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CRM and the Marketing Mixfrom: 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
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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