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Defining Customer Management: Managing Lasting Relationship With Your Customers

Nov 9, 2007
What is Customer Relationship Management (CRM)? These are systems, processes and procedures that help companies manage their customer relationships. CRM is a combination of processes, methods, systems, and technological know-how that will help the company deal with their customers effectively and efficiently.

--- CRM Goal: Retain and Increase Customers ---

Customer relationship management is an approach designed specifically for corporations. It is a strategy whose main aim is to create as well as maintain long-term relationships with the corporation's customers. The main goal is to expand the company's client base, of course.

--- Ubiquitous CRM ---

CRM is a comprehensive system. It encompasses customer service but it goes beyond that. It is a system that involves and regulates all points of contact and business dealings with the company's customers.

Customer service is its most obvious facet. The CRM strategy will decree how customer service representatives are going to deal with the customers. However, aside from the actual interaction, CRM will monitor and regulate all the communications used in the interaction.

For instance, CRM will have identified the reports that need to be generated after a customer has been given service. The CRM strategy will also be the basis for determining what notes will be written and filed about the customer interaction.

As such, CRM will include how records on customers are kept. For instance, if a customer service representative makes a note about the customer's concern, the CRM software used may automatically compile the notes and update the general customer service database.

Thus, when another customer service agent picks the call the next time the same customer calls back with the same concern, the customer will not have to explain his situation again. The CRM software ensures immediate access to information that would make the interaction between the customer and the customer service representative as smooth as possible.

--- Working and Effective CRM ---

A working CRM program would therefore include the acquisition of new customers and return business. It is concerned, too, with isolating customers that would require a specialized line of service.

A good CRM program and strategy will improve customer service. This can be done by developing a communication process that provides customer solutions in a timely manner. This can be done through the following ways.

Provision of information is essential. Information about your business products, your products' uses, your alternative services, troubleshooting guides, frequently asked questions and answers should be easily accessible and available. This can be provided on websites 24 hours a day and 7 days a week using a remote server.

Isolate your customers' definition of quality. That is, you should exert every effort to ask your customers (through polls, surveys, etc) about their idea of a winning customer service experience. Who can tell you better about good customer service than the customers themselves? With this on mind, you would be able to paint a clearer picture and devise a strategy that would meet the requirements and expectations of your client base.

Fast and efficient customer support should be ensured. After your customers have made their purchase, you still have a responsibility to your customers. You should devise a system that would allow you to manage and schedule post-purchase client interaction post haste. This would enable you to evaluate dissatisfaction, common customer support concerns, repurchase times, probabilities, and frequencies.

Install an efficient database for monitoring purposes. Provide a structure that can allow you to keep an eye on all interactions between the client and your company. All necessary sources and types should be included. It will also be beneficial if the system provides the same information that the customer sees and uses. This would eliminate or at least reduce confusion.

Be insightful. Identification of an impending concern will provide a good image for the company by lessening customer complaints.

Customer relationship management is about managing all facets of company-customer relationships. This includes using all the advanced technologies, methodologies and systems that can ensure that your customer will return and bring your referral business as well.
About the Author
Steven Taylor is a Marketing Consultant to http://www.Retronix.com - one of the most innovative and effective PCB repair services suppliers to the electronics & semiconductor industries. Other services include BGA Rework.
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