Customer Relationship Management - Essay Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Customer Relationship Management With the high dependence on customers for survival in the market, businesses are emphasizing the need to establish, manage and retain long term relationships with their customers. Because of their size, small businesses were traditionally able to understand and manage their customers’ needs…
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Relationship Management With the high dependence on s for survival in the market, businesses are emphasizing the need to establish, manage and retain long term relationships with their customers. Because of their size, small businesses were traditionally able to understand and manage their customers’ needs. However, with the growing numbers and size of business enterprises, large organizations must offer more than the best services and products to their customers in order to beat the competition (Greenberg 4). This paper will explain what customer relationship management (CRM) system is, its components and the values it adds to an organization. It will also explain the role of WEB 2.0 in CRM in my point of view, and give an example of real world CRM success case. A CRM system is a management model that uses technology to handle all the interactions between an organization and its present and future customers. It automatically organizes and synchronizes support, marketing and sales activities of the customers. It simultaneously enhances profitability and productivity, saves costs and time and solidifies customer relations. It can be used by both small businesses and large enterprises to provide real time customer information for satisfactory and efficient delivery of services and products. A successful CRM system can reduce the gap between an organization and its client to almost a face to face experience (Greenberg 9). For better functionality, a CRM entails various components. They include sales force automation, customer care, marketing automation, executive reporting and system administration (Abiteboul, Benjelloun, and Milo 24). In the sales force automation component, business tasks are automated in ways such as controlling inventory, tracking customer interactions, processing sales and analyzing performance and sales forecasts. Forecasting allows sales representatives to provide targets and projections to their managers, who can then analyze them and include their own assessments. Marketing automation uses software to automate processes like customer data integration and customer segmentation. Processes such as list management, campaign management and activity management that would otherwise have been done manually are faster and more efficient with CRM. Customized reports are created giving visual representations of customer analysis. They can also be emailed to specific inboxes, while they are flexible enough to create new reports with the business’ growth (Greenberg 37). With the system administration, workflow procedures are automated to suit unique processes. For example, sales representatives are alerted as opportunities go through various stages, appreciation letters are generated for clients who make purchases and sending of notification when certain customers call. Some CRMs are open in architecture to allow integration with legacy systems and grow with an organization as the processes change. The value added to business by use of CRM can best be explained as being more of a business attitude, and not a technical solution. Organizations get to be aware of the needs of their customers in a way they can efficiently react to. By collecting vital data on customer order histories and details, it is able to build better channels of communication. It also provides instant customer histories to the whole organization and enables them to automatically identify new business opportunities. With technology, organizations get correct customer information that they can prioritize (Greenberg 28). For example, organizations using technology that analyzes customers based on where they live instead of what they spend money on may end up offering mowing products to people living in flats without lawns. This situation can be avoided by employing relevant and new technologies of CRM. Web 2.0 describes websites that make use of technology that extends beyond static pages found on earlier websites (Collins 12). It lets users collaborate and interact in a social media dialog fashion. Unlike websites that limit users to viewing content passively, Web 2.0 allows users to generate content within virtual communities. This aspect is significant to marketing teams in organizations. They can engage with customers and business partners on promotions, product and service development. Users can edit, add or delete content (Collins 9). Customers may also network on the online community on topics related to the organization, giving the organization opportunity to respond and improve. Bell Canada is the largest communications organization in Canada as well as a successful user of CRM, with almost 30 million connections to customers (Marlow 16). Before CRM, employees reported extra and duplicated task loads and customer dissatisfaction with services. With the implementation of CRM, the organization noted increased transaction speeds, better data integration, increased efficiency and no overworked employees. Customers received better service from seven different remotely located groups. The organization has also been able to offer new and diverse services by hosting and managing some of their customers’ applications within their own network (Marlow 18). This has enabled customers without enough sophisticated resources to compete with other established enterprises without having to invest heavily on equipment. Works Cited Abiteboul, Serge, Omar Benjelloun, and Tova Milo. Web Services and Data Integration. Singapore: IEEE Computer Society, 2002. Print. Collins, Allan. Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology. New York: Teachers College Press, 2009. Print. Greenberg, Paul. CRM at the Speed of Light. 4th ed. New York: McGraw, 2009. Print. Marlow, Iain. Bell’s Big Bet. Toronto: The Globe and Mail, 2010. Print. Read More
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