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The Senior Management Team has been keeping up to date on the progress the team is making. They have been impressed with the work so far. In preparation for making some strategic decisions on CRM each member of the team is asked to choose an organisation they know well and prepare detailed notes which:

Review customer relationship management in the chosen organisation
Propose improvements to processes for customer relationship management
Propose improvements to the role of staff in promoting good customer relationships.

Then on the basis of this information individual members of the team are asked to produce a plan for the implementation of the improvements

The Major Aspects of CRM

I have been working as a trainee customer services manager at a large online retail business and it has shown significant growth and good revenue generation for the past few years. The profit level has been increasing along with increased numbers of customers’ queries and complaints regarding the products and services delivered. The Customer Experience Director has focused on improving the customer relationship management processes and I have been assigned with the role of managing the human resources properly during a Customer relationship management or CRM project. It will be helpful for identifying the ways staffs can be managed and enable changes embedded to the working practices for improving the CRM efficiency at the retail business (Khodakarami and Chan 2014).

The major aspects of customer relationship management or CRM are strategy, operations, analytics and collaboration. The strategic aspect of CRM is based on the business orientation and it has helped in developing an useful strategy, which can attract more customers and obtain the highest value from the customers. The operational CRM enhances the efficiency of operations and improves the operational areas of sales, campaign management, customers’ services delivery and marketing procedures. The CRM analytics can allow the online retail business to enhance the value creation, furthermore improve the effectiveness of making decisions in business. By using the CRM, it will be easy to store, retrieve, integrate, extract and manage distribution of customer relevant data and information accurately (Ramchandani and Ghias 2013). The collaborative dimension of collaboration during the customer relationship management can assist in overcoming the communication barriers, furthermore align the people, processes and technologies to enhance the potential of employees and deliver the best organizational performance.

At the online retail business, the SalesForce Automation is another important aspect of CRM that has enabled forecasting, recording of sales and tracking the interactions of staffs with the customers. It has also assisted in controlling the major elements including the lead management, account management and forecasting the sales to understand whether the online sales of products will be beneficial or not.  It can also assist in management of contacts, business activities and email management for interacting with the customers and obtain their views and opinions (Armstrong et al. 2015).

The growth of e-commerce and mobile shopping have created more scopes and opportunities for the online retail businesses to expand business and at the same time, manage easy accessibility to the products and services by the customers. The customer segmentation becomes easy with the implementation of CRM. It will be convenient for the businesses to provide personalized customers’ services to the customers and keep consistent communication with them to understanding their needs and preferences properly too (Trainor et al. 2014).

SalesForce Automation

The use of CRM systems can provide a detailed information about the appropriate actions to be undertaken, furthermore allow the customers to gain the appropriate data and information about the products and services delivered by the online retail business. The customized CRM system is used at the online retail business to automate self service processes and save the time and cost of managing the marketing approaches. It will also improve the workflow efficiency and ensure maintenance of a centralized social media interaction. The e-commerce traffic will be increased with the involvement of social media platforms, furthermore create scopes for the customers to provide justification regarding the delivered customers’ services (Kumar and Reinartz 2018). The CRM is also used to integrate the business processes with a payment gateway, which can rack the payment methods and analyze the best sources of revenue, thus providing higher value to the customers and customizing the services accordingly.

In the highly competitive business environment, the management of quality is essential for delivering the best quality customers’ services and for ensuring higher revenue generation. The major procedures used by the online retail businesses include Total quality management or TQM, ISO and Balanced score car. The TQM can be useful for conducting the 360 degree feedback procedure where the areas of weaknesses are identified and necessary changes should be done for maintaining the quality to the highest level (Koegler et al. 2013). The company will be able to come up with unique solutions for enhancing the product quality and ensure customer satisfaction largely. It will also enhance the credibility of information regarding the products and services delivered. The ISO or International standardization of organization allows for setting various rules and regulations required to apply various quality measures and produce the highest and uniform quality products and services all over. The ISO 9001 will assist in applying the CR approaches to track the sales activity along with the new and existing customers (Choudhury and Harrigan 2014).

The main aim of implementing the CRM system is to develop an effective platform for delivering the new leads, increase the level of attraction and retention of the customer and increase the market share. There are various steps followed to implement and achieve an effective customer relationship management system or CRM. A new system development could be a daunting task for the online retail business and thus proper allocation of time, effort and investments should be done for creating an appropriate platform and ensure delivering the best customers’ services (Goetsch and Davis 2014).

Growth of E-commerce and Mobile Shopping

The business automation planning is important for bringing out the best from the use of software and internet that can assist in the growth and development of business. The automation process focuses on the three major areas including the marketing, sales and service delivery (Chang, Wong and Fang 2014).

Few of the most suitable steps for successful CRM implementation are as follows:

Improving the quality of data- Here the company interacts with the customers through Omni and multi channeling, which enables lead generation and email address checks. The data is available in different qualities in different data stores, which must be kept consistent and ensure preventing data redundancy for meeting the demands of best customers’ services. The quality of data is further improved through assessment of response rates of customers to the website, complaints and feedbacks provided by the staffs and legal requirements that should be complied with for implementing the CRM system effectively (Hazen et al. 2014).

Consolidation of data- The data consolidation allows for managing a unified view and better accessibility to the data. The datasets are consolidated and automatically processed, which improves the 360 customer view and ensure that the data is of highest quality and duplication pf data is absent.

Making data more valuable- The enrichment of datasets with useful information including the geographical and marketing related information can also increase the quality of data and make it more valuable. It will also enable the company to assess the different market segments and evaluate their demands and preferences (Ptak and Schragenheim 2016).

Availability of data centrally- The data are made available related to the customer and different market segments and at the same time, ensuring that the data is protected by complying with the legislations, laws, rules and regulations. The smart customer MDM can also be used for better management of data and information, furthermore control the master data within the framework of data governance procedure (Kumar and Reinartz 2018).

There are various roles and responsibilities of the staffs in achieving the customer relations properly and at the same time, develop a good understanding between the company and customers. This will not only help in understanding their needs and preferences, but can also benefit the company by predicting how well the products and services can fare within the marketplace. The internal staffs comprise of the IT managers, operational managers, front line and administration officers. To implement an effective CRM, it is always essential for maintaining a proper level of integrated knowledge that includes the information technology, business, psychology and marketing. It also involves the staffs to work in coordination and as an unit. The engagement of staffs is important to gain acceptance and support for CRM (Trainor et al. 2014). The managers should assess the benefits and encourage them through benefits and rewards for keeping them motivated and make them indulge with the maintenance of CRM system properly.

Implementing an Effective CRM System

The implementation of CRM system is successfully once it has gained full acceptance for utilization by the external stakeholders. The stakeholders need to focus on the business and predict the rate of return on investments that can be achieved by implementing the CRM system. This not only increases the chances of completion of the CRM implementation, but will also help to deliver the right services to the customers, who are considered as the most important stakeholders in business. The online retail business needs to design the CRM system accordingly for meeting the demands and preferences in the market, furthermore increase their level of satisfaction and enhance the revenues generation probability (Navimipour and Soltani 2016). There are other stakeholders in the stakeholder management plan such as the vendors, interest groups, backward linkages, etc., who must also be taken care of for maintaining business stability and allow them to interact with the business fluently.

Based on the different online retail business aspects in UAE, it is quite clear that a huge amount of cost is incurred to make sure that the CRM implementation is successful and more customers are attracted as well as retained. The use of loyalty schemes is an effective long term marketing plan that provides benefits to the customers so that they can be retained and new ones are attracted as well. These programs can keep the customers motivated and allow targeting the different market segments for influencing their buying behavior and make purchases consistently (Dale 2015).  There are various discount coupons and cards that can be provided to the clients for making them eligible to avail discounts regarding the present purchases made. The allowances provided can be used afterwards for keeping the prices of products lower while purchasing, furthermore obtain the information about the clients. It will also help in evaluating their comfort level, purchasing behavior and their expectations from the products and services delivered. It is thus considered as an effective attribute to the conduction of marketing research (Mishra, Boynton and Mishra 2014). By gathering necessary information about the clients, it will be much easier for the online retail business in UAE to deliver the customers with what they want and enhance the average purchase value with better rewards. It will be convenient for successful management of CRM system and maintain close connections between the business and its customers while the incentives provided through loyalty schemes can be used for customer referrals (Eichorn 2018).

Roles and Responsibilities of Staffs in Achieving CRM

Once the clients provide necessary information and details, the loyalty cards and schemes are beneficial for managing new marketing and customer service approaches. The company will be able to know about the new customer and the existing customers who have been retained as well. Their preferred brands can be identified and the prices that will be suitable for influencing their buying behaviors. The use of customer information assists in carrying out the mass marketing approach through a customer centric orientation. The management of customer information is essential and the information should be stored in databases to keep interaction with the clients and create scopes for product differentiation, revenue growth opportunities and exploration of heterogeneity in customers’ demands and preferences (Bettencourt et al. 2014). The customer service policies and procedures are kept into consideration to ensure that the marketing approaches are managed wisely and different market segments are targeted to increase the customer base and enhance the profit level for the online retail businesses in United Arab Emirates.

The organization that is most suitable to be conducted for the review of CRM is selected as Al Aqili Group in United Arab Emirates.

The customer relationship management or CRM at the organization has helped in recording the customer related data and information such as the names, addresses and information related to transaction and store those in the Oracle Database (Jaakkola and Alexander 2014). It will also assist in creating more targeted market campaigns, furthermore improve the level of customer service and increase the number of subscribers in the website managed by Al Aqili Group to deliver products and services to the customers. The CRM system at the organization will foster innovation through better customer services delivery and achieve the desired customer loyalty, furthermore manage the sales, marketing and contracts related to the company. The different loyalty programs and schemes are managed by the company to enable development of partnership program, furthermore ensure proper communication with the customers along with management of good relationships with them to influence their consumer buying behaviors (Chen et al. 2014). It will also help in managing the transactions and billing system, furthermore ensure management of marketing and sales along with successful management of relations with the customers of Al Aqili Group in United Arab Emirates. The company is known for its delivery of good quality products and services, which can allow for better implementation and management of CRM, furthermore maintain consistency and improve the overall performance of the retail business. The main focus of CRM is to attract customers and thus the CRM system can make it easy to spread simple information about the products to the customers (Meyer-Waarden 2013). Due to this, the customers will be able to know about the products and services through the website and even place orders, keep track of the order and finally manage the transactions with the use of a payment gateway.

Importance of External Stakeholders in CRM Management

The company, being a large and reputed online retail business has been involved in online marketing and sales of products and service, which has been facilitated with the use of various customer relationship management or CRM tools and techniques for developing trust and loyalty among the customers. It is managed by sing various tools including CCPS or customers connection status, call blocking service, FnF change and mobile backup. The social media involvement has further improved the scopes for engaging with more customers within the different market segments and enable video call and extra facilities for the creation of a new dimension in the service of the company Al Aqili Group in UAE (Yoo and Bai 2013). The staffs must be aware of customizing the experiences of the clients and keep them aware of the information, which can influence the consumer buying behaviors too.

The roles of staffs are improved by providing them training and developmental sessions to improve their skills, knowledge and expertise, furthermore make them enough capable of developing good relationships with the customers and create a sense of trust and loyalty. The roles of staffs should be improved by making them habituated with the online website management and for ensuring that the customers are attracted responsibly and the existing customers are retained as well. This will not only promote business growth and development, but will also control the information and data required to keep contacts with the customers on a consistent manner. The customers mainly focus on quality and good customers’ services, which can be managed by providing them with the products that can make them obtain the highest value for the cash (De Keyser, Schepers and Konu? 2015). The staffs should be made understood about the importance of CRM and make them achieve the desired sets of skills to maintain stable communication with them. The staffs must be kept taken care of and should be respected, because they are the most important stakeholders in business.

To enable implementation of the CRM system and proposed changes at the organization, a clear and effective implementation plan should be developed to identify the different stages involved, a specific timeline and preparing the major roles and responsibilities for the different tasks present in the implementation plan (Saarijärvi, Karjaluoto and Kuusela 2013).

The stages followed during the CRM system implementation include:

  • Clear identification of the target market and enabling value proposition
  • Making the staffs understand the significance of CRM strategy implementation and considering the overall costs that shall be incurred
  • Evaluating the ways and approaches required to handle the clients with ease and effectiveness
  • Selection of the most suitable CRM software system to measure or monitor the performances of the staffs
  • Lastly, engaging the customers altogether again by communicating with them for increasing the customer base and increasing the revenue generation at Al Aqili Group in United Arab Emirates

Stages involved

Time taken

Identifying the target markets

15 days

Understanding the importance of CRM system

10 days

Evaluating approaches to handle customers

5 days

Selecting the most suitable CRM system

2 days

Enabling consistent communication and increasing customer base

8 days

Total

40 days

The key roles and responsibilities of the staffs are to develop an integrated customer relationship management or CRM system and also keep consistent communication with the clients to understand their behaviors regarding purchase along with their demands and preferences in the different market segments. The identification of targeted market segments is possible through the assessment of information obtained from the customers regarding their purchases and their opinions related to the products and services that they want to purchase from Al Aqili Group in United Arab Emirates (Khodakarami and Chan 2014). The significance of implementing the CRM system is that it increases the customer lifecycle value, consistency of strategies implemented along with the enhanced business performance and efficacy achieved though great communication with the customers and through the collection of vital data and information based on the preferences of theirs. The sales, support staffs and individuals who hold managerial positions at different levels of the organization are trained by making them participate in training and developmental programs for improving their knowledge and expertise (Trainor et al. 2014).

Cost Incurred for CRM Implementation

References

Armstrong, G., Kotler, P., Harker, M. and Brennan, R., 2015. Marketing: an introduction. Pearson Education.

Bettencourt, L.A., Lusch, R.F. and Vargo, S.L., 2014. A service lens on value creation: Marketing's role in achieving strategic advantage. California management review, 57(1), pp.44-66.

Chang, H.H., Wong, K.H. and Fang, P.W., 2014. The effects of customer relationship management relational information processes on customer-based performance. Decision Support Systems, 66, pp.146-159.

Chen, Y., Wang, Y., Nevo, S., Jin, J., Wang, L. and Chow, W.S., 2014. IT capability and organizational performance: the roles of business process agility and environmental factors. European Journal of Information Systems, 23(3), pp.326-342.

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

Dale, B., 2015. Total quality management. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

De Keyser, A., Schepers, J. and Konu?, U., 2015. Multichannel customer segmentation: Does the after-sales channel matter? A replication and extension. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 32(4), pp.453-456.

Eichorn, F.L., 2018. Internal customer relationship management (IntCRM) a framework for achieving customer relationship management from the inside out. Management, 2, p.1.

Goetsch, D.L. and Davis, S.B., 2014. Quality management for organizational excellence. Upper Saddle River, NJ: pearson.

Hazen, B.T., Boone, C.A., Ezell, J.D. and Jones-Farmer, L.A., 2014. Data quality for data science, predictive analytics, and big data in supply chain management: An introduction to the problem and suggestions for research and applications. International Journal of Production Economics, 154, pp.72-80.

Jaakkola, E. and Alexander, M., 2014. The role of customer engagement behavior in value co-creation: a service system perspective. Journal of Service Research, 17(3), pp.247-261.

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

Koegler, A., Moghaddam, H., Haas, C., Wocher, B., Hartig, S., Rajamohan, D., Barnbeck, J., Dreidemy, O.M., Mark, A., Wu, Y.C. and Ronnewinkel, C., 2013. Providing customer relationship management application as enterprise services. U.S. Patent 8,396,749.

Kumar, V. and Reinartz, W., 2018. Customer relationship management: Concept, strategy, and tools. Springer.

Kumar, V. and Reinartz, W., 2018. Customer relationship management: Concept, strategy, and tools. Springer.

Meyer-Waarden, L., 2013. The impact of reward personalisation on frequent flyer programmes' perceived value and loyalty. Journal of Services Marketing, 27(3), pp.183-194.

Mishra, K., Boynton, L. and Mishra, A., 2014. Driving employee engagement: The expanded role of internal communications. International Journal of Business Communication, 51(2), pp.183-202.

Navimipour, N.J. and 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, pp.1052-1066.

Ptak, C.A. and Schragenheim, E., 2016. ERP: tools, techniques, and applications for integrating the supply chain. Crc Press.

Ramchandani, J. and Ghias, A., Novitaz Inc, 2013. Customer relationship management system for physical locations. U.S. Patent 8,600,804.

Saarijärvi, H., Karjaluoto, H. and Kuusela, H., 2013. Extending customer relationship management: from empowering firms to empowering customers. Journal of Systems and Information Technology, 15(2), pp.140-158.

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

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

Yoo, M. and Bai, B., 2013. Customer loyalty marketing research: A comparative approach between hospitality and business journals. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 33, pp.166-177.

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