La première page du mémoire (avec le fichier pdf):
City University of Seattle
In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements For the Degree of Master of science project management - June / 2008

The significance and the impact of CRM into the enterprise

  1. The customer’s life cycle and the CRM
  2. CRM meaning, CRM architecture and the core benefits of CRM
  3. Implementation of CRM strategy, Metrics of CRM effectiveness
  4. CRM: Strategy or technology? Knowledge requirements of CRM
  5. Involvement of CRM during the life-cycle of a project: case study
  6. The significance and the impact of CRM into the enterprise

The significance and the impact of CRM into the enterprise

Chapter 5

5.1. Results of this Study

In this chapter, conclusions will be drawn from the findings in the analysis in order to highlight the significance of CRM process during the life cycle of a project and importance of qualified people to implement it, while this is the main factor of ineffective appliance of CRM as it was stated in chapter one. The results drawn from this study should be viewed in the light of the research methods.

5.2. The significance of CRM into the enterprise and during the project’s life cycle

No matter the size of an organization customer relationship management (CRM) has proven crucial to the long-term success of any business. It is general believed that organizations that take a completed approach to implementing CRM across sales, marketing, customer service, will gain greater benefits than organizations that take an inaccessible approach to solve a restricted issue.

Quite often, organizations signify that the benefits of CRM outshine their primary expectations. The benefits related with applying an incorporated CRM strategy contains increased sales profits and increased customer satisfaction. Growing the significance and profitability of each customer is crucial to the success of a CRM approach.

Achieving sales increasing through marketing is an objective for many enterprises. To successfully achieve this goal, companies must have clean, precise, and incorporated customer data.

The best way to gain customers’ loyalty is to keep them happy. Many enterprises distinguish that growing their production through the maintenance and extension of existing customer relationships is much less costly than growing their production through the gaining of new customers.

As shown throughout this research, many organizations are following CRM methods in hopes of improving their customer-facing processes. A number of organizations have effectively enhanced these processes, and many companies that have occupied with CRM projects over the past few years have recognized substantial benefits.

These benefits contain improvements in customer care, increases in sales related profits, and enhancements to marketing.

There are different approaches to the implementation of CRM process. More specifically, the approaches have varied from isolated to fully approach across the company.

Although both approaches have positive results, it is general believed that an incorporated approach to implement CRM offers much more benefits, from a cost reduction perception and a profit generation perspective, than a isolated approach.

Following an integrated approach for a CRM appliance is probable to create greater benefits across all key tasks of the company such as sales, marketing, customer service, and therefore benefiting the company as a whole.

After the bibliographical research, it is obvious the crucial role of CRM during the project’s life cycle, from the moment of vision creation until the final delivery of the project.

Only by having accurate and current data of the customers the company will be able to implement a project according to customers’ expectations. Having the appropriate input from the customer the project team will be able to have a clear picture of the project requirements and how they have to work so as to have the quality that the customer desires.

Design the project by using the accurate input is a key element for project success. During the project construction and identification CRM process is very important also, due to the fact that the project team has to be continuously informed about customers’ changes, comments and prospects so as to be prepared to face all the obstacles that may occur.

Finally, knowing that the final receiver and user of the project is the customer, it is implicit the involvement of CRM at this phase of the project’s life cycle.

One of the basic causes of failure of CRM appliance that the software enterprises face is that commonly the people that are assigned to work on positions of CRM are IT experts.

That means that they have the required knowledge concerning the technological issues of the project, but unfortunately they don’t combine the appropriate managerial skills in order to develop valuable and successful relationships with the customers.

As a result there are frequently misunderstandings due to the fact that the IT experts most of the times use a specific tech-speak, which is not understandable from the customers.

The people who are assigned to manage customer relationships have to have all the appropriate skills in order to be completely understandable from the customer. Only with that way the customer could express the needed specifications for the project and thus the company could have an accurate and truthful input for the project implementation.

5.3. The impact of CRM in the organization

5.3.1. The director perspective.

Apply a CRM strategy will have far-reaching benefits across your organization, from back-office occupations (such as finance and logistics) through customer-managing activities (such as sales, marketing and service).

The cultural benefits of CRM are very essential. Historically, many projects have failed, despite effective IT implementations, because people-related with that have not been engaged in.

5.3.2. The implementer perspective.

Basically, CRM is a business philosophy and strategy, not a technology tool. All projects should be approached from a business, strategic point of view. Hence, technology is only the tool which allows your organization to accomplish its strategic ambitions.

CRM projects will fail, unless they are driven from the top and have qualified people to implement them. The companies should not face the CRM as a software solution but as a strategy and the people who will manage it must have the appropriate managerial skills and not only IT knowledge.

5.3.3. The IT perspective.

As we already mentioned CRM is a business philosophy, technology is only the tool which helps the business objectives to be achieved. Only if an organization understands the business benefits of embarking on a customer management strategy, CRM will bring success. IT developments must be strongly associated to business needs.

The key to successful customer management is to assemble a united view of each customer, collect data from a broad selection of sources, and make it available in an appropriate format to managers and users.

The IT implications are enormous because, eventually, CRM will influence every system in the organization. As a result, incorporation is one of the biggest challenges which IT department has to face in the CRM field.

The appliance of CRM is expected to have impact on every job in an organization. The aim is to make available for each person all the required information so as to work and operate more efficiently.

Having all the needed information for the customer the organization will be able to meet customer’s wants, needs and expectations and gain his loyalty. Ongoing training for users is crucial and may finally make the difference between triumph and failure.

5.4. Components of CRM

The basic components of a CRM process can be broken down into the following elements:

  • Technology
  • Process
  • People
  • Application
  • Analysis

Without one or another of these essentials, the appliance is deficient. Each of these elements plays a significant part in creating the most vital tool that a company can have: truthful, current data about the exchange activities of each customer.

Technology: It is a false impression that CRM is synonymous with technology.

However, the technology component of CRM program is a very important element. If the software is too difficult to use, the users will resist or avoid the duty of putting information and the result will be unfinished data.

Process: The element of processes means to ensure that you have collected data in the best and most inclusive possible method. That requires exploratory the activities that will be used for data collection and make them as easy and clear as possible.

All these valuable data must be transferred to all employees—not just those who will be involved in the data collection, but also those who may have admission to other information resources, as long as is essential to make best use of CRM data collection efforts.

People: If technology is the frame of the CRM body and processes are what keeps it running, then people are its livelihood. Firstly, an effectual CRM program needs a title holder. This is someone in the company that has as much as necessary influence to execute change. The reason is that implementing a CRM strategy is going to change the way employees collect, access and sustain information.

Employees who are on the front lines of information collecting should be assigned for input into the CRM program. It is a good idea to form a focus group of employees who will be in charge for gathering data.

By getting the feedback of employees who are doing the direct interaction with the customers, we may find that employees are more accepting of the changes necessary to lodge the CRM system because they understand that the system will eventually help them do their jobs more successfully and probably with less time and effort.

Appropriate training should also be part of the CRM planning stages, as it will be important for employees to understand and feel contented with the system.

Application: During the development of a CRM program, the company should look for ways it can be applied to automate and manage different areas of the business. It is possible to divide customers by a variety of parameters such as geographically or by industry and offer personalized services and marketing efforts. This is the phase where CRM program implementation challenges come to light.

So in practical application of the CRM program, companies should ensure that they have adequate support from their technology vendors and from the CRM champion, who may need to exert influence to overcome potential obstacles. If employees were consulted in the earlier phases, then their input should be invited again to address challenges and problems.

Analysis: It’s significant to analyze the process and evaluate the results. Periodic testing for data correctness is important in order to have current and truthful information so as to develop an efficient strategy. The company has to continually check up the program’s results regarding to the desirable goals.

When the employees see the benefits of the program, that is producing better effectiveness, fewer customer complaints and improved results, they’re more possible to maintain to support the program.

Customer relationship management is critical to compete in today’s business environment. The more effectively the company uses the information about its customers in order to meet their expectations the more profitable it will be. The path to a successful business requires that the company should understand clearly its customers and their specifications, and the data mining is the necessary guide.

The significance and the impact of CRM into the enterprise

Chapter 6

6.1 Conclusions-Recommendations

Primary issue in this study is the recognition that greater clearness is needed concerning the definition of CRM, the difference between CRM approach as technology and as business philosophy and the identification of core CRM benefits.

In this perspective, a clear definition is supported, where both process and strategy elements of CRM are considered as required in order providing an overall evaluation of a company’s investment in process, technology and strategic projects associated to CRM.

Concerning the difficulty related to defining and measuring CRM approach, no measurement effort will be without any difficulties. The truth connected with measuring CRM is that, even when well defined, it remains complex and all surrounding, which makes it difficult to estimate.

As we already mentioned the role of CRM during the project life cycle is crucial in each face of the project. For that reason the organization should collect all the required information from the customers, concerning their specifications and expectations in order to deliver a project which will meet customers’ wants.

If the project team does not have the accurate and truthful input according to customers’ needs, wants and expectations, the project will fail, no matter their effort during the project execution. The final arbiter and user of the project is the customer.

As a result every step of project implementation must be done concerning that datum line, so as the company will be able to deliver the expected quality to the customer. Customer satisfaction is one of the key elements, and may the most crucial, that characterizes the project as successful or not, and consequently the key of success for the organization and its progress in the future.

Another basic issue, that software enterprises must be very careful about, is the people who are assigned to implement the CRM process in the organization. Regularly, is software enterprises these people are technical experts who don’t have the required managerial skills for positions like these.

They commonly use tech-speak resulting an ineffective communication with customers. In order to avoid these obstacles during the CRM appliance the organization should assigned to positions like these people who are qualified and know how to manage a customer relationship.

They should have the appropriate communication skills so as to be able to manage conflicts and resolve them, negotiate with the customer and try to create a win-win relationship with him, and mainly to speak in customers’ “language”.

That means that he should be completely understandable from the customer, without the use of tech-speak, so as to collect a clear and accurate input from the customer as well. Only if the customer feels that his opinion is important for the person who is talking with, the company can gain his loyalty and a long term relationship.

After concluding this research, we have come up with a number of issues we believe that can be valuable to managers who are interested in receiving knowledge in the area of customer relationship management. These recommendations are listed below:

Customer maintenance: Managers must recognize why customers leave. Analyzing customer corrosion works on the dictum that keeping an existing customer is far more cost effectual than attained a new one.

Customer service: Managers must understand the importance of customer service as a way to keep and attain customers. This is true, especially in software enterprises where after the product sale it is almost certain that the customer will need service and support for technical questions and problems that he may face.

Customer satisfaction: Managers must understand that customer satisfaction characterizes a modern method for quality in organizations, and provide the development of an accurately customer-focused company. Measuring customer satisfaction offers a direct, significant, and truthful feedback about customer needs and expectations.

This is also essential since customer satisfaction is direct associated with organization’s profits. Suitable CRM performance can substantially impact customer satisfaction and lead to increased customer maintenance and loyalty.

6.2 Recommendation for further research

Firstly, additional qualitative research related to the main value drivers will be necessary as models of measurement are developed for observed analysis. Second, data required to test these suggestions will come from company proceedings and surveys of both customers and sellers.

Even with enhanced CRM technology in use, it remains very important to collect these types of data because parties from numerous organizations must assist in the research process. Third, to determine effectiveness, consideration must be given to the costs and benefits of CRM appliance which will need the collaboration of several occupations in each company.

Beyond the synchronization of academicians and organizations, further work will need to be done to turn these suggestions into testable propositions. In particular, this attempt will require a search to restrain circumstances that may impact the proposed relationships.

Bibliography Bibliography - The importance of customer relationship management in software enterprises’ life cycle

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