125% increase in profit. 4. Is CRM New? No ! Simply an extension of relationship marketing Builds on customer service and satisfaction concepts Just the latest buzzword for creating customer orientation Bottom-line is still the same Yes ! A shift in corporate philosophy concerning the approach to value delivery Customer-centric approach to value chain New and technology-enhanced processes Focus is not just on bottom-line, but on top-line Goal is to create satisfying experiences across all customer contact points


5. CRM Programs Can Potentially Improve Analytical CRM Customer Segmentation Trend Analysis Operational CRM Campaign Management Tele-Marketing/Tele-Sales Activity and Time Management Quotation and Order Processing Delivery and Order Fulfillment Customer Service and Support Remote Access Collaborative CRM Enterprise Portals Customer Access Supplier Access Personalization 6. Areas of CRM Activity Sales Force Automation (SFA) Customer Service and Support (CSS) Help Desk Field Service Marketing Automation

7. Areas of CRM Activity: Sales Force Automation 35-40% of all CRM activity Manages lead generation, tracks movement of leads through the pipeline, allows better usage of customer data, integrates activities across sales channels, simplifies relationship management, forecasts for opportunities (SWOT) Goldmine and Sales Logix are examples of prepackaged SFA solutions. Ex. Staples used SFA to integrate catalogue, online, in-store sales efforts directed at its best customers.

8. Areas of CRM Activity: Customer Service and Support (CSS) 20-25% of CRM Assign, escalate, and track trouble tickets, inquiries, solution attempts through resolution Provides information to support customer call center activity Gleans customer data from those interactions and records it in SFA for later use Remedy , Siebel , Vantive, and Clarify are major vendors Ex., 3M Adhesive Products division 9. Areas of CRM Activity: Help Desk 15-20% of all CRM Allows individuals to access network database to solve their own problems or find information. Can be internal or external Offers many bottom-line savings Human Click , Tivoli, Live


Person , are providers Ex., Land’s End Live allows customers browse FAQ’s but also click a link to talk directly with live representative. 10. Areas of CRM Activity: Field Service CRM 3-5% of all CRM activity Mobile service technicians can log information about work orders and service calls, as well as access information from the remote site. Can feed information from customer problems into SFA for salesperson leads. Market information can be gathered and logged into central database. Ensures appropriate resource allocation by matching available resources to job requirements Major vendors are RTS, Matrix, E-Dispatch 11. Areas of CRM Activity: Marketing Automation 3-5% of CRM, but growing 5X faster than all others Interfaces with data warehouses and data mining activities to tailor page views, products, and promotions, so that the right offer goes to the right person at the right time. Can interact with SFA to support field sales efforts Provides customized customer interactions critical to segment of one marketing, mass customization, customerization, etc. www.webgroove.com ,Epiphany , Oracle, Siebel, and Personify are leaders 12. New Frontiers in CRM Commercial E-Communities What are people loyal to? Families Football teams Schools Clubs Cultures Countries I.E.: Communities not Corporations 13. Commercial E-Communities Goal is to create an environment where people get meaningful interactions with the company and other users so that they feel part of the enterprise. Adds human component and engages customers. Creates more stickiness and “ownership” Ex. User Groups for software products (Oracle, Intergraph) Ex. Dell/Sony technical support communities Can be run internally or by an external organization such as Sift


14. Components of Commercial E-Communities Customer-focused transactions Ex. IKEA Stock Query, Amazon rare book finder Community Interactions User product ratings, User alerts/Newswires, Dell technical support Access to Relevant Information Dell technical library, Customer chat rooms, Zero-time search facility Value-added Services Based on Customer Data 15. New Frontiers in CRM Customerization Mass Customization – Using flexible processes and organizational structures to produce varied and individualized products and services at the price of standard mass-produced offerings. Personalization – Customization of some features of a product or services so that the customer enjoys more convenience, lower costs, or some other benefit. Segment-of-One Marketing – Based on the idea of the firm learning individual reactions to marketing strategies, then treating this customer differently than other customers. Customerization – Mass customization + personalization + segment-of-one, dependent on a web-based or electronic interaction 16. Distinctions in Customerization Direct (online) Mix of direct and indirect Distribution Integrated, interactive Advertising and PR Communication Value based pricing; customer determined Fixed prices with discounting Price Customized based on customer interactions Marketing and R&D drive offering Product and service offering May not be articulated Researched and articulated Customer needs Customer is active co-producer, Customer is passive participant in process Relationship with customers Customerization Mass Marketing 17. Making CRM Happen Evaluate products and processes customers’ terms. Analyze the multiple channels through which the company interacts with customers. Examine how the company understands its customers. Does it keep good data? How does it get


that data? Does information flow between functional areas? Provide fingertip access to all information. Analyze human resources and ensure that everyone has an understanding of philosophy of CRM Customer Relationship Management “ Process of creating and maintaining relationships with business customers or consumers” “ A holistic process of identifying, attracting, differentiating, and retaining customers” “ Integrating the firm’s value chain to create enhanced customer value at every step” “ An integrated cross-functional focus on improving customer retention and profitability for the company.” 2. Customer Relationship Management Bottom-line: The use of information-enabled systems for enhancing individual customer relationships to ensure long-term customer loyalty and retention 3. CRM Objectives Lifetime Value (LTV) Refers to the net present value of the potential revenue stream for any particular customer over a # of years Starts with current purchase activity then extrapolates to include potential additions from crossselling, upgrades, total ownership, etc. Customer Ownership Attempts to “own” the lion share of customer spending and/or “share of mind” in a particular product category Building brand equity, maintaining vigilant customer contact, keeping current with the market trends is critical 5% points increase in customer retention=20125% increase in profit 4. Is CRM New? No ! Simply an extension of relationship marketing Builds on customer service and satisfaction concepts Just the latest buzzword for creating customer orientation Bottom-line is still the same Yes ! A shift in corporate philosophy concerning the approach to value delivery Customer-centric approach to


value chain New and technology-enhanced processes Focus is not just on bottom-line, but on top-line Goal is to create satisfying experiences across all customer contact points 5. CRM Programs Can Potentially Improve Analytical CRM Customer Segmentation Trend Analysis Operational CRM Campaign Management Tele-Marketing/Tele-Sales Activity and Time Management Quotation and Order Processing Delivery and Order Fulfillment Customer Service and Support Remote Access Collaborative CRM Enterprise Portals Customer Access Supplier Access Personalization. 6. Areas of CRM Activity Sales Force Automation (SFA) Customer Service and Support (CSS) Help Desk Field Service Marketing Automation. 7. Areas of CRM Activity: Sales Force Automation 35-40% of all CRM activity Manages lead generation, tracks movement of leads through the pipeline, allows better usage of customer data, integrates activities across sales channels, simplifies relationship management, forecasts for opportunities (SWOT) Goldmine and SalesLogix are examples of pre-packaged SFA solutions. Ex. Staples used SFA to integrate catalogue, online, in-store sales efforts directed at its best customers. 8. Areas of CRM Activity: Customer Service and Support (CSS) 20-25% of CRM Assign, escalate, and track trouble tickets, inquiries, solution attempts through resolution Provides information to support customer call center activity Gleans customer data from those interactions and records it in SFA for later use Remedy , Siebel , Vantive, and Clarify are major vendors Ex., 3M Adhesive Products division 9. Areas of CRM Activity: Help Desk 15-20% of all CRM Allows individuals to access network database to solve their own problems or find information. Can be


internal or external Offers many bottom-line savings Human Click , Tivoli, Live Person , are providers Ex., Land’s End Live allows customers browse FAQ’s but also click a link to talk directly with live representative. 10. Areas of CRM Activity: Field Service CRM 3-5% of all CRM activity Mobile service technicians can log information about work orders and service calls, as well as access information from the remote site. Can feed information from customer problems into SFA for salesperson leads. Market information can be gathered and logged into central database. Ensures appropriate resource allocation by matching available resources to job requirements Major vendors are RTS, Metrix, E-Dispatch 11. Areas of CRM Activity: Marketing Automation 3-5% of CRM, but growing 5X faster than all others Interfaces with data warehouses and data mining activities to tailor page views, products, and promotions, so that the right offer goes to the right person at the right time. Can interact with SFA to support field sales efforts Provides customized customer interactions critical to segment of one marketing, mass customization, customerization, etc. www.webgroove.com ,Epiphany , Oracle, Siebel, and Personify are leaders 12. New Frontiers in CRM Commercial E-Communities What are people loyal to? Families Football teams Schools Clubs Cultures Countries I.E.: Communities not Corporations 13. Commercial E-Communities Goal is to create an environment where people get meaningful interactions with the company and other users so that they feel part of the enterprise. Adds human component and engages customers. Creates more stickiness and “ownership” Ex. User Groups for software products (Oracle, Intergraph) Ex.


Dell / Sony technical support communities Can be run internally or by an external organization such as Sift 14. Components of Commercial E-Communities Customer-focused transactions Ex. IKEA Stock Query, Amazon rare book finder Community Interactions User product ratings, User alerts/Newswires, Dell technical support Access to Relevant Information Dell technical library, Customer chat rooms, Zero-time search facility Value-added Services Based on Customer Data 15. New Frontiers in CRM Customerization Mass Customization – Using flexible processes and organizational structures to produce varied and individualized products and services at the price of standard mass-produced offerings. Personalization – Customization of some features of a product or services so that the customer enjoys more convenience, lower costs, or some other benefit. Segment-of-One Marketing – Based on the idea of the firm learning individual reactions to marketing strategies, then treating this customer differently than other customers. Customerization – Mass customization + personalization + segment-of-one, dependent on a web-based or electronic interaction 16. Distinctions in Customerization Direct (online) Mix of direct and indirect Distribution Integrated, interactive Advertising and PR Communication Value based pricing; customer determined Fixed prices with discounting Price Customized based on customer interactions Marketing and R&D drive offering Product and service offering May not be articulated Researched and articulated Customer needs Customer is active co-producer, Customer is passive participant in process Relationship with customers Customerization Mass Marketing


17. Making CRM Happen Evaluate products and processes customers’ terms. Analyze the multiple channels through which the company interacts with customers. Examine how the company understands its customers. Does it keep good data? How does it get that data? Does information flow between functional areas? Provide fingertip access to all information. Analyze human resources and ensure that everyone has an understanding of philosophy of CRM. The idea can be summarized in one sentence “Make your customer fell very Important like Emperor” Though sounding very clichéd we will in subsequent slides show you literally how it will be done in a novel, simple and cost effective way The idea is based upon customer retention but its benefits are not confined to customer retention but go way beyond

Novel CRM : 7 Novel CRM The Customer is king and we will exceed his expectations by our service….. This is the common customer service motto for various companies but it remains in letter not in spirit We will ensure that your customers are treated not like kings but like emperors Cost of this extravagance is low but results outstanding.

INTRODUCTION : Every Individual customer should be treated like a key account this is the basic idea of our approach Once you pamper your existing customers then you will have no problems retaining them and consequently you can cross-sell or up-sell them your products These customers will then galvanize others who will then get served by them.


Their Approach is simple yet far reaching in its benefits the approach is plain common sense but why organizations don’t implement it is an enigma For treating your individual customers like a key account costs as little as 1%(or less) of the purchase value per customer per year The approach just requires few minor process/mindset modifications and a robust IT Infrastructure.

Relationship Marketing Programs : 9 Relationship Marketing Programs

Customer Relationship Management(CRM) : 11 Customer Relationship Management(CRM)

BENEFITS : 1 Customer satisfaction is achieved Customer is treated like king hence more brand loyalty Product improvement through customer feedback Better and timely service to customers Simple market researches done on customers Alternate channel for informing customers about new products and promotions

2 Customer preferences, demographics for analysis and implementation Socially Relevant messages like energy conservation, safe driving etc communicated to customer’s loyal customers rewarded Apart from all these tangible benefits it will enhance your brand image and improve your company’s perception among the people.

3 Customer Retention Typically 68% of customers leave a company because of its service and move to its competitors We will ensure that this number will reduce to


30% of the customers in a year because our approach ensures customer satisfaction so more retention.

4 Advertising Huge amounts of money are spent on advertisements in order to make customer aware of new product/promotions being launched by the company Our approach ensures that all the new product/promotion information reaches the target audience based on customer profiles

5 Product Review Taking active feedbacks from an existing customers about the products can reveal a lot about product drawbacks and customer preferences These data are then analyzed and incorporated into any new product or updated version of existing products For service companies the deficiencies in service come home and then subsequently corrective measures undertaken.

6 Customer Profiling Very few companies have idea about their customers i.e. demographics, income, education, preferences etc those who have idea usually engage third parties to gather information which they do by sampling Our approach ensures that customer profiling is done along with other functions listed above and across all customer groups

7 CUSTOMER Every other company claims that customers are part of its family but they don't have any idea about their family members i.e. who, where, how, what are they? They also do not take opinion of their family members before embarking on a new venture Their Approach would literally help you to achieve this goal enshrined above


8 Customer Profiling All the existing customers are profiled on the basis of various parameters as decided by the company and arranged into groups After logical segmentation of customers then targeted campaigns are run for various groups for cross sell and up sell campaigns Each group will have a specific campaign for itself so as to derive maximum mileage.

9 Analytics Advanced will be run on the data accrued from existing customers Based on the results loyalty schemes can be provided for regular ones while for relatively new entrants some trial schemes are provided.

10 Customer Pampering Once an enterprise pampers its customers it will have more loyalty Whenever in doubt about any product/ promotion consult your existing customers their insights will greatly help in taking crucial decisions Customers are always ready with advice some good some bad some ridiculous but they will select only the best and reject others

11 Single Point of Contact Many a times a customer has no idea whom to contact in case of damage/service etc There should be a dedicated person, website, mail ,number etc for these complaints A name is more valuable than a mail id and whom to escalate when problem doesn’t get resolved after a certain period

12 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) A company spends huge amounts of money for a socially relevant cause via advertising By our approach we will ensure that these socially relevant messages are transmitted to the existing customers of the company


and they are urged to participate in this change The existing customers will whole heartedly support and participate in this venture

13 ADVERTISING Our approach will help you to get feel of how your advertising is going vis a vis impact and visibility The existing customers of the company will be the decision makers in choosing the brand ambassador concept etc for advertising Our approach in fact opens up a whole new medium for advertising and assessing advertisement impact for various other mediums

Slide 26: 26 Product/Brand Experiences Expectations of performance Evaluation of actual performance Evaluation of gap between expected and actual performance Dissatisfaction Satisfaction Expected confirmed performance.

APPROACH : 27 APPROACH Pain is defined by us as the gap between expectation and reality and the way to relieve pain is to merge expected result with actual result We here are not talking of satisfaction but we will ensure that dissatisfaction doesn’t exist Satisfaction will come into picture subsequently but elimination of dissatisfaction is the primary objective.

Present CRM: Present CRM Companies today typically invest heavily in a crm package to manage customer relationship and this strategy itself is flawed The CRM gets it input from various purchases that a customer has done, complaints, queries etc Third party


surveys are uploaded into CRM for analysis. Some companies call up their customers after purchase to enquire about product’s performance but this is one off measure rather than norm Services companies typically use a feedback form to gather customer information and then upload it. Some companies use technology to monitor real time performance of their products.

Present Scenario Customer connect initiatives are run by various companies by selecting a specified group of customers and finding out their preferences Loyal customers are rewarded by offering them discounts, products, gifts etc Advertising and sales promotion done through established channels and their reach measured by third parties.

Rarely the existing customers bar a very few are asked for their opinions regarding new product/service offerings Customers belonging to different life cycle phases of products are not treated differently The point of contact for customers is dealers not company representative. APPROACH: For every inconvenience faced by your customer apologize to him immediately on behalf of company so that he feels important Every customer will appreciate company’s way of connecting with them even after he has no business with them Imagine having happy customers you will get business from them and the image enhancing benefits that accrue from it

APPROACH :


For loyal customers run a different campaign reward them for their loyalty For customers at various stages of product life cycles customize the campaign suitably to meet their requirements For customers who are close to product replacement time call them to get top of mind recall

APPROACH : Don’t practice it as one off approach i.e. calling him up once after a sales is done and then forget him Always maintain communication with him and allow him to communicate with you by creating SPOC (Single Point of Contact) for all his troubles The SPOC should be a person not a number

APPROACH : The SPOC should be the account manager for n number of customers and will be responsible for them He should have a mobile number which would be available from 10am to 10pm a landline number with answering machine available 24x7 a mail id for customers to reach him

APPROACH : The company cares for its customers is a common refrain if you really care apply this approach The approach can be implemented in many ways but depending upon your industry we will suggest best practices Nowhere this has been implemented and thus its benefits can’t exactly be quantified but they are visible to those whose eyes are open

APPROACH :


The approach is cost effective in the sense that for high value purchases you typically spend very low percentage of sales value in retaining your customer For a typical customer with 4 calls per year ,5-10 emails and 5-6 mails to his address you would spend very less i.e. less than 1% of the value of purchase he/she has done

APPROACH : For this approach to succeed and prosper entire company has to own this process and the success of approach incorporated into KRA’s and KPI’s A special cross functional team would be setup to monitor ,evaluate and improve the whole process

APPROACH : We don’t have credentials for suggesting you how to give your customers better service but the perspective we have will be your service booster To paraphrase “Even the worst of men can give the best of Advice” Ignore this advice at your own risk.

COSTS (Indian Rupees) : 56 COSTS (Indian Rupees) Infrastructure Costs IT Backbone Consulting Fees Management Costs Recruitment/ Training New Division setup Miscellaneous Cost per customer per year.

IMPLEMENTATION : In House Out sourced In house implementation is very costly as the entire infrastructure is set up by us but it is better that it is readily adaptable Out sourced is very cost effective but its drawback is that it is not very adaptable and difficult to monitor


Implementation : The implementation can be done phase wise and in a planned manner it can either be incremental or big bang depending on the enterprise We suggest enterprises to not incur the fixed costs outright except the consulting fees and try out our recommended no frills strategy

Implementation : The no frills strategy is implemented in a specific region on a specific population The duration of no frills strategy is of 6 months and majority of the benefits accrue during this period

Implementation : After the completion of no frills implementation methodology a survey is done either by company or third party to analyze the results Once results are good then it is implemented everywhere along with the IT backbone and other prerequisites to derive long term benefit

FUTURE SCENARIO: In coming future companies will be distinguished on the basis of those who treat their customers as part of their family and those who don’t Then Gradually all companies will treat their customers as part of their family so for you to take advantage the time is now

FUTURE SCENARIO :


The enterprises who implement this approach will benefit more in the long run though short term benefits will be there The long term benefits will enhance the image brand value of the companies The benefits are measurable and persist for a long time

HISTORY Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is one of those magnificent concepts that swept the business world in the 1990’s with the promise of forever changing the way businesses small and large interacted with their customer bases. In the short term, however, it proved to be an unwieldy process that was better in theory than in practice for a variety of reasons. First among these was that it was simply so difficult and expensive to track and keep the high volume of records needed accurately and constantly update them. In the last several years, however, newer software systems and advanced tracking features have vastly improved CRM capabilities and the real promise of CRM is becoming a reality. As the price of newer, more customizable Internet solutions have hit the marketplace; competition has driven the prices down so that even relatively small businesses are reaping the benefits of some custom CRM programs. In the beginning… The 1980’s saw the emergence of database marketing, which was simply a catch phrase to define the practice of setting up customer service groups to speak individually to all of a company’s customers. In the case of larger, key clients it was a valuable tool for keeping the lines of communication open and tailoring service to the clients needs. In the case of smaller clients, however, it tended to provide repetitive, survey-like information that cluttered databases and didn’t provide much insight. As companies began tracking database


information, they realized that the bare bones were all that was needed in most cases: what they buy regularly, what they spend, what they do. Advances in the 1990’s In the 1990’s companies began to improve on Customer Relationship Management by making it more of a two-way street. Instead of simply gathering data for their own use, they began giving back to their customers not only in terms of the obvious goal of improved customer service, but in incentives, gifts and other perks for customer loyalty. This was the beginning of the now familiar frequent flyer programs, bonus points on credit cards and a host of other resources that are based on CRM tracking of customer activity and spending patterns. CRM was now being used as a way to increase sales passively as well as through active improvement of customer service. True CRM comes of age Real Customer Relationship Management as it’s thought of today really began in earnest in the early years of this century. As software companies began releasing newer, more advanced solutions that were customizable across industries, it became feasible to really use the information in a dynamic way. Instead of feeding information into a static database for future reference, CRM became a way to continuously update understanding of customer needs and behavior. Branching of information, sub-folders, and custom tailored features enabled companies to break down information into smaller subsets so that they could evaluate not only concrete statistics, but information on the motivation and reactions of customers. The Internet provided a huge boon to the development of these huge databases by enabling offsite information storage. Where before companies had difficulty


supporting the enormous amounts of information, the Internet provided new possibilities and CRM took off as providers began moving toward Internet solutions. With the increased fluidity of these programs came a less rigid relationship between sales, customer service and marketing. CRM enabled the development of new strategies for more cooperative work between these different divisions through shared information and understanding, leading to increased customer satisfaction from order to end product. Today, CRM is still utilized most frequently by companies that rely heavily on two distinct features: customer service or technology. The three sectors of business that rely most heavily on CRM -- and use it to great advantage -- are financial services, a variety of high tech corporations and the telecommunications industry. The financial services industry in particular tracks the level of client satisfaction and what customers are looking for in terms of changes and personalized features. They also track changes in investment habits and spending patterns as the economy shifts. Software specific to the industry can give financial service providers truly impressive feedback in these areas.

What is CRM? CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. It is a strategy used to learn more about customers' needs and behaviours in order to develop stronger relationships with them. Good customer relationships are at the heart of business success. There are many technological components to CRM, but thinking about CRM in primarily technological terms is a mistake. The more useful way to think about CRM is as a strategic process that will help you better understand your customers’ needs and how you can meet those needs and enhance your bottom line at the same time. This strategy depends on bringing together lots of pieces of information about customers


and market trends so you can sell and market your products and services more effectively. What is the goal of CRM? The idea of CRM is that it helps businesses use technology and human resources to gain insight into the behavior of customers and the value of those customers. With an effective CRM strategy, a business can increase revenues by: providing services and products that are exactly what your customers want offering better customer service cross selling products more effectively helping sales staff close deals faster retaining existing customers and discovering new ones. Next, the organization must look into all of the different ways information about customers comes into a business, where and how this data is stored and how it is currently used. One company, for instance, may interact with customers in a myriad of different ways including mail campaigns, Web sites, brick-and-mortar stores, call centers, mobile sales force staff and marketing and advertising efforts. CRM systems link up each of these points. This collected data flows between operational systems (like sales and inventory systems) and analytical systems that can help sort through these records for patterns. 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 example, if someone has a mortgage, a business loan, an IRA and a large commercial checking account with one bank, it behooves the bank to treat this person well each time it has any contact with him or her. Are there any indications of the need for a CRM project? You need CRM when it is clear you don’t have an accurate view of who your customers are and what their needs or desires are or will be at any given stage in their


lives. If you are losing customers to a competitor, that’s a clear indication that you should improve your understanding of your customers.

Benefits of Using a CRM: •

Decrease cost of customer acquisition. Data enables companies to correctly identify their target audience and to focus all of the marketing efforts on that particular group of people.

Increase sales. Analyzes current customer service practices and can be used to pinpoint shortcomings and areas that need improvement. Better customer service will ultimately result in a higher sales volume.

Increase efficiencies. Employees can access important information quickly and process and can be automated.

Better and more accurate data. Analytics and reporting allows the sales, marketing and customer service teams to work together and introduce improvements.

Data security. Not only does a CRM manage your data but security allows you to control who has access to certain data and features.

Popular CRM Options for Small Businesses Numerous specialized publications have come up with rankings for the best CRM solutions for small and large businesses. Needless to say, the size of the company determines the type of software that will be most suitable. There are several good CRM possibilities for small businesses. Zoho, Sugar CRM and Tactile CRM rank among the best possibilities for small companies.

Introduction When company communicates its customers the process can involve many different people within both organizations using a variety of different methods. CRM is the


acronym for the term “Customer Relationship Management�. The main tool that is used is an order that is communicated by company’s customer to its sales department. However this is only one of many communications that should be managed. To ensure that company can provide the best customer service experience possible the use of customer relationship management (CRM) software should be considered.

Typical CRM software will allow company to track and organize its contacts with its current and prospective customers. The software allows your employees to store information about customers and customer interactions which then can be accessed by employees in different departments within company.

There are three areas which in general company interacts with its customers.

Front Office Contacts These involve the direct contact your employees have with your customers which can include phone calls, e-mail, instant messages and face to face communication.

Back Office Operations These are processes that are used to facilitate the front office, such as finance communications, marketing, customer billing and advertising.

Business Contacts Your employees will interact with customers and suppliers through networking, industry events and trade associations.

Advantages of CRM


By using CRM methodology, an enterprise can: •

Provide better customer service

Increase customer revenues

Discover new customers

Cross sell/Up Sell products more effectively

Help sales staff close deals faster

Make call centers more efficient

Simplify marketing and sales processes.

Different levels of eCRM In defining the scope of eCRM, three different levels can be distinguished:

Foundational services This includes the minimum necessary services such as web site effectiveness and responsiveness as well as order fulfillment.

Customer-centered services These services include order tracking, product configuration and customization as well as security/trust.

Value-added services These are extra services such as online auctions and online training and education.

Self-services are becoming increasingly important in CRM activities. The rise of the Internet and eCRM has boosted the options for self-service activities. A critical


success factor is the integration of such activities into traditional channels. CRM activities are mainly of two different types.

Reactive service is where the customer has a problem and contacts the company.

Proactive service is where the manager has decided not to wait for the customer to contact the firm, but to be aggressive and contact the customer himself in order to establish a dialogue and solve problems.

Implementing and integrating CRM solutions Several CRM software packages exist that can help companies in deploying CRM activities. Besides choosing one of these packages, companies can also choose to design and build their own solutions. In order to implement CRM in an effective way, one needs to consider the following factors: •

Create a customer-based culture in the organization.

Adopt customer-based managers to assess satisfaction.

Develop an end-to-end process to serve customers.

Recommend questions to be asked to help a customer solve a problem.

Track all aspects of selling to customers, as well as prospects.

Furthermore, CRM solutions are more effective once they are being implemented in other information systems used by the company. Examples are Transaction Processing System (TPS) to process data real-time, which can then be sent to the sales and finance departments in order to recalculate inventory and financial position quick and accurately. Once this information is transferred back to the CRM software and


services it could prevent customers from placing an order in the belief that an item is in stock while it is not.

Disadvantages of CRM Systems While

advantages

usually outweigh

disadvantages

for

most

organizations

implementing an CRM system, here are some of the most common obstacles experienced: •

Record Loss

Training

Require additional work inputting data

Require continuous maintenance, information updating, and system upgrading costly

Difficult to integrate with other management information systems.

Privacy and Data Security The data gathered as part of CRM must consider customer privacy and data security. Customers want the assurance that their data is not shared with 3rd parties without their consent and not accessed illegally by 3rd parties. Customers also want their data used by companies to provide a benefit for them. For instance, an increase in unsolicited telemarketing calls is generally resented by customers while a small number of relevant offers is generally appreciated.


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