Technology and Business Assessment: Implementing a CRM Tool.

Essay by sampsonncUniversity, Master'sA+, September 2003

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The Vice President of my department decided to step back and ask the question, how do our customers perceive the organization and are we meeting their needs? It's a proven fact that it costs 10 times as much to bring in a new customer as it does to retain one and that the perception a customer has of a company is based on their experiences with people from the company. Client Services Representatives (CSR) are the first point of contact customers have with our organization and it was decided that a tool was needed to enhance that relationship. With that simple idea, the implementation process of our organization's CRM tool began.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a business strategy to select and manage customers to optimize long term value. CRM requires a customer-centric business philosophy and culture to support effective marketing, sales, and services processes. CRM tools can enable effective customer relationship management, provided that an organization has the right leadership, strategy and culture.

Information is the key to success. Just by providing a full lifecycle view of the customer to whomever they might contact (sales staff, CSR's, field support or management) an organization will begin see customer satisfaction levels rise. Increasing customer satisfaction directly translates into higher rates of repeat business and the development of long term customer relationships.

Since we were just starting out, we needed to develop the requirements first. We had to define the problem, understand what's going to solve that problem and understand the functionality of that solution. In other words, in order to increase the number of marketing campaigns this year, boost sales and enhance customer service, we needed individual customer profiles. Once management understood the requirement, they started to explore technologies that support that particular functionality. Management felt that the...