Developing CRM Strategies
The aim of strategic CRM is to concentrate and enhance the knowledge about customers and use this knowledge to improve and customize the interactions with customers to maintain a long-term relationship with them.
Determining and development of CRM strategies involves following steps:
(1) Amplify Commitment– Strategic CRM involves almost all the departments of an organization e.g. finance, sales, manufacturing, distribution, marketing etc. Hence it is essential to get support and use their important feedback while determining strategies. For this each and every department should be kept informed about all the developments and implementation of processes carried out or performed. Everyone should also be emphasized about the positive approaches and end results of the strategies.
(2) Building valuable project team- After organizational commitment is secured the next important stage in developing CRM strategies is building a determined and valuable project team. Each and every member of this team should be experiences and dedicated professional as these members will be the key decision makers in the whole process. They will be responsible to communicate all the related details and benefits of the CRM strategies to all the members of the organization. These members should be from following work groups to ensure all the aspects of strategies are addressed efficiently;
(A) Management- Management professionals are responsible to provide motivation, leadership and management at every strategic development step especially when a change in business process or organizational structure is expected.
(B) Technical- Automation of CRM strategies are important and must involve experienced technical hands. Also technical professional provide their useful contribution in building and managing software application and determining their compatibility with existing software features.
(C) Sales and Marketing- These are final users of CRM system once the strategies are determined and implemented. The applied strategies are supposed to be successful once these users fell comfortable and satisfied by using all the CRM features. Being the end users these people are also responsible to provide useful feedbacks on efficiency and effectiveness while the strategies are in development phase.
(D) Financial- The CRM strategies must also be gone through or evaluated under financial aspects. The financial professionals of the team can provide crucial analysis on assessment of enhanced productivity, evaluation of operational and production cost and final estimated cost of the project. They also help in assessing the investment cost per module or segment so that the product is delivered inside the budget.
(E) External Experts- Many times some external consultants and other CRM vendors are substantially helpful in strategy development. These are people who are generally hired or outsourced for second fruitful opinion or if the organization is lacking with sufficient CRM experts. These professionals have vast experience in the same field and helps analyzing organization’s actual business needs, work with other professional to review and approve complex business structure and even helps in formulating the team members according to the expertise they possess.
(III) Requirement Analysis– CRM strategies should always focus and concentrate on the actual business requirements. This process involves a series surveys and questionnaires with top level sales, marketing and financial managers to gather the actual expectations regarding the strategies to be implemented and what results these strategies will throw in the final stage. This is a very crucial factor in the development of an effective CRM system because if the results are not matching the actual requirement or if they diverge from focus points, then that means it’s not achieving the desired goals.