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 Home > City Resources > Advertising & Marketing > Customer Care

 Customer Relation Management  

A "must-have" strategy for every company

K Chandrashekharan, CEO, Easy Call.In an earlier era when the pace of change was slower, the variety of products and services fewer, the channels of communication and distribution less pervasive, and the consumer less sophisticated, organisations could enjoy prolonged periods of relative stability reaping profits from "holding customer constant" and optimizing other factors. This had to change with time, and it did.

Today we live in an age of choice and are continually bombarded with purchasing alternatives. This in turn has led customers to develop an increasingly sophisticated set of defenses, and any organisation looking for long-term brand loyalty is in for a real challenge. A strong relationship with the customer buffers the shock of change. An organisation today has to direct its energies on creating abiding customers.

Can you define Customer Relationship Management (CRM)?

CRM is a technology which is part of the neverending journey of understanding and meeting customers' current and future expectations. CRM technology is not some obscure middleware technology; it hits the bottom line, and that too very quickly .

"In simple terms its all about getting intimate with the consumer," said Sidhartha (Shunu) Sen, CEO, Quadra Advisory Pvt. Ltd, at a seminar in Mumbai .

According to K. Chandrashekharan, CEO, Easy Call, "CRM is the art of listening carefully, responding speedily and having a solid Knowledge Management system . It is a business strategy to select and manage customers to optimize long-term value."

Why should you and your company care ?

Companies lose half of their customers every five years. No company can afford this loss in an increasingly competitive scenario. CRM helps you retain more of your customers.

It helps to identify your profitable customers and figure out strategies to convert more of your customers to profitability.

CRM integrates sales management which helps you manage your sales force, track prospects throughout the sales-cycle, and control your sales cost . By integrating the customer contact information from marketing to sales to support, you can efficiently manage the entire customer cycle.

Above all else, CRM systems are about making your existing customers happy and helping you increase revenue and profit per customer.

According to K. Chandrasekharan (Chandra), "CRM is a technology, and acceptance of technology can only be delayed not denied. Today or tommrow all companies are going to realise the importance of this management."

Objectives of CRM .......

The relationship knowledge is institutionalised and used in all subsequent customer interactions .

  • Proactive and responsive dealings with the customer

  • To present a unified face to the customer

  • To profile customers on both an organisational and an individual basis.

  • Movement of a brick n mortar enterprise towards a click n mortar strategy .

What are the benefits ?

  • Reduces the cost of customer acquisition

  • Increases customer retention

  • Improves cross selling of other products and services

  • Gives established players the opportunity to act like new entrants

  • Empowers the salesperson to draw up strategies based on
    knowledge available at their fingertips (through powerful knowledge bases)

  • Reduction in lead times as well as reliance on seniors / experts

  • Knowledge is institutionalised within the organisation instead of being individualised .

Photographer: Vinayak Prabhu

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