CRM as Relationship Marketing Tool

In the so called Modern times, we happen to be living in a fast paced high tech society. Use of technology has become the backbone of our daily life. You are able to be in the comfortable environs of your home or office and manage all of your domestic chores such as banking, booking an airline ticket or buying insurance online. You are so used to dealing with a particular bank, Credit Card Company or an airline and know their process by heart that you find yourself preferring to use them and resist any attempt to bank with a new bank or switch the airline. Haven’t you been happy when the customer care executive that you called at the credit card company waived the late fee in view of your longstanding relationship?. You also notice that they try to call you and make irresistible offers to keep you happy. If you are wondering as to how they manage to get to know you better amidst thousands of customers, this is CRM helping the Companies manage to get closer to each individual customer while serving such huge customer base.

Technology has given way to the development of CRM software and processes that have made it possible for Companies to achieve multiple objectives. Many confuse Relationship Marketing with CRM. In reality CRM is the tool used by RM practitioners.

Using CRM Companies can get to work on getting closer to the customer and establishing an interactive relationship with the customer. CRM further helps enhance the customer interaction by providing standardized process as well as clear cut guidelines for the customer redressal.

CRM includes and involves IT Hardware infrastructure, Software, Communication network as well as customization depending upon the Organization, its business and the customer. For CRM to be successful, the customization has to be based on the Relationship Marketing strategies and policies drawn up by the Company. Before customizing the CRM, there has to be an effort made to get under the skin of the customer and look at transactions and the needs of the customer through his eyes. Only when the customer needs are anticipated and addressed can the CRM become successful. When it comes to Relationship marketing, Organizations have realised that an automated CRM process is not desired by one and all and that human interaction is very much the unsaid need in every single transaction. Call centres have managed to emerge and grow as a business solution simply because of the human element that combines with the technological advantage.

CRM is undoubtedly a very useful tool for the Marketing professionals to get closer to their customer. Using CRM effectively they are able to offer customised marketing to individual customers and to a very large customer base. Companies can use the data warehousing and data mining techniques to get to know all about the customer including his personal details like birthdays, anniversaries as well as store details of his past transactions, his likes and dislikes as well as his preferences etc. Using statistical tools the data gathered can be used for extrapolation to anticipate customer behaviour and the market trends.

In case of personalised service businesses like banking or hotel industry, this kind of data on the customer helps the Companies customise the service delivery to the individual. Customer retention and customer loyalty are the positive outcomes of a successful Relationship Marketing CRM process. Organizations today have accepted the fact that customer relationship is one area that they have got to focus upon and invest into. Technology has been able to make this relationship work and enhance the value of relationship between the customer and the Organization.


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