Customer relationship management (CRM) recognizes that customers are the core of a business and that a company’s success depends on effectively managing relationships with them. CRM focuses on building long-term and sustainable customer relationships that add value both for the costumer and the company.
CRM is business strategy to select and manage customers to optimize long-term value. CRM requires a customer-centric business philosophy and culture to support effective marketing, sales and services processes.
We distinguish among three major types of CRM activities:, analytical, and collaborative.
1. Operational CRM
Operational CRM is related to typical business functions involving customer services, order management, invoice/billing, and sales/marketing automation and management.
2. Analytical CRM
Analytical CRM involves activities that capture, store, extract, process, interpret, and report customer data to a user, who then analyzes them as needed.
3. Collaborative CRM
Collaborative CRM deals with all the necessary communication, coordination, and collaboration between vendors and customers.
Other classifications of CRM have been devised by the types of programs or by the services or product they offer.
The Evaluation Of CRM
In general, CRM is an approach recognizes that customers are the core of the business and that the company’s success depends on effectively managing relationships with them. It overlaps somewhat with the concept of relationship marketing, but not everything that could be called relationship marketing is in fact CRM. Customer relationship marketing is even broader, in that it includes a one-to-one relationship of customer and seller. To be a genuine one-to-one marketer, a company must be able and willing to change its behavior toward a specific costumer, based on what it knows about that customer. So, CRM is basically a simple idea: Treat different customers differently. It is based on the fact that no two customers are exactly the same.
Therefore, CRM involves much more than just sales and marketing, because a firm must be able to change how its products are configured or its service is delivered, based on the needs of individual customers. Smart companies have always encouraged the active participation of customers in the development of product, services, and solutions. For the most part, however, being customer-oriented has traditionally meant being oriented to the needs of the typical customer in the market- the average customer. In order to build enduring one-to-one relationships, a company must continuously interact with customers, individually. One reason so many firms are beginning to focus on CRM is that this kind of marketing can create high customer loyalty and, as a part of the process, help the firm’s profitability.
eCRM (electronic CRM)
CRM has been practiced manually by corporations for generations. However, since the mid-1990s. CRM has been enhanced by various types of information technologies. CRM technology is an evolutionary response to environmental changes, making use of new IT devices and tools. The term eCRM was coined in the mid- 1990s, when customers started using Web browsers, the Internet, and other electronic touch points (e-mail, POS terminal, call centers, and direct sales). The use of these technologies made customer service, as well as service to partners, much more effective and efficient than it was before the internet.
Through Internet technologies, data generated about customers can be easily fed into marketing, sales, and customer service applications and analysis. eCRM also includes online process applications such as segmentation and personalization. The success or failure of these efforts can now be measured and modified in real time, further elevating customer expectations. In a world connected by the Internet, eCRM has become a requirement for survival, not just a competitive advantage. eCRM covers a broad range of topics, tools, and methods, ranking from the proper design of digital products and services to pricing and loyalty programs.
This are three levels of eCRM:
1. Foundational services include the minimum necessary services such as Website responsiveness (e.g how quickly and accurately the service is provided ), site effectiveness, and order fulfillment.
2. Customer-centered services include order tracking, configuration and customization, and security/trust. These are the services that matter the most to customers.
3. Value-added services are extra services such as dynamic brokering, online auctions, and online training and education.