|Type of paper:||Case study|
|Categories:||Management CRM Customer service|
Customer relationship management also abbreviated as CRM refer to techniques or strategies that organizations employ to handle the way it interacts with their customers. A CRM has become a necessity in today's businesses as it has become a key component in monitoring and evaluating sales and marketing. Traditional methods of doing this had become cumbersome and unreliable. CRM can efficiently keep records of emails, meetings, calls, client information. These can then be shared and analysed with colleagues making it easier to plan, formulate policies, create strategies and put measures that will focus on meeting the needs of clients and achieving goals and targets set by the company (Navimipour, and Soltani, 2016). The benefits of CRM are many and have profoundly made service delivery very efficient by cutting down time spent on otherwise tedious lengthy processes of manual record retrieval.
Customer Relationship Management and its Impact on Innovation
As stated earlier, CRM has become almost an essential in doing important business today. UPS has identified this fact and has heavily invested in these systems. Currently, when a package is sent, it is tagged with barcodes and smart tags that can tell the receiver and recipient the location of their cargo is while in transit. This is in contrast with earlier methods where one had to wait until the parcel arrived and no other information before that was available
There are some ways through which UPS has used customer relationship management to innovate and evolve over the years. These methods fall into place with the conventionally accepted business practice. The first step is usually the product innovation. To continuously have customers interested organizations must continuously change, modify or package their products periodically (Stadtler, 2015). New technologies must consistently be used to come up with new products that will fit the expected standard. Higher performance and better functionality usually accompany this new product and thus making customers go for them as opposed to others that may be out there in the market.
Service innovation is also essential when adopting newer systems or strategies. CRM has made parcel delivery faster, more efficient and easy to manage. After the product has gone through innovation, it logically follows that the services surrounding it must be shaped to meet their new requirements. As opposed to traditional methods these more modern services must show an increase in functionality to address customer needs better (Carlborg, Kindstrom, D and Kowalkowski, 2014). The systems must be able to enhance communication, support customer feedback efficiently and be able to collect useful data that will be essential for future use. The performance of the new service must also be better. This is necessary to compete with other available services in the market. It is small differences that make one choice of function better than the other.
The last and most important aspect of innovation has to do with value. In primarily a significant number of cases, the change of products and services is always accompanied by an increase in cost or prices. This is also true for simple improvements that can be carried out to already existing items. It is crucial that an increase in these prices be logical so that those willing to make purchase have value for their money (Pisano, 2015). Higher pricing may decrease the demand for a product and consumers may opt for cheaper options. UPS has adopted high volume low pricing strategy to increase its revenue. This strategy is made to encourage a lot of people to use its service, and the small margins of profit will cumulatively be substantial. The prices must always be market-oriented and its often essential to do some evaluation before new rates are set.
CRM as a tool of innovation can still be improved in some ways, most companies have only employed it to collect information that relates to purchases with a bid to tailor their marketing strategies. However, what they fail to do is to obtain personal information, such as birthday or age. This can be used to analyse demographics and thus know what products and services to position where and when. For instance, the preferences of older people and that of middle-aged people may differ very much (Sekaran, and Bougie, 2016). Personal information can also tell on what products are needed in particular time of year. For example, during Christmas Christians may have a specific need for specific services. UPS for instance record high demand for parcel delivery service as people exchange gifts or buy right online and they are asked to deliver them.
Using the CRM systems, it is essential to utilize the information stored to send out regular updates to your clients. This may include information on newer services and products on offer. Other useful information that consumers may need to have would be on offers and discounts available. Establishing a relationship with clients is valuable and useful for business and will also make them feel valued. It is also important to quickly respond to questions that customers may pose, having a well-run customer relationship management system will encourage higher traffic.
It is just not enough to invest in innovation discriminately, in our case, whereas using CRM in data collection is essential, it would be pointless to have all that data if it does not make sense. It, therefore, follows that equally, investing in data analysis tools is also very important. Data must make a reason for it to be a useful marketing tool. One way of promoting its efficiency would be by integrating data tracking and analysis devices so that the output is ready for consumption in real time.It is essential to ensure that CRM easy to use, by employees and internal customers. One way of doing this is training employees on its use. Another useful method would be to allow for them to customize simple functions so that they can interact with the system more intimately. The marketing aspects of it must conform to the IT or technological advancements adopted in the system improvement (Kane, 2015). Thus, it is essential to collect the perspectives of different departments when designing these systems. For example, traditional means of customer interaction and feedback collection have become obsolete with the advancement of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
Finally, it is vital that management supports the system so that it is not viewed as just one of those fads or policies that fall apart after a short duration of time (Garrido-Moreno, Lockett, and Garcia-Morales 2014). Rewarding the system involves paying those who have efficiently utilize the system to improve customer experience. It is also essential that it becomes clear that other obsolete systems are undesirable and discouraged from use (Kashif, and Zarkada, 2015). Friendly competition among employees can be encouraged by reward those who have demonstrated high proficiency of the system. A perfect example would be to reward those who have served more customers or those that have been able to cause better feedback from satisfied customers.
It is said that there is nothing as constant as change. Refusing to conform to prevailing market conditions may bring about very undesirable outcomes to organizations that seek to stay ahead. Therefore, innovation and evolution become a must do for all these businesses. Customer Relationship Management tools that bring innovative ways of client producer interactions consequently occupy a central position in daily to the daily running of these organizations. It is, therefore, no surprise that its adoption has become a worldwide phenomenon in businesses seeking to stay ahead. UPS has utilized this system to become one of the most iconic service providers in offering parcel delivery service. Its globalization efforts have been furthered making it one of the most customer-friendly conglomerates that is in existence. With continuous efforts in improving its services by adopting innovative ideas in packaging its service and products, it is difficult to see how that will change anytime soon.
Carlborg, P., Kindstrom, D., & Kowalkowski, C. (2014). The evolution of service innovation research: a critical review and synthesis. The Service Industries Journal, 34(5), 373-398.
Garrido-Moreno, A., Lockett, N., & Garcia-Morales, V. (2014). Paving the way for CRM success: The mediating role of knowledge management and organizational commitment. Information & Management, 51(8), 1031-1042.
Kane, G. C. (2015). Enterprise social media: Current capabilities and future possibilities. MIS Quarterly Executive, 14(1).
Kashif, M., & Zarkada, A. (2015). Value co-destruction between customers and frontline employees: A social system perspective. International Journal of Bank Marketing, 33(6), 672-691.
Navimipour, N. J., & Soltani, Z. (2016). The impact of cost, technology acceptance and employees' satisfaction on the effectiveness of the electronic customer relationship management systems. Computers in Human Behavior, 55, 1052-1066.
Pisano, G. P. (2015). You need an innovation strategy. Harvard Business Review, 93(6), 44-54.
Sekaran, U., & Bougie, R. (2016). Research methods for business: A skill building approach. John Wiley & Sons.
Stadtler, H. (2015). Supply chain management: An overview. In Supply chain management and advanced planning (pp. 3-28). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
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