Essay On Customer Relationship Management


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Customer Relationship Management

Customer Relationship Management refers to the practices whereby an organization interacts with its customers. The managers of an organization need to understand the behaviours of customers. This is important in that they will be in a position to understand what the customers need now and in the future. In other words, Customer Relationship Management helps the management to understand the trends of customers. The level of competition in the business world has become so high (Kumar & Reinartz, 2011). This has stimulated organization to find activities which can help them maintain competitiveness. It is for this reason that organizations have adopted customer relations management as a way of engaging with their customers.

What is involved in CRM?

Customer Relationship Management helps in synchronizing the sales of an organization, marketing as well as improving the level of customer service. In addition, it is also important in improving the technical support of the organization. Customer Relationship Management also involves activities that can create a good rapport between the customers and the organization. It should be able to improve the level of communication so that the customers can give feedback regarding the products or services. The organization on the other hand should respond effectively to the customers’ feedback and concerns. Management of opportunities is also involved in Customer Relationship Management. The company in this regard can manage unpredictable demand and capitalize on it. For instance, it can be able to predict an increase in demand in the future and hence increase its stock (Brink & Berndt, 2008). Further, it can manage and also track the marketing activities. It can measure the effects of marketing. An increase in sales will be an indication of effective marketing campaigns. In the event that marketing is not being effective, the management can change strategies to improve it. The indication of this would be given by Customer Relationship Management systems.

What type of tools do managers have to help them with CRM?

A number of tools can be used by managers to help them with CRM. There is various type of tools from which a manager should choose from. Among the tools that can be used include;
Nimble; this is a tool that plays a major role in creating a good relationship between the customer and the organization. It does this by creating an integration of all the points of customer contacts as well as social communications (Kumar & Reinartz, 2011). Through nimble, all contacts are unified. This includes contacts from Google, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, IMAP, Calendars and LinkedIn among others. The effect of this unification is that the user can read all forms of communication from each or any of the contacts from one point. This makes it easy to read the messages and also respond. It increases the response speed. Nimble is also able to search social media sites and then rank them in order of relevance.

Batchbook; this is a tool that is normally used mostly by the small organization. It helps managers in tracking conversations between the customer and the organization (Kumar & Reinartz, 2011). Through the help of Batchbook, it is easy to maintain a history of customer relations. The company is able to track what happened and where it happened. The tracking could be in person or through social media. It can also be done through email. In addition, the company can record any relevant information about the customer for future reference and for use in decision making.

SugarCRM; this is another tool that is used to integrate the social media contacts of the customers with the email and also enables sharing of intelligence and documents from get-go (Erickson, 2009). The tool enables the users to read and also respond to the various messages at one spot. The features SugarCRM can be improved through Sugar Studio or Module Builder.

A company that does a good job with CRM

CRM is an effective system that has been of great benefits to companies that have embraced and implemented it. There are a number of companies that are known to have done a good job with CRM. One of them is the Coca-Cola Company. This is a company that deals with the manufacture and sale of soft drinks. The company has been able to create a good relation with its customers through the help of CRM. For instance, it has a social media network whereby it is able to respond effectively and efficiently to its customers. In addition, it has a system of data collection whereby it collects data for use in decision making. As a result of its good customer relation, the company has become one of the best in marketing strategies. It is a top marketer as it knows the information that needs to be communicated to customers during marketing at different times.

A company that did a bad job with CRM

One of the companies that have not benefited so much from CRM is Philip Morris Company. This is an American company in the tobacco industry. It has not been able to reap the great benefits of CRM despite its good performance.

How has technology impacted how organizations interact with customers?

Over the recent years, technology has been advancing so rapidly. Business organizations have embraced technology in the bid to increase their competitiveness. Customer Relationship Management normally uses technology in managing its interactions with the customers (Brink & Berndt, 2008). Through the help of technology, the company is able to reach many customers. Technology also plays a very important role in improving communication between the company and its customers. One of the major ways in which technology has contributed to the manner with which organization interact with its customers is through the social media. There are a number of sites which enable people to interact with each other online. They include Facebook, twitter, Space, LinkedIn and Email among others.

These sites have played a very important role in enhancing the level of interaction between the companies and their customers. They are platforms where the customers share their experiences as well as opinions about the products with the company. Social media has a number of advantages to the company. For instance, it is cheap and hence reduces the operation costs. It also enables real time response as the company is able to respond in real time to the customers. So many people today use internet (Kumar & Reinartz, 2011). Therefore, by an organization using social networks to create good relations with its customers, it is likely to achieve high level of success. It is able to reach many people and market more goods via the internet.

Through technology, the company is able to collect large volumes of data and store it in the database. The data can then be analysed and the information retrieved from it be used in developing strategies. The company can solve a number of problems through the help of the data collected via CRM systems (Erickson, 2009). The strategies developed can focus on giving the organization a competitive advantage. In addition, problem solving is important in any business organization.

Technology has also enabled organizations to develop Business to Customers mode of business. This is the kind of business whereby the organization transacts directly with the customers. The communication is direct. In most cases, B2C involves communication via the web. Modern business also requires that organizations keep tab with other businesses (Erickson, 2009). This is enabled by technology on B2B model. B2b, despite facilitating the integration between businesses plays a major role in streamlining as well as improving the conditions of customer management.
How has CRM affected customer service?

CRM has been an important system in business organizations. It has been a significant activity in ensuring that the organization develops and maintains good relations with its customers. It has affected customer service in a number of ways. For instance; CRM has led to improvement of customer service. This is due to the fact that customers are able to give feedback to the organization regarding the products and services. They can communicate the areas that they need improved for them to be satisfied. The organization on the other hand will respond to the calls by the customers and improve on the services (Brink & Berndt, 2008).

CRM has also improved customer service in that the level of communication has been enhanced. It has become easier for the company to communicate to its customers. Especially with the availability of technology, the customers can receive any communication from the company in good time and effectively. This facilitates their decision making and also improves their satisfaction.

Through the help of CRM system, the company is able to understand the customer’s behaviour and process of decision making. This is an important aspect in improving customer service as it helps the company in determining what is best for the customers and at what time. It is essential in that it leads to customer satisfaction. When the company understand the customer behaviour, it will be in a position to offer services and products which are satisfactory.

Conclusion

Customer relation is one of the most important activities in any organization. It helps the organization keep close links with the customer. As a result, the management is able to know the customer behaviours and understand the areas that need to be improved to maintain customer satisfaction. One of the best ways to develop and maintain this relationship is through CRM. This system maintains close and constant link and communication between the company and its customers. It has been effective in improving the companies’ competitiveness.

References


Brink, A., & Berndt, A. (2008). Relationship marketing and customer relationship management. Lansdowne, South Africa: Juta.
Erickson, J. (2009). Database technologies: Concepts, methodologies, tools, and applications. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.
Kumar, V., & Reinartz, W. (2011). Customer Relationship Management: Concept, Strategy, and Tools. Berlin: Springer Berlin