School of Information Systems

Customer Relationship Management for Businesses

What is CRM? CRM is a company fundamental that integrates corporate strategy, business methodology, and technology to accomplish a myriad of goals for companies that want to operate in a customer-driven environment. Every company needs to understand their customers and be as positive as possible with the customers. CRM also provides support for the front-end customer facing functionality. 

There are 3 types of CRM, such as the Operational CRM which provide front-end and back-end support for sales and marketing, administrative personnel, or customer-service processes, Analytical CRM which is a tool for data collection and data analysis to help create a better relationship and experience with clients and customer, and Collaborative CRM, which help Deal with the interaction points between the organization and the customer.  

The good CRM should provide supports such as capturing and maintaining the customer needs, motivations, and behaviours over the lifetime of the relationship, facilitate the use of customer experiences for continuous improvement of this relationship, and integrates marketing, sales, and customer support activities measuring and evaluating the process of knowledge acquisition and sharing. 

What are the differences between old CRM and the new CRM? The old CRM delivers an automate customer processes with discrete customer-centric applications, and in the 90’s they started to develop it even more into what is now known as CRM. Meanwhile the new CRM provides support, data gathering, and data analysis for the company to understand the Customer even more. 

The business strategy perspective of CRM includes Business, Technology, and Customer. From the business perspective, CRM promotes customer-centric approachcustomer segmentingone-on-one marketing, and increases customer retention. From the technology perspective, CRM helps foster close customer relationshipanalyze customer information, and provides coherent view of customer. And the customer perspective, CRM increases interaction opportunity, increases customer loyalty, and gives better “word-of-mouth” advertising. 

There are 3 important CRM processes, it is CRM Delivery process, CRM Support process, and CRM analysis process. The CRM Delivery process steps are campaign management, sales management, service management, and complaint management. CRM Support process steps are market research and loyalty management. CRM Analysis process steps is lead management, customer profiling, and feedback management.  

Other than the 3 processes above there are 3 important CRM fundamentals too, it is CRM technology, CRM Component, and CRM Architecture. CRM Technology consists of a companywide business strategy implementation to reduce costs and enhance service by solidifying customer loyalty, data mining and analytics techniques as an integral component of CRM, and holistic view of the information gathered. The CRM Components consists of market research, sales force automation, customer service support, and the data mining & analytics. Meanwhile the CRM Architecture consists of application server which runs either front-end processing or querying data and possibly a Web interface for the CRM system, database server which stores the back-end database and retrieves information from other database systems, and the web server which is used if the CRM provides an extranet access point for such external users as vendors or customers and an intranet access point for employees. 

CRM life cycle involves focus on people, procedures, company philosophy, and culture, rather than just information technology, and functional requirements must be considered before making a decision on the architecture. CRM implications for management are CRM is a strategic business solution and not a technical solution, CRM should not be implemented as a single system or at one time, CRM systems come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but there is no real off-the-shelf solution, even though CRM provides a great solution for one-on-one individualized marketing, it also provides good mechanisms for privacy and ethical violations.