hi, friends as we all know that customer is treated as aking of any buisiness.
nowadays customer relationship management has been emerged as a more vital tool for any buisiness organisation.let we discuss about customer rtelationships
Customer relationship management (CRM) is a broadly recognized, widely-implemented strategy for managing a company’s interactions with customers, clients and sales prospects. It involves using technology to organize, automate, and synchronize business processes—principally sales activities, but also those for marketing, customer service, and technical support. The overall goals are to find, attract, and win new clients, nurture and retain those the company already has, entice former clients back into the fold, and reduce the costs of marketing and client service.Customer relationship management denotes a company-wide business strategy embracing all client-facing departments and even beyond. When an implementation is effective, people, processes, and technology work together to increase profitability, and reduce operational costs.
Many CRM vendors offer Web-based tools (cloud computing) and software as a service (SaaS), which are accessed via a secure Internet connection and displayed in a Web browser. These applications are sold as subscriptions, with customers not needing to invest in the acquisition and maintenance of IT hardware, and subscription fees are a fraction of the cost of purchasing software outright.
Phases of CRM
The three phases in which CRM help to support the relationship between a business and its customers are, to:
Acquire: a CRM can help a business in acquiring new customers through excellent contact management, direct marketing, selling and fulfillment
Enhance: a web-enabled CRM combined with customer service tools offers customers excellent service from a team of trained and skilled sales and service specialists, which offers customers the convenience of one-stop shopping.
Retain: CRM software and databases enable a business to identify and reward its loyal customers and further develop its targeted marketing and relationship marketing initiatives
Tools and workflows can be complex to implement, especially for large enterprises. Previously these tools were generally limited to contact management: monitoring and recording interactions and communications. Software solutions then expanded to embrace deal tracking, territories, opportunities, and at the sales pipeline itself. Next came the advent of tools for other client-facing business functions, as described below. These technologies have been, and still are, offered as on-premises software that companies purchase and run on their own IT infrastructure.
Often, implementations are fragmented; isolated initiatives by individual departments to address their own needs. Systems that start disunited usually stay that way: siloed thinking and decision processes frequently lead to separate and incompatible systems, and dysfunctional processes.
Sales force automation
Sales force automation (SFA) involves using software to streamline all phases of the sales process, minimizing the time that sales representatives need to spend on each phase. This allows sales representatives to pursue more clients in a shorter amount of time than would otherwise be possible. At the heart of SFA is a Contact management system for tracking and recording every stage in the sales process for each prospective client, from initial contact to final disposition. Many SFA applications also include insights into opportunities, territories, sales forecasts and workflow automation, quote generation, and product knowledge. Newly-emerged priorities are modules for Web 2.0 e-commerce and pricing.
CRM systems for marketing help the enterprise identify and target potential clients and generate qualified leads for the sales team. A key marketing capability is tracking and measuring multichannel campaigns, including email, search, social media, telephone and direct mail. Metrics monitored include clicks, responses, leads, deals, and revenue. This has been superseded by marketing automation and Prospect Relationship Management (PRM) solutions which track customer behaviour and nurture them from first contact to sale, often cutting out the active sales process altogether.
Customer Service and Support
Recognizing that service is an important differentiator, organizations are increasingly turning to technology platforms to help them improve their clients’ experience while aiming to increase efficiency and minimize costs. Even so, a 2009 study revealed that only 39% of corporate executives believe their employees have the right tools and authority to solve client problems.“. The core for these applications has been and still is comprehensive call center solutions, including such features as intelligent call routing, computer telephone integration (CTI), and escalation capabilities.
Relevant analytics capabilities are often interwoven into applications for sales, marketing, and service. These features can be complemented and augmented with links to separate, purpose-built applications for analytics and business intelligence. Sales analytics let companies monitor and understand client actions and preferences, through sales forecasting, data quality, and dashboards that graphically display
Marketing applications generally come with predictive analyticsto improve segmentation and targeting, and features for measuring the effectiveness of online, offline, and search marketing campaign. Web analytics have evolved significantly from their starting point of merely tracking mouse clicks on Web sites. By evaluating “buy signals,” marketers can see which prospects are most likely to transact and also identify those who are bogged down in a sales process and need assistance. Marketing and finance personnel also use analytics to assess the value of multi-faceted programs as a whole.
These types of analytics are increasing in popularity as companies demand greater visibility into the performance of call centers and other service and support channels, in order to correct problems before they affect satisfaction levels. Support-focused applications typically include dashboards similar to those for sales, plus capabilities to measure and analyze response times, service quality, agent performance, and the frequency of various issues.
Departments within enterprises — especially large enterprises — tend to function with little collaboration.More recently, the development and adoption of these tools and services have fostered greater fluidity and cooperation among sales, service, and marketing. This finds expression in the concept of collaborative systems which uses technology to build bridges between departments. For example, feedback from a technical support center can enlighten marketers about specific services and product features clients are asking for. Reps, in their turn, want to be able to pursue these opportunities without the burden of re-entering records and contact data into a separate SFA system. Owing to these factors, many of the top-rated and most popular products come as integrated suites.
Basic client service can be accomplished by a contact manager system, an integrated solution that lets organizations and individuals efficiently track and record interactions, including emails, documents, jobs, faxes, scheduling, and more. These tools usually focus on accounts rather than individual contacts. They also generally include opportunity insight for tracking sales pipelines plus added functionality for marketing and service. As with larger enterprises, small businesses are finding value in online solutions, especially for mobile and telecommuting workers.
Social media sites like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are amplifying the voice of people in the marketplace and are having profound and far-reaching effects on the ways in which people buy. Customers can now research companies online and then ask for recommendations through social media channels, making their buying decision without contacting the company.
Details on companies are now also shared online. People are using social media to share opinions and experiences on companies, products and services. As social media is not as widely moderated or censored as mainstream media, individuals can say anything they want about a company or brand, whether pro or con.
Increasingly, companies are looking to gain access to these conversations and take part in the dialogue. More than a few systems are now integrating to social networking sites. Social media promoters cite a number of business advantages, such as using online communities as a source of high-quality leads and a vehicle for crowd sourcing solutions to client-support problems. Companies can also leverage client stated habits and preferences to personalize and even “hyper-target” their sales and marketing communications
Some analysts take the view that business-to-business marketers should proceed cautiously when weaving social media into their business processes. These observers recommend careful market research to determine if and where the phenomenon can provide measurable benefits for client interactions, sales and support.. It is often found that people feel that interaction is peer to peer between them and their contacts and resent the company involvement, responding with negatives about that company.
Non-profit and Membership-based
Systems for non-profit and membership-based organizations help track constituents and their involvement in the organization. Capabilities typically include tracking the following: fund-raising, demographics, membership levels, membership directories, volunteering and communications with individuals.
Many include tools for identifying potential donors based on previous donations and participation. In light of the growth of social networking tools, there may be some overlap between social/community driven tools and non-profit/membership tools.
For larger-scale enterprises, a complete and detailed plan is required to obtain the funding, resources, and company-wide support that can make the initiative of choosing and implementing a system successful. Benefits must be defined, risks assessed, and cost quantified in three general areas:
Processes: Though these systems have many technological components, business processes lie at its core. It can be seen as a more client-centric way of doing business, enabled by technology that consolidates and intelligently distributes pertinent information about clients, sales, marketing effectiveness, responsiveness, and market trends. Therefore, a company must analyze its business workflows and processes before choosing a technology platform; some will likely need re-engineering to better serve the overall goal of winning and satisfying clients. Moreover, planners need to determine the types of client information that are most relevant, and how best to employ them.
People: For an initiative to be effective, an organization must convince its staff that the new technology and workflows will benefit employees as well as clients. Senior executives need to be strong and visible advocates who can clearly state and support the case for change. Collaboration, teamwork, and two-way communication should be encouraged across hierarchical boundaries, especially with respect to process improvement.
Technology: In evaluating technology, key factors include alignment with the company’s business process strategy and goals, including the ability to deliver the right data to the right employees and sufficient ease of adoption and use. Platform selection is best undertaken by a carefully chosen group of executives who understand the business processes to be automated as well as the software issues. Depending upon the size of the company and the breadth of data, choosing an application can take anywhere from a few weeks to a year or more.
Increases in revenue, higher rates of client satisfaction, and significant savings in operating costs are some of the benefits to an enterprise. Proponents emphasize that technology should be implemented only in the context of careful strategic and operational planning.[Implementations almost invariably fall short when one or more facets of this prescription are ignored:
Poor planning: Initiatives can easily fail when efforts are limited to choosing and deploying software, without an accompanying rationale, context, and support for the workforce. In other instances, enterprises simply automate flawed client-facing processes rather than redesign them according to best practices.
Poor integration: For many companies, integrations are piecemeal initiatives that address a glaring need: improving a particular client-facing process or two or automating a favored sales or client support channel. Such “point solutions” offer little or no integration or alignment with a company’s overall strategy. They offer a less than complete client view and often lead to unsatisfactory user experiences.
Toward a solution: overcoming siloed thinking. Experts advise organizations to recognize the immense value of integrating their client-facing operations. In this view, internally-focused, department-centric views should be discarded in favor of reorienting processes toward information-sharing across marketing, sales, and service. For example, sales representatives need to know about current issues and relevant marketing promotions before attempting to cross-sell to a specific client. Marketing staff should be able to leverage client information from sales and service to better target campaigns and offers. And support agents require quick and complete access to a client’s sales and service history.
Historically, the landscape is littered with instances of low adoption rates. In 2003, a Gartner report estimated that more than $1 billion had been spent on software that was not being used. More recent research indicates that the problem, while perhaps less severe, is a long way from being solved. According to CSO Insights, less than 40 percent of 1,275 participating companies had end-user adoption rates above 90 percent.
In a 2007 survey from the U.K., four-fifths of senior executives reported that their biggest challenge is getting their staff to use the systems they had installed. Further, 43 percent of respondents said they use less than half the functionality of their existing system; 72 percent indicated they would trade functionality for ease of use; 51 percent cited data synchronization as a major issue; and 67 percent said that finding time to evaluate systems was a major problem. With expenditures expected to exceed $11 billion in 2010, enterprises need to address and overcome persistent adoption challenges. Specialists offer these recommendations for boosting adoptions rates and coaxing users to blend these tools into their daily workflow:
Choose a system that is easy to use: All solutions are not created equal. Some vendors offer more user-friendly applications than others, and simplicity should be as important a decision factor as functionality.
Choose the right capabilities: Employees need to know that time invested in learning and usage will yield personal advantages. If not, they will work around or ignore the system.
Provide training: Changing the way people work is no small task, and help is usually a requirement. Even with today’s more usable systems, many staffers still need assistance with learning and adoption
Lead by example: Showing employees that upper management fully supports the use of a new application by using the application themselves may increase the likelihood that employees will adopt the application.
Privacy and data security system
One of the primary functions of these tools is to collect information about clients, thus a company must consider the desire for privacy and data security, as well as the legislative and cultural norms. Some clients prefer assurances that their data will not be shared with third parties without their prior consent and that safeguards are in place to prevent illegal access by third parties