CRM is a multifaceted process which focuses on improving the internal and external business processes. It implements a set of information technologies. The focus of these technologies is to create two-way exchanges with customers, so that firms can have sufficient knowledge of their needs, wants and buying patterns. Thus, CRM helps companies understand and anticipate the needs of current and potential customers.
SUCCESSFUL IMPLEMENTATION OF CRM:
A CRM system requires transformations on the following four levels:
Departments will be restructured to achieve maximum business efficiencies. This will initiate sharing the customer information between departments. As the departments will start working together, the interaction between them would be more smooth and transparent. The employees would be required to change the way of thinking and the way they work. The change in technology will ensure in getting work done and help the customers in managing their business. In order to initiate a new way of doing business, the companies have to address these four areas.
Business flows can help in implementing a CRM strategy. This will require the examining of the business processes which includes- Planning and executing of marketing strategies driving lead to sales and ensuring that customers are being served at a low cost.
The companies need to focus on the key business flows that has the highest priority within the company. These may relate to the targeting of marketing expenditures, cost of sales or the saving of money on customer’s transactions over the web.
PLANNING FOR CRM IMPLEMENTATION
CRM is important for companies.
The advent of new technology has created a need of CRM IMPLEMENTATION. It is used to either to create or improve the current system. CRM IMPLEMENTATIONS should include-
- A strategy for its implementation.
- Setting up of a team for the same.
- Creating a schedule to follow it.
The planning for CRM implementation would also include the analysis of the current CRM in the company, identification of the needs of the company and decisions relating to the training and support for the CRM implementation.
A budget also needs to be set which would be sent on the CRM implementation.
The goals to be achieved are to be identified and decisions related to their achievements also needs to be decided.
Training the employees for CRM implementation is important as the employees will be comfortable in using the new system. The person concerned should be able to use the new system correctly.
PROCESS OF IMPLEMENTING CRM
In order to implement CRM the company should be clear with the statement of work and the change management processes. The implementation services cost at least double the price of the software itself. Implementations on a larger scale are more complex in scope and methodology. A marketing director is responsible for tracking the cost, schedule, performance and risk factors involved in the project.
STEPS INVOLVED IN CRM IMPLEMENTATION:
1. Identification of all the business areas that touch the customer prospect.
2. Identification of all the business processes that manage the touch point with the customer.
3. Selection of the appropriate CRM system and sales force automation system that will help in the management of the customers in an effective manner.
4. Documentation of the business processes and training the users on the utilisation of CRM system.
FIVE PHASES OF CRM PROJECTS
1. Sales Module Customisation
This phase deals with all the characteristic of the sales of the product or service. It includes:
• The product or service catalogues
• The sales process embed
• The Record and interaction data bases
• The sales comment oversight
All the above are altered and customised to the needs of CRM project.
2. Marketing Module Customisation
They have almost the same technical process as sales module. They only differ in the terms of what needs to be customised.
3. Service and Support Module Customisation
This phase includes
•call centre technology
•computer telephony manager
• interactive voice response
4. Operation with External Applications
This phase has a possibility of difficulty. In this stage a reasoning takes place between existing information technology structure and the network functionality. This work identifies the operational points between the inheritance systems, the CRM usage.
5. Integration of Reports
This is the most key point of this process. Reporting is an essential function, especially for those offices, which are scattered beyond one office. The Customisation and generation of these reports are critical for the corporate success.
A call centre or call centre is a centralised office used for receiving or transmitting a large volume of requests by telephone. An inward call centre is operated by a company to supervise incoming product support or information enquiries from consumers. Outward call centres are operated for tele selling, urging of charitable or political donations, debt collection and market investigation. A contact centre is a location for centralised handling of individual communications, including letters, faxes, live support software, social media, instant message, and e-mail
A call centre has an open workspace for call centre agents, with work stations that include a computer for each agent, a telephone set/headset connected to a telecom switch, and one or more system administrator stations. It can be independently operated or networked with additional centres, often linked to a corporate computer network, including mainframes, microcomputers and LANs. Increasingly, the voice and data pathways into the centre are linked through a set of new technologies called computer telephony integration.
The contact centre is a central point from which all customer contacts are managed. Through contact centres, valuable information about company are routed to appropriate people, contacts to be tracked and data to be gathered. It is generally a part of company's customer relationship management. The majority of large companies use contact centres as a means of managing their customer interaction. These centres can be operated by either an in house department responsible or outsourcing customer interaction to a third party agency (known as Outsourcing Call Centres).
HISTORY OF CALL CENTRES
The origins of call centres dates back to the 1960s with the UK-based Birmingham Press and Mail, which installed Private Automated Business Exchanges (PABX) to have rows of agents handling customer contacts. By 1973, call centres received mainstream attention after Rockwell International patented its Galaxy Automatic Call Distributor (GACD) for a telephone booking system as well as the popularization of telephone headsets as seen on televised NASA Mission Control Centre events.
During the late 1970s, call centre technology expanded to include telephone sales, airline reservations and banking systems. The term "call centre" was first published and recognized by the Oxford English Dictionary in 1983. The 1980s experienced the development of toll-free telephone numbers to increase the efficiency of agents and overall call volume. Call centres increased with the deregulation of long distance calling and growth in information dependent industries.
As call centres expanded, unionisation occurred in North America to gain members including the field and the United Steelworkers. In Australia, the Workers represents unionised workers; their act form part of the Australian labour movement. In Europe, Uni Global Union of Switzerland is involved in assisting unionisation in this realm and in Germany Vereinte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft represents call centre workers.
During the 1990s, call centres expanded internationally and developed into two additional subsets of communication, contact centres and outsourced bureau centres. A contact centre is defined as a coordinated system of people, processes, technologies and strategies that provides access to information, resources, and expertise, through appropriate channels of communication, enabling interactions that create value for the customer and organisation. In contrast to in-house management, outsourced bureau contact centres are a model of contact centre that provide services on a "pay per use" model. The overheads of the contact centre are shared by many clients, thereby supporting a very cost effective model, especially for low volumes of calls. The modern contact centre has developed more complex systems, which require highly skilled operational and management staff that can use multichannel online and offline tools to improve customer interaction.
ROLE OF CRM MANAGERS
A CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) is someone who knows their customer’s needs, wishes and dreams. S/he should be well versed in the value delivered to customers and the problems customers are trying to solve.
They are blessed with the special talent of not only being able to solve customer requests but will proactively offer ideas and insights to improve the customer’s issues and challenges. The customer relationship manager will follow up on every issue and ensure complete satisfaction and maximum utilization of the product or services sold to customers.
How do they do this? Well, with a little help from software purchased by the company they work for. According to Forbes.com CRM system is a database (usually managed by an administrator) that companies use to help manage their group of five or fifty sales people. It helps track reports on their pipeline, open quotes, new opportunities, recent activities and lost sales – everything that a CRM Manager needs to know.
The CRM Manager will work with customer service, marketing staff and operations to maintain a customer-focused attitude with a focus on activities that create lifetime customers. The position also requires a strong knowledge of budgeting and forecasting.
According to Wikipedia, “many firms have also implemented training programs to teach employees how to recognize and effectively create strong customer-brand relationships. For example, Harley Davidson sent its employees on the road with customers, who were motorcycle enthusiasts, to help solidify relationships.
Other employees have also been trained in Social psychology and the social sciences to help bolster strong customer relationships. Customer service representatives must be educated to value customer relationships, and trained to understand existing customer profiles. Even the finance and legal departments should understand how to manage and build relationships with customers.”
The CRM Manager is responsible for retention campaigns, from conceptualization through to analysis. This includes idea generation, proposal preparation, overseeing the production process and overseeing execution.