|OBJECTIVES OF THIS ARTICLE
At the end of this chapter, readers should be able to understand what
v Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is,
v Understand the drivers of CRM,
v Identify the elements of a good CRM strategy,
v Know the relationship between technology and CRM.
v They should be able to explain the CRM solution map,
v Define E-CRM, know the differences between CRM and E-CRM.
v They should be able to highlight some of the challenges of implementing
CRM in any organization.
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Definition of CRM
When we talk about CRM, we are talking about how you relate to your customers. We want to look at where your business is focused on. However, before doing that, I would like to look at the subject matter of CRM from the angle of authorities in the field.
Brent Frei, the president of Onyx software, defined CRM as a comprehensive set of processes with potential and current customers and business partners across marketing, sales and services regardless of the communication channel. The goal of CRM is to optimize customer and partner satisfaction, revenue and business efficiency by building the strongest possible relationship at an organizational level.
From the above definition, we can see that CRM is a deliberate effort by an organisation to manage the relationship between all stakeholders in the organisation in order to increase their value. It is a deliberate attempt at ensuring that customers enjoy maximum satisfaction irrespective of their communication channels. This means that whenever a customer walks into an organisation or calling a customer service centre, he enjoys the same benefits.
From the above diagram, you notice that objectives come first, that shows that objective, they will formulate programs of action to achieve the objectives. The organization will communicate the idea to marketing, sales and services organization can now introduce technology in order to make it web-based.
In essence, CRM is the desire of an organisation to do business from the customers perspective. In this regard, all effort should be focused on the customer alone. You should know that this will not happen overnight as it has to be a gradual process before we get to the Zenith of a customer-centric enterprise.
You should know from the onset that CRM is not all about customers alone. It has much to do with all the stakeholders involved in your business. You want to make sure that distributors, partners, employees and all others involved in the business chain work to project the good image of your business.
Mr Winston is an MTN customer. He used to buy cards and lines in bulk from Mr Andrew a dealer. If Mr Andrew did not treat him well as a customer or he had a problem with some of the cards he purchased and Mr Andrew was reluctant in addressing the issue, it can force Mr Winston to stop dealing in MTN cards and sims.
The above scenario simply shows that any incident in the distribution chain can affect the business if it is not properly addressed.
CRM, according to Robert Thompson of crmguru.com is a business strategy to select and manage customers to optimize long-term values. CRM requires a customer-centric business philosophy and culture to support effective marketing, sales and service processes. CRM applications can enable effective CRM, provided that an enterprise has the right leadership, strategy and culture.
In this chapter, we have tried to explain what Customer Relationship Management is. It is the desire of an organization to retain its loyal customers and do business from their perceptive. It is said to be a measure put in place by an organization in order to ensure that customers have the same experience irrespective of the communication channel.
CRM is a business strategy to create and sustain long-term, profitable customer relationships through successful CRM initiatives. It starts with a business philosophy that aligns company activities around customer need. Only then can CRM technology be used as it should be based-as a critical enabling tool for the processes required in order to turn strategy into business results.
- You are one of the staffs in a new generation bank. Your Branch Manager has appointed you and some keys staffs to work out the modalities on how the bank will become customer-centred. In your own view, how can you enlighten your Branch Manager on the need for the bank to become customer-centred?
- Critically examine the fig. 1 diagram and use it to explain to your Branch Manager, how CRM works in any organisation.
- Using Mr Winston issue as a case study. In your own view, why do you think that MTN as a large organisation needs to monitor the activities of their partners so that they are not misrepresented?
- Given the various definitions of Customer Relationship Management
- Why do you think metric is necessary for Customer Relationship Management
- Explain Robert Thompson definition of Customer Relationship Management
Please place your answers in the comment box.
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Adeniyi Salau is a Digital Marketer, Project Manager and SEO Expert of repute with about a decade of Blogging and online marketing experience. He is always ready to share his experience with others.