3) customers’ needs and behaviors;
4) comprehensive approach;
5) revolutionary impact of internet;
6) pieces of information:
7) marketing effectiveness;
8) market trends;
10) call center;
11) on-the-spot service;
13) back-office management;
Importance of CRM
Research has shown that companies that create satisfied, loyal customers have more repeat business, lower customer-acquisition costs, and stronger brand value. All these result in better financial performance.
Goals 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. CRM aims at:
providing better customer service,
helping sales staff work faster,
making customer service department (e.g. call centers) function more efficiently,
cross-selling products more effectively,
simplifying marketing and sales processes,
fostering new customers, and
increasing customer revenues.
Like in ERP, companies must make innovations in their ways of thinking and doing jobs. One brand new idea is customer first instead of profits first. The nature of CRM is human cares rather than sole technology concerns.
Botwinik believes that “Companies have to start with how their customers view things”. Failing to start with the customer view is rated as the utmost setback in the B2B and B2C arena.
“The companies that are doing it right are taking the customer perspective first,” said Sharon Botwinik, a senior analyst with Cambridge. Furthermore, she told CRMDaily.com, “A business customer doesn’t care about your call center efficiencies. They don’t care if the phone is answered on the third ring if they don’t get the answers they need. Companies would be better answering on the fourth ring and giving the right answer.” (Seban, 2001: August)
“Customer first” is not only a must, but also a global trend. Enterprise administrative focuses experienced four periods of evolution in the enterprise development history, which can be shown by the following table.
Table 1: Evolution of enterprise administrative focuses
Human care instead of technology
CRM is not all about technology. If your CRM efforts focus solely on applying technology to what you do today, you may get work done faster, but most probably, you won’t get any more benefit. A recent study presented by the Gartner Group identified that in 32 percent of sales technology projects, little or no use was made of the new technology 12 months after deployment. (Gartner Group, November 21, 2000: Top 10 Trends in CRM for 2001) Think of that. Almost one-third of all CRM initiatives fail to make an impact or produce measurable results!
CRM is rooted in an organizational philosophy that the company wants to get closer to each of its customers, deliver value to them and adapt to their needs.
Some individual-owned grocery store or bakery is keeping a neighborly relationship with their loyal buyers, because these businesses don’t focus on technology; they focus on customer service, on their process; they understand the needs of their customers well and develop a certain human-caring atmosphere.
That is to say, the key to CRM efforts is to identify how your customers want you to relate with them, adapt your organization to support those goals and then apply the right technology that supports those efforts. Technologically speaking, B2B problems are potentially far more complicated than those that arise in the B2C (business-to-consumer) arena. Factually, CRM technology aims at merely targeting responses to the right individuals.
Implementation of CRM
Customer information collection.
For CRM to be truly effective, an organization must first decide what kind of customer information it needs.
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.
Company analysts can then comb through the data to obtain a comprehensive view of each customer and pinpoint areas where better services are needed.
Identifying your customer expectation gaps.
A customer expectation gap is a difference between what a customer expects to receive and what that customer actually gets. Another term is called the process gap.
Ask yourself the following questions about what’s being stressed:
Who are my customers? Who else do I want as customers?
What do they expect? (This might include current known expectations as well as additional near-term needs.)
What are they currently receiving from us in terms of service quality, customer support, etc.?
What gaps exist between their expectations and what they are getting? Which of these gaps are most important?
What measures can contribute to these gaps?
What feedback can be received from the customer?
What type of notification and expectation setting am I sharing with my customer?
What communication about my customers is being shared across departments?
CRM channels and customer contact center.
One way to assess the need for a CRM project is to count the channels a customer can use to access the company. The traditional channel is the telephone and correspondence. Ever since the popularization of the computer and the Internet, email and customer survey online have become widely adopted as special contact ways by many companies because of their convenience, efficiency and enhanced personal cares. The more channels you have, the greater need there is for the type of single centralized customer view a CRM system can provide.
The customer contact center integrates customer touch-points and provides service through one multi-channel gateway. The customer contact center, whether it is a help desk, a call center, or on-line support via email or chat, is how your customers experience your organization. Customers leave the customer contact center experience with either positive or negative feelings towards your company.(P103)