Introduction to Customer Relationship Management

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Introduction
Organizations are adopting new technological
imperatives in order to outperform their
competitors. The emphasis herein lies in identifying
critical value adding processes and redesigning them
to become customer centric. In the recent years
there has been increased the role of IT in changing
the business strategies of organizations to cut down
operating costs. Increasingly it has revolutionarized
the approach of companies towards their customers.
IT is being adopted to redefine the customer service
parameters and for retaining customers. The
ultimate objective of technology consists in its
applicability in targeting to right customers and
catering efficiently to their needs.
In this perspective CRM cannot be treated merely as
a technology; it also has implications in the strategy
formulation for companies. The focus of the paper is
to study the impact of CRM as a process which is
enhancing the efficiency of the Indian financial
sector. With companies pumping huge amounts of
money in IT solutions to upgrade their processes,
CRM has acquired functional as well as strategic
implications. What must be realized is that no
software can promise to improve the capability of
the organization’s processes unless the strategic and
tactical decisions are in place.
The paper examines the implications of CRM as a
process and then makes an attempt to study how it is
applied in the financial sector for improving the
performance of organizations. The benefits of
adopting a relationship management approach are
numerous, as it enables organizations to develop not
only better understanding of the customer but also
helps it in streamlining its activities. The paper can
be divided into the following heads:
Relationship marketing in creating customer
loyalty;
CRM as a process management issue;
CRM driving Indian financial sector;
Challenges for the future.
1. Relationship marketing in creating customer
loyalty
It is not only technology that has revolutionarized
the organizations but also the growing realization
that battles have to be fought over efficient service
delivery alternatives. Relationship management not
only looks on building relationships with customers
but also with suppliers and partners. The
redesigning of processes in the organizations is
being done on the forethought that product delivery
can only be improved if organizations are able to
change their value chains according to market
needs. The dynamic nature of markets and ever
evolving technology perspectives are forcing
companies to become flexible in their approach
towards their customers. The traditional marketing
strategies no longer provide any guarantee of
success as the very nature of customer has changed.
Access to information has opened new vistas of
knowledge and their susceptibility to new products
and services has increased manifold. Earlier it was
not important to know the customer, or to really
understand his/her mindset. These challenges call
for adapting strategies that would enable companies
to foster better relationships with the customers.
Moving from the ‘product-centric approach’ to
relationship marketing has meant finding the right
techniques to reach the customers. No advertising
and personal selling budgets promise to give
increased customer revenues as relationship
marketing does. “Customers are lifeblood of any
organization. Like many clichés, this one happens to
be true. Without customers, a firm has no revenues,
no profits, and therefore no market value” (Gupta &
Lehmann, 2005, p. 2).
The customers are looking for value in all their
transactions and are willing to pay for that value. In
a way technology has brought the customers closer
to the marketer. Knowledge about markets,
segments and product usage can be easily available
to the organizations. Many companies are thriving
on this knowledge as it enables them in designing
the right kind of...
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