Customer Relationship Management
is a strategy that seeks to engage an organization’s culture, processes and technology in analysis and interaction activities that acquire, retain and develop customers to secure long term profitability for the organization. It is a comprehensive approach that provides seamless integration of every area of business that touches the customer - namely marketing, sales, customer service and field support - through the integration of people, processes and technology. Moreover it is a business strategy that seeks to improve the company’s profit and revenue generating ability by better understanding its customers and delivering value to them.
The building blocks of CRM allow an organization to manage this cycle and use the knowledge on customers to enhance the Life Time value of the customer portfolio. No organization has perfect information on its customers. Knowledge of customers is continuously enhanced through the CRM dynamic. Much of CRM is about gaining customer loyalty: its role, within your organization, should be to attract your target customers, convert them to lifelong customers through your high level customer service and build a relationship between them and your company. Since so many pitfalls exist in the implementation of a CRM strategy, it is important to first have a clear idea of how CRM fits into your business model.
It is necessary to examine your infrastructure with respect to your strategic needs. Examine the technical roadmap that exists throughout your organization and determine what existing infrastructure you have and what you need to get where you want to be. This involves identifying gaps in the company, defining new business processes, identifying core competencies, and exploiting them to help your company achieve its goal Where Do We Begin With CRM? Begin with an assessment of your current CRM situation and determine where you want to be and what are your limits. You can then choose the approach that best meets your company’s needs.
There are five dominant approaches to CRM: 1.) Marketing Automation 2.) Sales Automation 3.) Service and Fulfillment 4.) Customer Self-service 5.) ecommerce CRM improves a company’s method of doing business, which is good for the company and its customers. Essentially, the lessons and principles of customer relationship management need to be applied to the full range of stakeholders throughout an organization’s value chain. Recommendations Use the Gartner’s 8 Building Blocks of CRM framework to make sure you cover all the elements. Assess yourself relative to the different Value Development Frameworks - CRM, Sales, Service and Marketing. Understand where you are and where to go next. Quantify the gap relative to your desired state to understand where the competition are and are going. Tailor to your own unique situation. Understand what dimensions are shaping your CRM. Don’t do everything at once - focus on one axis at a time and at one step at a time Key Drivers: Supplier transactions become more efficient with direct access to inventory and other related data Business Partners collaborate more effectively with access to shared data. Customers derive increasing value from the information content of product and service. CRM applications, when driven by analytics, are sending a strong message to the market – ROI can be realized, and a unified customer view is essential.
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