By PKD Nambiar
Gone are the days where you have a monopoly in your area of business. Today, it’s a competitive world for every business. It doesn’t matter whether you are a manufacturer, service sector company or even a trader; client acquisition is becoming an expensive affair. The importance of retaining customer and customer satisfaction is the new buzzword for business. Your customer retaining percentage is a major aspect of your company’s evaluation. Let’s look at how an effective CRM (Customer Relationship Management program) can help organisations to retain their customer, while generating more and more business from them.
After being in the business for over two decades, I consider it’s imperative to sit back and reflect over client movements and exits. While we understand that each client has a specific need and once the need is fulfilled, he or she might want to part ways which is a normal phenomenon. So what is that an effective CRM strategy can do for your business?
A CRM strategy has two major components i.e. technology and communication. While the technology (CRM Applications) will help you to create a customer database along with the customer behavior pattern, the communication strategy will help you in interacting with the customer as and when you want it. Today’s CRM strategy is not just about birthday and anniversary wishes or giving loyalty points, an ideal CRM strategy have to have a 3 pronged approach; i.e. to convert a detractor to an ambivalent customer and an ambivalent customer to a loyal customer. So the ultimate objective of a CRM strategy is to create loyal customers to your business. Today, customers have many options to choose from, competitions are equally geared up to lure them, in fact your best customers are always in the radar of your competition. So it is important to make sure that you retain your customer, your brand and business will not be known by how many customers you have, they will always be remembered by how many happy customers you could create. A happy customer is not only just a reflection of your CRM program, it also shows the quality of your product or service along with the business ethos you practice.
While client exits account for almost 40% of business losses, other factors like sales decline, intra departmental revenue misalignments could be other conspicuous factors for a business to take a back seat. And as a business owner you should take serious steps to ensure effective client tracking and checking your business bottom line, and one of them is the effective use of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) techniques. To execute an effective CRM exercise it is imperative to have an excellent army of committed employees; there are companies where the employees themselves turn as the detractor for the business. it is important to note that only a happy employee can create a happy customer, so focusing on your employees and in their trainings to create customer centric skills is one of the first steps to be taken before formulating a CRM Strategy; a CRM program can only be successful when all the components I.e. Technology, Communication Strategy Plan along with a committed, trained employees are effective in an organisation. So the success of a CRM program can only happen with a 360 degree approach with a complete customer centric psychology across the organisation.
The Indian CRM market size is about 15% of the overall Asia Pacific (APAC) market, the second largest in the region, after Australia. Between 2009 and 2014, CRM in India is projected to grow at a (CAGR) of 16% to 19%. The figures clearly show that the companies and brands are clearly moving towards retaining customers in India and they have realised the power of a customer and the need of retaining them. If a CRM Plan is implemented well across the organisation taking all the stake holders along with the help of technology, it can easily gain 30% more business from the existing customers.
A good CRM application helps in maintaining a lot of regulatory checks and keeps audits in place as per regional and state laws and regulations. Using this we can maintain checkpoints and prioritise and categorise clients as per the internal evaluation matrix. Thus a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system enhances a business and its processes, increases productivity and the overall performance of the organisation. Technology also enables the brand and organisations to understand the customer behavior and spending patterns which in return helps to develop strategies.
No matter how good software you have acquired, a good CRM can only be successful with an excellent communication strategy and its implementation. It is important to communicate with them regularly, but irritating a customer with communication can be fatal for a brand, an effective communication strategy must be a mix of personal greetings, offers of schemes and most importantly additional value creation for the customer. For example while you buy a shirt from a Retail shop, instead of giving a discount they give 2 spa vouchers with 30% off. Cross promotions and value creations are very important to retain a demanding customer of today.
The author is CEO & MD Flags Communication
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Updated Date: Jun 17, 2016 14:26:13 IST