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Relationship between producers of agricultural products and consumers

Mass production in industrial Era

Total Quality Management

Relational information Process

Customer relationship orientation

Outcome of Relational Information process and CRM technology use

Focusing on key customers

Organizing around CRM

Managing Knowledge

CRM benefits, considerations and pitfalls

Increased customer loyalty

More effective Marketing

Improved customer service and support

Mismatch between company and vendor CRM

Poor understanding of company’s business process

Managing Customer Relationships

Customer relationship management or CRM is an effective way or approach followed by the organizations to implement strategies and establish good connections with the customers. It not only strengthens the customer services’ relationship management, but also helps in attracting and retaining new and existing staffs, furthermore improve the growth in sales and profit level too. The topic will discuss how the CRM has evolved over time and furthermore keep constant interaction with the present and potential customers (Leon, 2014). The main goal or objective of the CRM is to manage customer retention and drive sales growth by using data and information about the customers.

Relationship between producers of agricultural products and consumers

By implementing the customer relationship management or CRM system, the business organization could learn about the target audiences and understand their needs and preferences to deliver products and services accordingly. The CRM approaches refer to the various practices and strategies that are undertaken to keep interactions with the customers and acquire data and information throughout the entire customer life cycle. This can help to improve the customers’ services efficiency as well as attract new customers by influencing them to make purchases consistently. The customers were able to know about the sustainable approaches followed by the producers of the agricultural products, which made them purchase those on a regular basis. This would enhance the sales, assist in catering to the needs of the customers and finally generate more revenue in business (Chiu et al., 2014). By implementing CRM, the agricultural enterprises in Sri Lanka were able to manage customer retention, established good brand image and reputation, provided value to them as well as increase the level of trust and loyalty.

Mass production in industrial Era

CRM earlier was a guesswork done to predict the customers’ value and check whether the delivered products and services can fulfill the quality standards or not.  With time, the digitalization of CRM was beneficial for gathering details about the customers to understand their needs and furthermore facilitate the growth and development in business. This has helped in engaging customers in a better way for the companies. There were further improvements in the 80s when email communications had been integrated with the marketing strategies to ensure maintenance of information of clients and at the same time, fulfill their needs and requirements with ease and effectiveness (Tsai et al., 2012). The mass production in the industrial era was informed to the consumers, which further helped in maintaining good relationships between the producers and the customers.

Evolution of CRM

The CRM has become more effective nowadays with much more effective sharing and exchange of data and information with the customers and making them now about the kinds of products and services delivered to them by the company. The loyalty programs are established and other offers as well to manage signing up for the avail of services and even referring the friends and families of the customers. This would not only increase the customer base, but would also enable the business to grow and stay ahead of the competitors within the business environment (Hoch & Dulebohn, 2013). Finally, with other changes and improvements, the investors or shareholders were able to use technologies and analyzed the business situations to make sure whether their investments could bring positive outcomes or not. The advancement in telecommunication technologies was beneficial for managing a website and allowed the customers to book tickets online, check for fares, discounts and offers available for the services available. The airlines enterprises could get millions of calls every year, most of which were information based related to what the customers wanted to know about the check in and other information about the services. This improved the effectiveness of the customers’ services and established a sense of trust and loyalty among them, furthermore influenced their buying behaviors (Khodakarami & Chan, 2014).

Total Quality Management

By implementing CRM system, the customers’ services improved and the needs of the clients were fulfilled by maintaining good relationships with them through trust and loyalty. The Total Quality Management or TQM strengthened the competitive positions of the organization and reduced the costs of operations. Because of the fulfillment of customers’ needs and requirements, there has been better customer loyalty and retention, which results in generating more revenue in business. This showed that the quality standards were maintained by the business organizations through the implementation of TQM (Wang & Feng, 2012).

Relational information Process

Relational Information process plays a vital role in customer relationship management by strengthening the competitive position of the organization and enhancing the brand image and reputation too. The organizations use CRM to establish long-term relationships with the customers and to do so, it is important to communicate with them frequently as well as increase customer retention, satisfaction, generate more revenue and lower the costs of business operations and processes. Previously, the use of information technology was not much effective for creating a positive impact on business through customer relationship management and so the relational information process designing was focused on. The relational information processing approach is useful for managing the customer information and at the same time, conduct researches on the market related information (Nguyen & Mutum, 2012). The feedbacks of the managers were considered along with gathering of data from other samples, which created a good link between the relational information process and customer relationship performance.

Total Quality Management

Customer relationship orientation

Customer relationship orientation refers to the management of connection between the customer relationship management and market orientation. The CRO increased the performance level of the organization by allowing it to adapt to changes and go with the flow for fulfilling the needs of the customers largely. The organizations must focus on becoming customer oriented to change its targeted customers from time to time and innovate the products consistently to keep pace with the changing market conditions. Market research could be conducted for managing orientation of the customer relationships and make the CRM successful by gaining higher profit and satisfaction from the customers’ end (Choudhury & Harrigan, 2014). Customer relationship orientation could make the company gain a clear understanding of the targeted market consisting of the customers and develop different communication patterns to identify their needs and requirements. The companies would be able to drive the sales and achieve the long-term financial goals and objectives with ease.

CRM is a customer centric system that focused on creating a positive mindset and experience among the customers. The companies used this system to make the customers at the centre of business philosophy, ideas and business processes. A positive relationship was established by managing good contacts with them and the needs and preferences of theirs were understood easily too. This created a good mindset among them and made them believe that they were being valued by the organization. A company could communicate with its customers through emails, live chat conversations and video conferences to understand their needs and preferences and provide them solutions to any queries. This would improve their level of satisfaction and make them inclined towards the company (Koegler et al., 2013).

The relational information process brought several benefits like better flow and exchange of information along with ease of using and accessibility of data and information. It played a major role in leveraging the CRM technologies and improved the relationships with the customers, furthermore generated more sales revenue. Not only information from the customers were considered but also the feedbacks of the managers were taken into consideration for enabling innovation procedures and drive the sales of the company through better customer satisfaction. The relational information process efficiency is improved furthermore by using the CRM through sharing and exchange of information and data (Bahrami, Ghorbani & Arabzad, 2012). This created good relationships and fostered sharing of information between the business and its customers. It also strengthened the customer relationships and shaped how the customer information could be managed.

Relational Information Process

Focusing on key customers

The implementation of CRM helped in focusing the targeted audiences and key customers through proper communication approaches. Customers’ data were used for management decision making, which further helped in approaching the market and ensured successful product differentiation, maintenance of quality standards and innovation too. The company made sure to surpass the expectations of the key customers by providing them the best quality customers’ services along with products according to their needs and requirements. This resulted in customer satisfaction and established trust and loyalty among them too, which influenced their buying behaviors (Saarijärvi, Karjaluoto & Kuusela, 2013).

Organizing around CRM

To organize around CRM, it would be important to communicate with the customers through email newsletters, holiday greeting card or even promotional offers for the new products available. The staffs should be trained to meet the requirements of the customers and ensure that they are treated as important stakeholders. The incentives provided to the customers could make them return while the product awareness establishment could also influence them to make purchases regularly. It is also important to remain reliable and flexible to adapt to changes, solve customers’ complaints and compensate them for the inconvenience caused. The names of the regular key customers should be recorded to communicate with them often and let them know about the new arrivals (Wang et al., 2012).

Managing Knowledge

Management of knowledge and skills is possible by providing the employees of the organization with training sessions so that they can communicate with the customers and provide solutions to any queries. The internal guidelines are to be set for ensuring that the workforce follow those for maintaining values and ethics and ensure better customer satisfaction through reliable customers’ services.

The implementation of CRM strategy incorporates the management of licensing, management of vendor contracts and intellectual rights along with lowering of costs. By using this strategy, it would be easy for retaining the ownership rights and manage the software license requirements properly during ongoing payments. By incorporating CRM technology, the customers’ services would improve and it could result in higher levels of satisfaction among the customers, furthermore drive the sales revenue and allow the company to attain competitive advantage in business (Bon & Mustafa, 2013).

CRM benefits, considerations and pitfalls

Increased customer loyalty

One of the major benefits of using CRM is the increased customer loyalty, which has arisen because of the constant interaction between the business and its customers. Due to this, the queries of the customers were resolved and they were made aware of the new products and services available in the market. By analyzing the customer related information, it has become convenient to identify the key customers and the information are stored to ensure that their needs and requirements are fulfilled. With the fulfillment of their needs and preferences, they would be able to gain trust on the business and make consistent purchases.

Customer Relationship Orientation

More effective Marketing

Marketing means making the products and services available for the customers properluy and it has been possible by conducting market researches through information analysis, The analysis of customer centric data and information has helped in designing proper customer centric relationships, which enhanced the efficiency of decision making process too. The Relational Information process and CRM usage helped in communicating information to the customers and made them know about the products available in the market (Trainor et al., 2014). Thus, the marketing techniques have been facilitated as well through the CRM implementation.

Improved customer service and support

Effective sharing and exchange of information is an important aspect of customer services and support for every company. By communicating information and messages to the customers, it has become easy for the companies to improve the customers’ services and this even developed trust and loyalty among the customers. The customers were made aware of the new products and services made available by the company, which further helped in supporting the fulfillment of needs of the customers. 

It has become convenient to interact with the customers and messages are transferred to them without much effort. The messages and information are shared with them through emails, chat conversations and this reduced the cost of business operations largely (Kim et al., 2012).

Mismatch between company and vendor CRM

One of the drawbacks of CRM is the miscommunication between the business and its CRM vendors. While implementing CRM, issues might arise related to the hosting, page linking, setting up of databases and configurations. When the sales team members and skilled staffs are not considered while making decisions, it becomes difficult to create proper link the business and vendor CRM and thus the CRM implementation fails.

Poor understanding of company’s business process

The CRM vendor often is casual with the support and services, because of which the software implementation remains unsuccessful, which further deteriorates the successful management of business. This has left many sales team members irritated and frustrated with the CRM system and they were unable to understand the business processes properly (Khodakarami & Chan, 2014).

Conclusion

The topic discussed about the various aspects of CRM along with advancements in telecommunication technologies and philosophies for total quality management. The CRM framework facilitated the relational information process, managed customer relationship orientation, and derived outcomes best suited for managing close interactions with the customers. The CRM system managed compilation of data through various communication channels like by using a website, telephonic conversations, email, live chat and video conference. The use of CRM in various sectors had brought various benefits such as better customer loyalty, increased sales revenue and competitive edge over competitors. Few of the drawbacks that were experiences had been lack of understanding of the business processes and inappropriate match between the company and vendor CRM. 

References

Bahrami, M., Ghorbani, M., & Arabzad, S. M. (2012). Information technology (IT) as an improvement tool for customer relationship management (CRM). Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 41, 59-64.

Bon, A. T., & Mustafa, E. M. (2013). Impact of total quality management on innovation in service organizations: Literature review and new conceptual framework. Procedia Engineering, 53, 516-529.

Chiu, Y. H., Claybaugh, C. C., Lea, B. R., & Yu, W. B. (2014). Enterprise resource planning.

Choudhury, M. M., & Harrigan, P. (2014). CRM to social CRM: the integration of new technologies into customer relationship management. Journal of Strategic Marketing, 22(2), 149-176.

Hoch, J. E., & Dulebohn, J. H. (2013). Shared leadership in enterprise resource planning and human resource management system implementation. Human Resource Management Review, 23(1), 114-125.

Khodakarami, F., & Chan, Y. E. (2014). Exploring the role of customer relationship management (CRM) systems in customer knowledge creation. Information & Management, 51(1), 27-42.

Khodakarami, F., & Chan, Y. E. (2014). Exploring the role of customer relationship management (CRM) systems in customer knowledge creation. Information & Management, 51(1), 27-42.

Kim, M., Eun Park, J., Dubinsky, A. J., & Chaiy, S. (2012). Frequency of CRM implementation activities: a customer-centric view. Journal of Services Marketing, 26(2), 83-93.

Koegler, A., Moghaddam, H., Haas, C., Wocher, B., Hartig, S., Rajamohan, D., ... & Ronnewinkel, C. (2013). U.S. Patent No. 8,396,749. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Leon, A. (2014). Enterprise resource planning. McGraw-Hill Education.

Nguyen, B., & Mutum, D. S. (2012). A review of customer relationship management: successes, advances, pitfalls and futures. Business Process Management Journal, 18(3), 400-419.

Saarijärvi, H., Karjaluoto, H., & Kuusela, H. (2013). Customer relationship management: the evolving role of customer data. Marketing intelligence & planning, 31(6), 584-600.

Trainor, K. J., Andzulis, J. M., Rapp, A., & Agnihotri, R. (2014). Social media technology usage and customer relationship performance: A capabilities-based examination of social CRM. Journal of Business Research, 67(6), 1201-1208.

Tsai, W. H., Lee, P. L., Shen, Y. S., & Lin, H. L. (2012). A comprehensive study of the relationship between enterprise resource planning selection criteria and enterprise resource planning system success. Information & Management, 49(1), 36-46.

Wang, C. H., Chen, K. Y., & Chen, S. C. (2012). Total quality management, market orientation and hotel performance: The moderating effects of external environmental factors. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 31(1), 119-129.

Wang, Y., & Feng, H. (2012). Customer relationship management capabilities: Measurement, antecedents and consequences. Management Decision, 50(1), 115-129.

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