CRM Implementation Issues -
September 29th, 2010
CRM Implementation Issues
One of the most interesting aspects of CRM development is the multitude of customer interfaces that a company has to manage in today’s context. Until recently, a company’s direct interface with the customers, if any was primarily through sales people or service agents. In today’s environment most companies interface with their customers through a variety of channels including sales people, service personnel, call centres, Internet websites, marketing departments, fulfillment houses, market and business development agents, etc. For large customers it also includes cross-functional teams that may include
personnel from various functional departments. While each of these units could operate independently, they still need to share information about individual customers and their interactions with the company on a real time basis. For example, a customer who just placed an order on the Internet and subsequently calls the call centre for order verification expects the call centre staff to know the details of his or her order history. Similarly a customer approached by a sales
person unaware that she has recently complained about dissatisfactory customer service, is not likely to be treated kindly by the customer.
Therefore effective CRM requires a front-line information system that shares relevant customer information across all interface units. Relational databases, data warehousing and data mining tools are thus very valuable for CRM systems and solutions.
However, the challenge is to develop and integrated CRM platform that collects relevant data input at each customer interface and simultaneously provides knowledge output about the strategy and tactics suitable to win customer loyalty and support. If a call centre personnel cannot identify or differentiate a high value customer and does not know what to up-sell or cross sell to him then it would be a tremendous loss of opportunity for the company.
Although most CRM software solutions based on relational databases are helping share customer information, they still do not provide knowledge output to the front line personnel. As shown in Figure.6, CRM solutions platform needs to be based on interactive technology and processes. It should assist the company in developing and enhancing customer interactions and one-to-one marketing through the help of suitable intelligent agents that help develop front-line relationship with customers. Such a system would identify appropriate data inputs at each customer interaction site and use analytical platforms to generate appropriate knowledge output for front-line staff during customer interactions.
In addition, implementation tools to support interactive solutions for customer profitability analysis, customer segmentation, demand generation, account planning, opportunity management, contact management, integrated marketing communication, customer care strategies, customer problem solving, virtual team management of large global accounts, and measuring CRM performance would be the next level of solution sought by most enterprises.