Electronic Customer Relationship Management

Table of Contents:-

  • What is Electronic Customer Relationship Management?
  • Features of Electronic Customer Relationship Management
  • Role of Electronic Customer Relationship Management in Services

What is Electronic Customer Relationship Management?

E-CRM is an electronic customer relationship management acronym that focuses on the whole e-business relationship regarding every customer. This is to create measure and increase income and minimise costs for each customer and segment and therefore generate greater positive lifetime value. It helps the business to operate more efficiently and profitably.

The concept of e-CRM is derived from E-commerce. It also uses a net environment i.e., intranet, extranet and internet. electronic customer relationship management concerns all forms of managing relationships with customers by making use of Information Technology (IT).

Electronic customer relationship management is the technique that companies use to integrate internal organisation resources and external marketing strategies.  This technique is used by businesses to understand and fulfil their customer’s needs through the use of information technology.

In comparison to traditional CRM systems, the integrated information for e-CRM can be more efficient in communicating with customers through intra-organisational collaboration. E-CRM provides companies with a means to conduct personalised, interactive and relevant communications with customers across both traditional and electronic channels.

Organisations are looking for ways to personalise online experiences (a process also referred to as mass customisation) through tools such as help desk software, e-mail organisers, and web development applications (Webopedia). E-CRM, or electronic Customer Relationship Management, is defined by some authors as the strategic use of digital communications technologies to maximise sales to existing customers and to encourage continued usage of online services.

E-CRM is the use of technology to support customer interactions with little or no human intermediation on the supplier side. This consists of two elements:

1) The use of direct-to-customer channels, primarily through e-mail and the web but also channels such as WAP, chat, kiosks and ATMs.

2) The use of technology to select relevant material to be presented to the customer in terms of content, offers, and support information.

Features of Electronic Customer Relationship Management

Regardless of the company’s objectives, an e-CRM solution must possess certain key characteristics that are essential for the successful implementation and use of the system.

They try as follows:

1) Focused on Process: A CRM process brings one the appropriate technology and reduces the technology gap as well as refining the business process.

2) Data Warehouse Driven: In an e-CRM solution, the data warehouse or customer data mart contains a consolidated and comprehensive view of the customer. The warehouse offers the broadest possible customer profile. This is needed to determine an appropriate course of action, the most effective offer to make, and the best channel to deliver the pertinent message.

3) Multi-Channel View: Organisations today have different methods of interacting with customers. For example, a bank might use one application to support its Website; another to support e-mail; another to support its call centre, another to support sales another to support ATMs; and yet another to support direct mail and telemarketing.

An e-CRM solution must have applications that coordinate or synchronise customer communications across channels and do so in real time. These applications must be able to capture customer transactions from various touch points and store the information in a temporary data store for quick analysis and response.

In addition, these applications must feed information collected from various touch points to the data warehouse. To enhance the customer profiles obtained from backend transactional systems and external sources. The information is then stored in a temporary data store for immediate evaluation and response.

In addition, this application must feed information captured from those touch points into the data warehouse to broaden the customer profiles obtained from hack-end transactional systems and external sources.

4) Measurement Driven: In today’s business environment, companies invest huge amounts of financial resources in communicating with customers. However, they lack focus on evaluating the effectiveness of the campaigns. This is where e-CRM comes into play, it provides a means to measure the impact of communication efforts and strategies. E-CRM is a continuous process that analyzes and tracks the communication efforts of companies

Role of Electronic Customer Relationship Management in Services

The role of Electronic Customer Relationship Management in business is as follows:

1) Matching Behaviour with Offers: Some e-CRM systems monitor usage to build customer profiles Organisations like Amazon match their offers to customers based on previous purchase patterns. The aim remains simple enough to provide the right information, goods, and services, to the right people. Using these e-CRM the companies know what one is buying, where one is buying it and when buying it.

2) Segmenting Customer Data: e-CRM allows for very quick and very cheap segmentation of their customer database which makes marketing and promotion cheaper, more efficient and provides higher returns. e-CRMs are relatively inexpensive to maintain and run, as a large proportion of the data is collected automatically and a further tranche is maintained by the clients themselves.

3) e-CRM for Membership Organisations: Some professional and membership organisations now use e-CRM systems to manage their memberships. An excellent example is the International Bar Association, the global voice of the legal profession. When members log into the IBA website, the content and data that is presented to them are based on the information held in the e-CRM. So a lawyer who has a particular field of interest is provided with web pages, documents and articles relevant to that interest, and only offered conferences, seminars and publications which are relevant. Members can also update their details.

4) Overall System: The e-CRM system has been recently adopted in the industry as an overall system for managing not only contracts but also accounts, opportunities, activities, partner/channel support, marketing, customer support, and many different sales and service processes. E-CRM implies capabilities such as a self-service knowledge base, automated e-mail response, personalisation of web contact, online product bundling and pricing, and so on.

5) Identify the Difference: Enabling technologies such as the internet is an important tool in identifying the difference through prioritising user behaviour and attitudes toward the company’s products. Implementation of e-CRM tools can enhance the effectiveness of company operations and provide value for companies that adopt them.

6) Used to Influence Opinion: Organisations need to be involved in e-CRM and online media to be able to influence what people write about the corporation. It is a valuable channel to gain customer knowledge and customers’ opinions about the business and its offerings. It is also a way to acknowledge complaints and thus be able to effectively address and resolve issues.

Considerations for Implementing an Electronic Customer Relationship Management System in Services

When approaching the development and implementation of e-CRM, one has to keep the following important considerations in mind:

1) Define Customer Relationships: Generate a list of key aspects of customer relationships and the importance of these relationships to the business.

2) Develop a Plan: Create a broad relationship management programme that can be customised to smaller customer segments. A suitable software solution will help in achieving this objective

3) Customer Focus: The focus should be on the customer over technology. Any technology should have specific benefits in making customers’ lives easier by improving support lowering their administrative costs, or giving them reasons to shift more business to the company.

4) Save Money: Focus on aspects of the business that can contribute to the bottom line, Whether it is through cutting costs or increasing revenue, every capability the company implements should have a measurable, direct impact on the bottom line.

5) Service and Support: By tracking and measuring the dimensions of the relationship, organisations can identify their strengths and weaknesses in the relationship management programme and continually fine-tune it based on ongoing feedback from customers.

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