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Customer Relationship Management (CRM)CRM is “the development and maintenance of mutually beneficiallong-term relationships with strategically significant customers”CRM is a business philosophy based on upon individual customersand customised products and services supported by open lines ofcommunication and feedback from the participating firms thatmutually benefit both buying and selling organisations.
Determinants of CRM TrustThe willingness to rely on the ability, integrity, and motivation of one company to serve the needs of the customer as agreed upon. Value The ability of a selling organisation to satisfy the needs of the customer at a comparatively lower cost or higher benefit than that offered by competitors and measured in monetary, temporal, functional and psychological terms.
Determinants of CRM In addition to Trust and Value, sales people must:Understand customer needs and problems;Meet their commitments;Provide superior after sales support;Make sure that the customer is always told the truth ; andHave a passionate interest in establishing and retaining a long- term relationship
Stages in the development of a Customer RelationshiThe Pre-relationship Stage The event that triggers a buyer to seek a new business partner.The Early Stage Experience is accumulated between the buyer and seller although a great degree of uncertainty and distance exists.The Development Stage Increased levels of transactions lead to a higher degree of commitmentand the distance is reduced to a social exchange.The Long-term Stage Characterised by the companies’ mutual importance to each other.The Final Stage The interaction between the companies becomes institutionalized.
A Relationship Life Cycle ModelHigh cooperationLow competition Pre- Development Maturity Decline relationship stage stage stage stageLow cooperationHigh competition Time (Wilkinson and Young, 1997)
Functions of Customer Relationship ManagementDirect functions (are the basic requirements of a company that arenecessary to survive in the competitive marketplace) Profit Volume and SafeguardIndirect functions (are the actions necessary to convince thecustomer to participate in various marketing activities). Innovation Market
The role of salespeople as relationship builders and promotersRole of Salespeople:Identifying potential customers and their needs;Approaching key decision makers in the buying firm;Negotiating and advancing dialogue and mutual trust;Coordinating the cooperation between the customers andtheir company;Encouraging the inter-organisational learning process;contributing to constructive resolution of existing conflicts; andleading the customer relationship development team (They are theindividuals in any organisation who act both as relationshipbuilders and as relationship promoters.
Models of Customer Relationship Management The Evans and Luskin (1994) model for effective Relationship MarketingRelationship marketing inputs•Understanding customer expectations•Building service partnerships•Empowering employees•Total quality management Relationship marketing outcomes •Customer Satisfaction •Customer loyalty •Quality products •Increased profitability Assessment state •Customer feedback •Integration (Evans and Luskin, 1994)
Managing Customer RelationshipsThe global salesperson must be involved in the following activities in order to initiate,develop and enhance the process that is aimed at building trust and commitment with thecustomer.Initiating the relationship Engage in strategic prospecting and qualifying; Gather and study pre-call information; Identify buying influences; Plan the initial sales call; Demonstrate an understanding of the customer’s needs; Identify opportunities to build a relationship; and Illustrate the value of a relationship with the customer
Managing Customer RelationshipsThe global salesperson must be involved in the following activities in order to initiate,develop and enhance the process that is aimed at building trust and commitment with thecustomer.Developing the relationship Select an appropriate offering; Customise the relationship; Link the solutions with the customer’s needs; Discuss customer concerns; Summarize the solution to confirm benefits; and Secure commitment.
Managing Customer RelationshipsThe global salesperson must be involved in the following activities in order to initiate,develop and enhance the process that is aimed at building trust and commitment with thecustomer.Enhancing the relationship Assess customer satisfaction; Take action to ensure satisfaction; Maintain open, two-way communication; and Work to add value and enhance mutual opportunities.
Relationship networksThe ultimate outcome of a successful CRM strategy is thecreationof a unique company asset known as a relationship network.A relationship network consists of the company and its majorcustomers with whom the company has established long andenduring business relationships.The additional aspects of a global salesperson’s job are to: Manage customer value; Act as customer advocate; and Enhance customer loyalty and build a “healthy” and profitable network of relationships.
SummaryCRM is a new business philosophy based on trust and value;The core function of CRM is the value creation process;Customer relationships develop over time;The role of global salespeople in the process is that of bothrelationship builders and relationship promoters; andThe basic premise of CRM is to offer superior value tocustomers in an effort to turn prospects into customers,customers into loyal customers, and loyal customers intopartners.