Relationship Management is not a Marketing Strategy Alone

Customer Relationship management is a two way interaction. The Organisation has got to devise ways and means to reach out to the customer and more importantly receive the feedback received from the customer. There are two important aspects to be considered in a Customer Relationship Management. First is the customer interaction in terms of quality of communication as well as service delivery.

It is important to ensure that the Customer is happy with his interaction with the representatives of the Company. Secondly the process followed or the delivery of information and communication too has an impact on the Customer relationship. In a B to B as well as B to C business scenarios, it is not only the sales person that comes in touch with the Customer. Customers may interact with employees of different functions coming from the same Organisation. There can be persons from technical services, supply chain or finance department executives who happen to interact with the customer at various times. Each of these interactions by different functions is looked upon as coming from the Organisation and the Customer automatically builds his mental image and impressions about the Company and product largely by the quality of such interactions.

Therefore it is important for the Marketing Managers to recognise that Customer Relationship Management is not marketing or customer services function alone. It is important for the Customer Relationship agenda to be owned by the Business Organisation as a whole. When it comes to implementing RM strategy the Management needs to drive the RM philosophy through HR function too. When an Organisation chooses to be customer centric, it needs to have its eyes and ears open to learning from and all about the Customer on an ongoing basis. RM implantation strategy thereby needs to involve building a Customer friendly culture within the Organisation across all functions especially where the employees get to interact with the Customer. Secondly it needs to build a culture where the information is gathered from the markets, received and managed by the Organisation.

The starting point of sensitizing the employees to Managing Customer Relationship begins with HR function. Hiring the right workforce with the required attitude is very important. Secondly orienting employees to the Organisational culture and values of treating Customer as the king is imperative. Going further the HR as well as Marketing functions would need to train and sensitize all the employees that are involved in interaction with the Customers in caring for the customer as well as to be able to learn from the Customer.

Many Business Organisations have developed the strategy of matching the employee profile to that of the specific Customer needs. In case of major and key customers, many Organizations are known to select and offer the prospective employees for Customer approval to enhance the value of the relationship and operational effectiveness. Matching the customer expectation then becomes the first step towards building and extending relationships.

Thus we see a role for HR and training in the Marketing Strategy implementation and Customer Relationship Management. In the modern day business organisations, all the functions are required to contribute to and be a part of the business and contribute to the business growth.


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