A RESEARCH PAPER
CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT
Punjabi University, Patiala
The essence of the information technology revolution and, in particular, the World Wide Web is the opportunity to build better relationships with customers than has been previously possible in the offline world. By combining the abilities to respond directly to customer requests and to provide the customer with a highly interactive, customized experience, companies have a greater ability today ...view middle of the document...
Many companies didn't understand the benefit of the data they were collecting and how it could help them better cater to their customer's needs.
With the introduction of the information age in the late 1980's, customers were given new capabilities to make better decisions about which companies they would most like to buy from. At the same time, global competition made it easier for companies to switch suppliers if they were not happy.
For these reasons and others, companies started to look at the data they had collected about their customers. They looked for ways to turn it into information they could use in a consistent way for a competitive advantage. Initially, it was referred to as database marketing or data mining.
Some of the first attempts lead to the creation of customer focus groups. These focus groups would gather occasionally to give feedback to companies about what was working well, and what issues and concerns the customers and users had.
Even though companies were collecting data and information through user groups and surveys, they did not have an efficient method of processing and analyzing it. Companies wanted to see the following data points on a real time basis:
• What customers had purchased from them?
• How much they had spent?
• What they did with the products they purchased?
• Who had been contacted within the customer?
• What new opportunities were available and being competed for?
• What the customer satisfaction concerns were?
In the early 1990s, a number of software functionality advances were created that gave companies the capability to better analyze their data and create better reporting. It was during this time the term customer relationship management came into being. This new software functionality allowed companies to gather information for their own benefit, and to provide additional value to their customers. This new information capability gave companies improved views of their customers. They were able to better communicate with and penetrate accounts, enhance customer satisfaction, and build loyalty with their customers.
Along with these new capabilities came increased complexity. Numerous implementation considerations, and higher costs came with the advances. Initially systems were designed for large in-house server based applications. Next came more personalized and smaller systems. Both the large systems and smaller systems are now available in both Internet-based, and client-based formats.
With the new economy of scales, fully functional packages are now available for small businesses.
FACTORS AND MEASURES OF EFFECTIVENESS
The main external factors defining the need of integration of CRM in trade business are connected with:
• Fragmentation of customers market;
• Increased price sensibility of customers;
• Growing product diversification and swarming of trade marks;
• Lessening loyalty to the mark;