What’s new is the customer-centered nature of applications, which means organizing CRM processes around the customer, rather than marketing, sales, or any other internal functions. Measurements and feedback from the customer drive improvements in the CRM process. The customer’s viewpoint becomes an integral part of the process, allowing it to change with the customer’s needs. In other words, companies base their actions not on the priorities of functional fiefdoms, but on the overall corporate objective of providing customer satisfaction.
The core CRM process competencies are cross-selling and up-selling, direct marketing and fulfillment, customer service and support, store front and field service and retention management.
Cross-Selling and Up-Selling
Cross-sell and up-sell software typically include the capability to quality prospects, track contacts, and refer them to salespersons when appropriate. Even-driven marketing is one aspect of cross-selling that companies are beginning to recognize as a strategic advantage for their marketing departments. By implementing a cross-sell strategy, complete with the applications necessary to track customer contacts, triggers can be established to identify prospects for additional sales. For example, in a bank an event would be a large deposit, which would then trigger a salesperson to call the customer and ask if he or she would be interested in investment options.
Direct Marketing and Fulfillment
Marketing automation is critical as organizations grow larger. Why? It becomes more difficult to manage multiple, simultaneous programs and track costs across multiple channels. Campaign management, a direct marketing process, allows companies to manage, integrate, and leverage marketing programs by automating such tasks as managing responses, qualifying leads, and arranging logistical aspects of events.
Customer Service and Support
Customer support provides customer care and other services. The applications include support for service request management, account management, contact and activity management, customer surveys, return material authorizations, and detailed service agreements. These discrete applications work together to ensure that customer service representatives can quickly assign, create, and manager service requests, as well as look up detailed information about customer service contracts, contacts, and activities.
Field Service Operations
Field service software provides service organizations with features for scheduling and dispatching repair personnel, managing inventory and logistics, and handling contracts and accounting. More and more, the field service function plays a role in increasing revenues.
Your resources are valuable: Spend them wisely on the customers who count. Effective CRM must be based on differentiating customers based on account and transaction histories. Today, very few organizations are able to make these distinctions. The ability to effectively segment customers depends on decision support technology, which most executives see as a powerful enabler of CRM.
Effective decision support depends on the ability to gather customer information at great levels of detail. Detailed knowledge about customers allows companies to treat all customers individually and, in many cases, disengage from or “fire” customers who are high-maintenance, low-margin prospects.
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