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´╗┐CRM and the Marketing Mix

from: Internet Exposed Files

Customer Relationship Management, as the name implies, is the set of collective processes that

are used by a company to manage its customers. Earlier, marketing was targeted at products.

Products were made and then all effort was made to sell them. But now the market strategies

have changed. These days, Customer is the focus of the entire marketing effort. First, he is

approached, his needs and wants are surveyed and then the product is made. The goal is

customer satisfaction. This change has occurred because the earlier strategy of 'selling a comb

to bald men' resulted in good one time sale, but not in repeat sales. Repeat business takes place

only if the customer has found the product/service useful and has faith in the seller brand. For

this we need good relationship between the customers and the organizations. Customers need

to be kept in touch with so as to not to break the link.

According to Berry, it includes attracting, maintaining and enhancing relationships with

customers. It includes keeping the details of current customers and prospects, for follow ups

later. It also manages their feedback. CRM has improved the quality and promptness of

services the customers can get. Communicating with customers on individual basis makes them

feel special and gives them a sense that the product/service is made of them. The acceptance of

the product is much more than the one about which no input is taken from the users. This not

only results in better one-time sales but also better customer satisfaction and hence, improved

business. Happy customers always come back for repeat business.

CRM includes a set of strategies and guidelines to be used by companies. A software based

approach is generally referred to as CRM. When the Internet, different web browsers and other

touch points are used for CRM purposes, it is called ECRM or Electronic Customer

Relationship Management.

Using eCRM not only reduces the cost of customer service but also helps in personalizing

marketing messages. A method called Sales Force Automation (SFA) is used to collect the data

about customers and analyze it according to the needs of the organization. It is important that

the right amount of information reaches the right people at the right time and in the right


eCRM makes communication between the organization and the customers highly interactive.

Their problems, requests, queries or complaints are promptly attended. This helps not only in

creating but also in sustaining long term relationships with the customers. Some companies

provide personalized web pages to their customers where they have their own preferences.

Some companies also provide customized products for the individual needs and wants of the

customers. DELL is one successful example of a company using this method. While placing

the order, one can choose the entire hardware specifications along with a wide choice of the

look and feel of the laptops. Some car manufacturers like FORD are also planning a system

where customers can place an order through the FORD website and choose the exact features,

color combinations and styles for their cars.

In today's world every company is connected to the internet, where every customer turns to the

internet for information before buying any product or availing any service. Every customer is

looking forward for such treatment, not giving personal attention to customers has become

rude. eCRM is not just a competitive advantage but a must for surviving in the market.

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