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CRM can be defined as “the core business strategy that integrated internal processes and functions, and external networks, to create and deliver vaalue to targeted customers at a profit. It is grounded on high quality customer related data and enabled by information technology”.
CRM can be considered from a number of perspectives.
Strategic (It is customer centric business strategy to win and keep profitable customer).
Operational (It focuses on the mechanism of customer facing processes i.e. selling, marketing and customer services etc)
Analytical (It deals with the intelligent mining of customer related data for strategic or tactical purpose).
Collaborative (It applies technology across organisational boundaries with view to optimizing company, partner and customer value.
Another definition of CRM
“CRM is a company-wide business strategy designed to reduce costs and increase profitability by solidifying customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy. True CRM brings together information from all data sources within an organization (and where appropriate, from outside the organization) to give one, holistic view of each customer in real time. This allows customer facing employees in such areas as sales, customer support, and marketing to make quick yet informed decisions on everything from cross-selling and upselling opportunities to target marketing strategies to competitive positioning tactics”.
There are two main drivers of the growth of CRM. The first is the fact that customer acquisition and retention have become top management priorities. The second driver of the growth of CRM is the trend towards e-business and the increasing importance of the Internet as a customer-care and sales channel, which has brought a feeling of uncertainty to companies.
CRM is a term for methodologies, technologies and e-commerce capabilities used by companies to manage customer relationships. There are many model to define scope of customer management e.g. IDIC model, The Qci model, the CRM value chain, Payne’s five-process model and Gartner competency model etc. All model are introduced to acquire and retain customers. Here I am going to explain only one model that is The QCi model which is all known as “customer management model”.
This model consists of all essential elements required to retain and acquire customer management. It is more practical rather than theoretical.
This model shows a series of activities that an organisation need to perform in order to retain customers. Following are some main element of QCi model.
This element of the QCi model explain the value of profit margin an organisation can get from customer, behaviour of customer and share from market (penetration), and attitude of different customers groups and how the product/services meet the customer requirement. It also analyses how well organisation match the market requirement and compete competetors. It evaluates the current situation of market and customers. This understanding helps to plan effective and efficient. It enables the organisation in retention, acquisition, efficiency and penetration of customers. It covers the strategic input to customer management planning, customer transaction analysis, lifecycle understanding, profiling and external analysis, lifetime value monitoring, customer and prospect segmentation, competitor analysis, tacit knowledge management, contact and management planning.
Analysis and research helps to derived understand about market, customer and value/benefit. On the bases of these analysis and understanding proposal are made and define the proposition to each of the segments and plan the appropriate value-based offers. It normally divided into brand; price; service; transactional interactions; relationship; logistics; product. These propositions are defined to customers and organization people who deliver this. Customer proposition covers customer needs research, overall proposition development, segment proposition matching, service standards, proposition external communication and proposition internal communication.
This is the delivery/implementation of the customer management. Plans and objectives, based on the retention, acquisition, penetration and efficiency findings of the analysis, and the needs of the customer groups, drive activity throughout the customer life cycle from prospect through new customer and on into mature customer. This will involve the day-to-day working practices of the marketing, sales and service support functions within the following key areas:
Conversion (Getting to know customers and how they want to be managed)
Delivering the basics (Support for new and upgrading customers)
Retention activity (Handling of enquiries acquisition and retention activity)
Value development (service, billing, technical support, field, third-party telephone)
Managing dissatisfaction (Identifying and managing dissatisfaction)
Winning back lost customers
Targeting is delivering the defined propositions accurately to the customer according to the planning. Targeting covers campaign planning, buying trigger identification, personalization, integration with channels and over-targeting prevention.
Welcoming is the activity of ranges from simple greeting to onward all activities related to strengthen the relation with customer. New customers and those upgrading their relationship are comfortable dealing with organization. It ensures that high risk (before purchases) phase of any new customer welcomed.
Identification of new customers
Understanding why they were won
Initial Welcoming activity
Monitoring of early dealings
Getting customers’ views
Winning back recently lost customers is one of the least exploited ‘acquisition’ methods. If a new competitor’s welcoming activity is poor then customers lost to them are likely to be the most receptive to ‘come back’ messages. However, it is important to be sure that it is only good customers that are targeted for winback activity and that when they are won back they are treated as returning customers and not as brand new customers. Winback covers:
Identifying reasons for loss
Managing customers out
Deciding which customers to win back
Welcoming winback customers
Information and technology underpin the whole model. Information needs to be collected, stored and used in a way that supports the strategy, the way people work and the way customers want to access the organization. Technology exists to help organisations acquire, manage and use the vast amount of information involved in managing customers. It is an enabler rather than a deliverable in its own right, but managed badly it can also be a stopper. The technology then needs to deliver the current information to relevant people at the right time in order for them to fulfil their role in managing customers. Information and Technology covers:
Sourcing and understanding customer information
Information planning and quality management
Functions of existing systems
Review of current systems
Development of new systems
An organisation’s customer management people need to be recruited, managed, developed and motivated within a supporting structure. The term ‘customer management people’ also needs to be considered in its widest context, extending to suppliers and channels as well. People and Organisation covers:
Competencies definition and gap analysis
Training requirements and resources
Objective setting and monitoring
Supplier selection and management
Processes are often difficult to implement and manage formally in an environment with so many sales and marketing people. But clear, consistent processes are essential to all areas of customer management and to achieving constant and step-change improvements. Also, processes need to be constantly reviewed for acceptability from both the customers’ point of view and the organisation’s point of view. Process Management covers:
Process identification and documentation
Monitoring of process acceptability
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