Customer Relationship Management (CRM)


When and where to sign?

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) main function is to increase the profitable customers’ retention effectively and efficiently by building and maintaining positive relationships (Payne & Frow, 2006). One of the main functions of CRM is to provide the organization with a single view of the customer, in which view the information may be split into different disciplines and categories (Tuck, 2008). Payne and Frow (2006) research on implementing a successful CRM resulted in identifying four elements which start with assessing the organization’s readiness for a CRM initiative to estimate the effort needed to establish CRM; and help in the next step of managing the change wanted for the organization to adapted and implement CRM project. CRM implementations should be treated as a project and managed as a project that necessitates employees’ engagement (Payne & Frow, 2006).

Tuck (2008) state that CRM should be managing customer relationship but lately CRM became associated with software packages and the difficulty of setting one up. Tuck (2008) claims that CRM projects shifted the organizational focus to deploying and operating the software package instead of targeting business processes that would deliver the segmented information in a useful way to the organization. Crosby and Caroll III (2008) realized the difficulty in the customer management and suggested the following guidelines to help the organization better manage its customers: 1. Stated customer goal: state customers expectations or what they would like to receive from their relationship with the organization, then match them with the organizations internal goals. 2. Set clear customer strategy to better serve the customer. The organizations can excel in “operational excellence” like Southwest airline does or “product leadership” like Apple’s innovative products or “customer intimacy” in the way Ritz-Carlton treat their customers. These strategies would help serve and retain the customers. 3. Define customer governance by appointing a chief customer officer with a team and resources to govern the customer’s needs. 4. Create roadmap for the customer’s external and internal goals and support them with a strategy that ensures an adequate budget to the communication and motivation plans. The three articles discuss the ease in losing the CRM focus to other unrelated issues like setting up the CRM software package or forcing the CRM program into an organization while it is not ready for the change required for CRM program.

Crosby, L., & Carroll III, J. (2008). Weather the storms. Marketing Management, 17(1), 14-15. Payne, A., & Frow, P. (2006). Customer relationship management: From strategy to implementation. Journal of Marketing Management, 22(1/2), 135-168.

Tuck, S. (2008). Is MDM the route to the Holy Grail? Journal of Database Marketing & Customer Strategy Management, 15(4), 218-220.

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