Customer Relationship Management - strategy, organization, system, model, company, business, system
Request PDF on ResearchGate | Cross-functional issues in the implementation of relationship marketing through customer relationship. They also find that the relationship between the cross-functional dispersion of influence on issues at the interface of marketing with other management processes . series data and examining success of implementation as a moderator that. Cross-functional issues in the implementation of relationship marketing through customer relationship management. Ryals, Lynette; Knox, Simon.
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Custom software For the ultimate in tailored CRM solutions, consultants and software engineers will customise or create a CRM system and integrate it with your existing software. However, this can be expensive and time consuming. If you choose this option, make sure you carefully specify exactly what you want.
This will usually be the most expensive option and costs will vary depending on what your software designer quotes. Managed solutions A half-way house between custom and outsourced solutions, this involves renting a customised suite of CRM applications as a tailored package.
This can be cost effective but it may mean that you have to compromise in terms of functionality. How to implement CRM The implementation of a customer relationship management CRM solution is best treated as a six-stage process, moving from collecting information about your customers and processing it to using that information to improve your marketing and the customer experience.
Stage 1 - Collecting information The priority should be to capture the information you need to identify your customers and categorise their behaviour. Those businesses with a website and online customer service have an advantage as customers can enter and maintain their own details when they buy. Stage 2 - Storing information The most effective way to store and manage your customer information is in a relational database - a centralised customer database that will allow you to run all your systems from the same source, ensuring that everyone uses up-to-date information.
SAGE Reference - Relationship Marketing: The U.K. Perspective
Stage 3 - Accessing information With information collected and stored centrally, the next stage is to make this information available to staff in the most useful format. Stage 4 - Analysing customer behaviour Using data mining tools in spreadsheet programs, which analyse data to identify patterns or relationships, you can begin to profile customers and develop sales strategies. Stage 5 - Marketing more effectively Many businesses find that a small percentage of their customers generate a high percentage of their profits.
Using CRM to gain a better understanding of your customers' needs, desires and self-perception, you can reward and target your most valuable customers. Stage 6 - Enhancing the customer experience Just as a small group of customers are the most profitable, a small number of complaining customers often take up a disproportionate amount of staff time.
If their problems can be identified and resolved quickly, your staff will have more time for other customers. Potential drawbacks of CRM There are several reasons why implementing a customer relationship management CRM solution might not have the desired results.
There could be a lack of commitment from people within the company to the implementation of a CRM solution.
Adapting to a customer-focused approach may require a cultural change. There is a danger that relationships with customers will break down somewhere along the line, unless everyone in the business is committed to viewing their operations from the customers' perspective.
The result is customer dissatisfaction and eventual loss of revenue. Poor communication can prevent buy-in. In order to make CRM work, all the relevant people in your business must know what information you need and how to use it.
Weak leadership could cause problems for any CRM implementation plan. The onus is on management to lead by example and push for a customer focus on every project. If a proposed plan isn't right for your customers, don't do it. Send your teams back to the drawing board to come up with a solution that will work.
Trying to implement CRM as a complete solution in one go is a tempting but risky strategy. It is better to break your CRM project down into manageable pieces by setting up pilot programs and short-term milestones. Consider starting with a pilot project that incorporates all the necessary departments and groups but is small and flexible enough to allow adjustments along the way. Don't underestimate how much data you will require, and make sure that you can expand your systems if necessary.
You need to carefully consider what data is collected and stored to ensure that only useful data is kept. Avoid adopting rigid rules which cannot be changed. Rules should be flexible to allow the needs of individual customers to be met. Therefore it is vital to choose your supplier carefully. Making the wrong choice could be expensive and even jeopardise your business. Before implementing a solution based on CRM technology, you might want to ask any potential suppliers the following questions: How long has the supplier been established?
What are the specific costs associated with the product, i. Does the supplier offer any form of evaluation software so that you can try before you buy? How much is charged for technical support? The two of them could then meet with the marketing and sales team members and discuss new ways to position the product on the market.
The result, say proponents, is a vastly improved product that is manufactured and released to the market in far less time than was achieved using traditional methods. There is a good chance that some of the members of the new team have bumped heads in the past when their functional areas clashed over a project. Additionally, some CFT members may think that their area of specialty is the most important on the team and thus assume an inflated sense of value to the team.
Finally, since CFTs often bring together people who have vastly different ranks in the organizational hierarchy, there can be power plays by members who are high-ranking employees off the team but are actually less important stakeholders on the team. Those high-ranking team members may try to assert authority over the team in a situation when they should be deferring to lower-ranking team members. The best way to solve these conflicts is to set clear goals for the team.
It is important to start with a general goal, such as improving quality, but more specific goals should be set almost immediately to give the group a common bond and to ensure that everyone is working together towards the goal.
Goals are easier to establish if research has been conducted by someone in the organization before the team is convened. This allows the team to jump right into goal-setting and problem-solving without getting bogged down in background research.
When setting goals, it is important to clearly define the problem that needs to be solved, not the solution that needs to be achieved. If the desired solution is held up at the outcome, then the group's focus becomes too narrow—the range of options is narrowed to fit that solution before the team even begins its work.
Also, when setting goals, the team should determine if there are operating limits that it faces. For example, are there time or budget limitations that have to be considered? Are there some solutions that have been deemed undesirable by the company's officers? The team must recognize these limitations and work around them if it hopes to be successful in reaching its goal.
The final thing to do when goal-setting is to be sure to identify key interdependencies on the team—does one team member have to finish his or her part of the project before another team member can get started? It is essential to know these sequential steps before a team gets too deep into its project. Work with Key Stakeholders Stakeholders are those people who stand to benefit or lose from the work of the team.
Every stakeholder should be represented on the team, and it is these stakeholders who can make or break the team. For example, if a key department head does not believe that the team is needed, he or she can withhold his or her best employees from participating on the team, thus depriving the team of resources.
Or, that department head can choose to ignore the work of the team, conducting business as usual because the team threatens his or her traditional role in the company.
It is up to the business ownership, management, and key CFT members to make all stakeholders understand the importance of the team and its purpose and priorities. Customers, whether internal or external, are also stakeholders. Teams should spend the maximum allowable time interacting with customers to learn their needs and what outcomes they expect from the team.
Some CFTs find it works best if one person is named to act as customer liaison because it makes it easier for customers to provide the team with feedback and it allows the team to have one person go through training in client management skills. Other businesses have had success in letting customers either join the team or attend team meetings as an observer.
When identifying all stakeholders, determine what level of representation each needs on the team. Some groups will need permanent members, others may only need to participate in certain areas of the project.
Communicate with all stakeholders and anyone else in the company who is affected by the team's work. Do not spring surprises—this will make people resistant to the work that the team is trying to achieve. Communication steps should be decided upon up front and planned as carefully as any other part of the project. When it used to create a CFT, Northwestern followed the traditional model and appointed only those people whose roles were crucial to the process at hand.
That is no longer the case. Now, Northwestern is experimenting with appointing one person to each CFT who is not a stakeholder at all. Colleen Stenholt, director of human resources at Northwestern, was quoted in Getting Results magazine as saying that "One of our goals is to break out of the box, and the stakeholders are the people who built the box. This is especially true of cross-functional teams that are relatively new. Business owners and managers should be aware, however, that important steps can be taken to manage and reduce conflict, including: Provide all team members with conflict resolution training.
Conflicts can have value if managed properly, so improving team members' listening and consensus building skills is necessary. Make sure that the company's human resources personnel are involved in the team-building process to help teach facilitation and group dynamics skills. Disregard the rank or perceived status of each group member and have standards in place that put value on what every team member brings to the CFT.
Co-locate the team members. Putting team members together on an everyday basis strengthens communication and breaks down barriers. Conventional wisdom dictates that small companies are probably already operating cross-functionally out of necessity—i.
While that may be true in start-up operations, it is certainly not true of the majority of small businesses. Most small operations have to weigh the pros and cons just like their larger counterparts when deciding whether or not to use CFTs. Those that have chosen to adopt CFTs have been largely pleased with the results.
The owner of the business originally arranged his company into functional units, but found that he had an odd assortment of employees left over who did not fit into any of the existing teams. As a result, he created a permanent cross-functional team to handle special projects at the company. The results were immediate and impressive.
He claimed that since adopting the cross-functional team concept: Employees in support roles are more concerned with profits and ways to increase sales. They now realize that the more the company succeeds, the more they benefit directly. People communicate more openly and are more helpful to each other. There is a far greater sense of teamwork instead of each person looking out for number one.
Employees' problem-solving skills have improved dramatically, and it is easier to build consensus for a given solution. People are more likely to speak up and point out problems. Before the CFT, people were more likely to be passive and quiet, reasoning that the problem was not their responsibility.
People recognize that there is strength in diversity—that not everyone has to agree on an issue. They know they are being understood, but that some people may still choose to disagree with them, and that such differences are acceptable. Staff members have also benefited from the CFT arrangement. Employees now understand the different processes that occur throughout the organization and understand the interrelationships between different functional areas.
Instead of looking only at their one "silo" of operations, employees now see the big picture. Indeed, according to CFT supporters, participating employees often improve their interpersonal and problem-solving skills, which make them better employees and makes them more attractive in the job market should they choose to pursue other opportunities.
Finally, proponents say that employees are less likely to become bored with their own job when they are given the opportunity to learn new skills on the CFT.
As a result, companies have had to develop new compensation systems to reward members of cross-functional teams.