Customer relationship management
Sales forces also play an important role in CRM, as that allow customers to manage their individual relationship with vendors. Good customer relationships are based on customer experience—what it's like Your branding and marketing make a promise about customer experience and. BDC Integrated Sales and Marketing advisory services Find out about the pros and potential cons of customer relationship management and.
In the commercial world the importance of retaining existing customers and expanding business is paramount. The costs associated with finding new customers mean that every existing customer could be important. The more opportunities that a customer has to conduct business with your company the better, and one way of achieving this is by opening up channels such as direct sales, online sales, franchises, use of agents, etc.
However, the more channels you have, the greater the need to manage your interaction with your customer base. Customer relationship management CRM helps businesses to gain an insight into the behaviour of their customers and modify their business operations to ensure that customers are served in the best possible way.
In essence, CRM helps a business to recognise the value of its customers and to capitalise on improved customer relations.
The better you understand your customers, the more responsive you can be to their needs. CRM can be achieved by: You must also adapt your business to the needs of your customers. However, there are many potential benefits. A major benefit can be the development of better relations with your existing customers, which can lead to: The more you know about your customers, the easier it is to identify new prospects and increase your customer base.
Even with years of accumulated knowledge, there's always room for improvement. Customer needs change over time, and technology can make it easier to find out more about customers and ensure that everyone in an organisation can exploit this information. The better the relationship, the easier it is to conduct business and generate revenue. Therefore using technology to improve CRM makes good business sense. CRM solutions fall into the following four broad categories. Outsourced solutions Application service providers can provide web-based CRM solutions for your business.
This approach is ideal if you need to implement a solution quickly and your company does not have the in-house skills necessary to tackle the job from scratch. It is also a good solution if you are already geared towards online e-commerce.
Off-the-shelf solutions Several software companies offer CRM applications that integrate with existing packages.CRM Customer Relationship Management - Marketing Video Lecture by Prof Vijay Prakash Anand
Cut-down versions of such software may be suitable for smaller businesses. This approach is generally the cheapest option as you are investing in standard software components.
The downside is that the software may not always do precisely what you want and you may have to trade off functionality for convenience and price. The key to success is to be flexible without compromising too much. Custom software For the ultimate in tailored CRM solutions, consultants and software engineers will customise or create a CRM system and integrate it with your existing software.
However, this can be expensive and time consuming. If you choose this option, make sure you carefully specify exactly what you want.
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This will usually be the most expensive option and costs will vary depending on what your software designer quotes. Managed solutions A half-way house between custom and outsourced solutions, this involves renting a customised suite of CRM applications as a tailored package. This can be cost effective but it may mean that you have to compromise in terms of functionality.
How to implement CRM The implementation of a customer relationship management CRM solution is best treated as a six-stage process, moving from collecting information about your customers and processing it to using that information to improve your marketing and the customer experience.
Stage 1 - Collecting information The priority should be to capture the information you need to identify your customers and categorise their behaviour. Those businesses with a website and online customer service have an advantage as customers can enter and maintain their own details when they buy.
Customer relationship management
Stage 2 - Storing information The most effective way to store and manage your customer information is in a relational database - a centralised customer database that will allow you to run all your systems from the same source, ensuring that everyone uses up-to-date information. Stage 3 - Accessing information With information collected and stored centrally, the next stage is to make this information available to staff in the most useful format.
Stage 4 - Analysing customer behaviour Using data mining tools in spreadsheet programs, which analyse data to identify patterns or relationships, you can begin to profile customers and develop sales strategies.
Stage 5 - Marketing more effectively Many businesses find that a small percentage of their customers generate a high percentage of their profits.
Using CRM to gain a better understanding of your customers' needs, desires and self-perception, you can reward and target your most valuable customers. Stage 6 - Enhancing the customer experience Just as a small group of customers are the most profitable, a small number of complaining customers often take up a disproportionate amount of staff time. If their problems can be identified and resolved quickly, your staff will have more time for other customers. One research study analyzed relationships between consumers in China, Germany, Spain, and the United States, with over brands in 11 industries including airlines, cars and media.
This information is valuable as it provides demographic, behavioral, and value-based customer segmentation.
What is customer relationship management? - Canada Business Network
These types of relationships can be both positive and negative. Some customers view themselves as friends of the brands, while others as enemies, and some are mixed with a love-hate relationship with the brand. Some relationships are distant, intimate or anything in between.
Companies can collect this information by using surveysinterviews, and more, with current customers. For example, Frito-Lay conducted many ethnographic interviews with customers to try and understand the relationships they wanted with the companies and the brands. They found that most customers were adults who used the product to feel more playful.
They may have enjoyed the company's bright orange color, messiness and shape. These days, companies store and receive huge amounts of data through emailsonline chat sessions, phone calls, and more. All of these are signs of what types of relationships the customer wants with the firm, and therefore companies may consider investing more time and effort in building out their relational intelligence.
Social media such as Facebook, Twitter, blogsetc. Understanding the customer and capturing this data allows companies to convert customer's signals into information and knowledge that the firm can use to understand a potential customer's desired relations with a brand.
This helps convert data into profits for the firm. Stronger bonds contribute to building market share. By managing different portfolios for different segments of the customer base, the firm can achieve strategic goals. For example, Harley Davidson sent its employees on the road with customers, who were motorcycle enthusiasts, to help solidify relationships. Other employees have also been trained in social psychology and the social sciences to help bolster strong customer relationships.
Customer service representatives must be educated to value customer relationships, and trained to understand existing customer profiles. Even the finance and legal departments should understand how to manage and build relationships with customers.
These systems codify the interactions between company and customers by using analytics and key performance indicators to give the users information on where to focus their marketing and customer service. This allows agents to have access to a caller's history to provide personalized customer communication.
The intention is to maximize average revenue per userdecrease churn rate and decrease idle and unproductive contact with the customers. The gamification of customer service environments includes providing elements found in games like rewards and bonus points to customer service representatives as a method of feedback for a job well done.
Automation prevents this by having pre-recorded audio messages that help customers solve their problems. For example, an automated contact center may be able to re-route a customer through a series of commands asking him or her to select a certain number in order to speak with a particular contact center agent who specializes in the field in which the customer has a question.
This also saves time on behalf of the employees. These customers also share their own opinions and experiences with a company's products and services, giving these firms more insight. Therefore, these firms can both share their own opinions and also track the opinions of their customers. The systems take in information based on a customer's physical location and sometimes integrates it with popular location-based GPS applications.
It can be used for networking or contact management as well to help increase sales based on location.