Discussion Question: What are some of the challenges of CRM in organizations that sell through multiple channels?
Customer relationship management (CRM) is the strategic process of shaping the interactions between a firm and its customers with the objective of maximizing existing and lifetime value of customers for the company as well as maximizing satisfaction for customers (Simms, 2007). CRM, encompasses a firms’ efforts to become more familiar with the consumers’ purchasing habits across various channels and is a complex set of activities that together form the basis for a sustainable and hard-to-imitate competitive advantage for the firm. Despite the technology available today, CRM is as challenging as ever specifically in multiple channel firms (MCF). MCF’s problems often arise because consumer data are scattered across the different channels employed by the company (Greenberg, 2009). This information is usually found in separate databases, plans, and records of various organizational units of the company therefore it is very costly and at times difficult to access. Moreover consumers are engaging brands in new marketing channels regularly and unless MCF’s have a comprehensive view of the consumer and his or her relationship with their brand, it becomes overwhelmingly difficult to deliver anything that is more than a one-dimensional customer experience. MCF are also faced with the immense task of setting up a centralized environment to develop, execute and monitor consumers across multiple channels which will allow them to achieve better visibility into effectiveness of marketing activities (Boulding et al, 2005). Their biggest challenge in this process is architecting programs in a manner that minimizes the cost and complexities that are inherent when in deploying varied work flows, multiple data processes and vendors for each channel. One of the greatest challenges of CRM in MCF is that the program inherently involves participation from members of...
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