Write articles and earn !

CRM and Technology 

CRM is an acronym for 'Customer Relationship Management'. CRM is a set of strategies, processes, metrics, organizational culture and technology solutions that enhance an organization's ability to see the differences in its customers and prospects' behavior and needs, track new opportunities to better serve their customers and act, instantly and profitably, on those differences and opportunities. Recently CRM has taken a center stage in the business world with businesses concentrating on saving money and increasing profits by redefining internal processes and procedures.  It costs a company dramatically less to retain and grow an existing client, than it does to court new ones. It is said that 'It is seven times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one'therefore the value of customer information and management should never be underestimated.

Customer relation management analysts says CRM is "a buzzword that's really not so new. What's new is the technology is allowing us to do what we could do at the turn of the century with the neighborhood grocer. He had few enough customers and enough brainpower to keep track of everyone's preferences. Technology has allowed us to go back to the future to this model." The aim of CRM is optimize the use of technology and human resources for the business to gain insight into the behavior of costumer. Seeing the new market (CRM) emerge, the world�s leading business software vendors have reinvented themselves to focus on CRM, and there has been a fierce competition for the dominance in this market. Technology is now an essential part of CRM nowadays but buying technology before defining CRM business goals, is a recipe for disaster. It is important to remember that technology used for CRM should be �tailor made� depending on the type of consumer base of the company and the business goals. Companies need to understand CRM in relevance to customers and customers only. Technology like call center services and software�s will prove helpful only if they improve the customer services and relation, otherwise all fancy technology is useless if it fails to benefit the customer. The CRM services consist of the following major segments:

  • Consulting services

  • Implementation services

  • CRM Outsourcing services

  • Training services

There are various technical components of CRM like customer information, sales, marketing trends and marketing efficacy that act in tandem to improve relationship between companies and consumers. From a technological perspective, it involves capturing customer data from across the organization and consolidating all internally and externally acquired customer-related data in a central database. This data is then analyzed and the results of the analysis are distributed via customer touch points like mobile sales force, inbound and outbound call centers, web sites, point-of-sale, email, etc., for use while dealing with customers at these very touch points. The Internet has revolutionized the way business is done and has virtually taken the enterprise information system within the reach of the customer. It can be accessed through the call centers, through the Internet and increasingly through mobile devices.

It has been predicted that the total worldwide market for CRM services will grow to US$ 125.2 billion by 2004. With a vast talent pool India is fast becoming an important development base of major CRM companies. Indian companies and other institutions that offer jobs are jumping into the CRM bandwagon to seize a chunk of the global market, both products as well as services Call centers, catering primarily to the American and European markets are coming up in and around the metros. With the easing of infrastructure constraints, India is likely to emerge as a significant player in this segment. India even has a CRM Foundation in New Delhi, founded with the purpose of assessing and improving CRM practices. Although many Indian call centers have come up that cater to international market, there are only a few Indian companies that have actively taken up CRM. The CRM enabled companies include Tata Telecom, TVS Electronics, HP India, Tata Infotech, Carrier Refrigeration, Tata Teleservices, Satyam Infoway, Planet M, and Epicenter Technologies among many others. Recently some of the mobile phone companies in India have started to integrate CRM services to increase the consumer satisfaction. For the big mobile operators, customer care is becoming the differentiator. Other sectors like Banking and Insurance services are also deploying CRM solutions. ICICI bank and ICICI prudential (insurance) along with several other large banking and insurance companies are adopting CRM solutions.

Vendors and analysts agree that the need to acquire, retain and support customers will stimulate greater investment in CRM. Like all other IT enabled services, CRM is likely to grow at a rapid pace in India during the next few years.