A detailed research measuring the Return on Investments upon implementing CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
What is ROI:-
Note: This post is being updated. Please revisit for the complete post.
Today there is a mixed view from experts on Social CRM. Some say it is important and some feel it is not that important.
We are trying to research the list of common customer relationship errors committed by companies where by they loose their customers.
We are holding our discussion over the following places
There has been a lot of buzz over the past couple of years about this new concept of marketing called as “Social Customer Relationship Management”, this blog aims at putting some light on the Concept , how it works, and how the data is gathered and fed into CRM systems to do further analysis.
*Concept – Social CRM & Social Media Marketing
Social media sites like Twitter, LinkedIn and Face-book are amplifying the voice of people in the marketplace and are having profound and far-reaching effects on the ways in which people buy. Customers can now research companies online and then ask for recommendations through social media channels, making their buying decision without contacting the company. People also use social media to share opinions and experiences on companies, products and services. As social media is not as widely moderated or censored as mainstream media, individuals can say anything they want about a company or brand, positive or negative.
Increasingly, companies are looking to gain access to these conversations and take part in the dialogue. More than a few systems are now integrating to social networking sites. Social media promoters cite a number of business advantages, such as using online communities as a source of high-quality leads and a vehicle for crowd sourcing solutions to client-support problems. Companies can also leverage client stated habits and preferences to “hyper-target” their sales and marketing communications
What Data to gather and How?
With access to such a huge resource of real-time prospective customer data, marketing communication’s need to be planned and executed properly. Advantages of undertaking this strategy are High-quality leads & to provide user-friendly, cost effective and participatory platform for customers to find instant solutions to their problems.
Customers looking for a product or service would express their views on an open platform, where other members help in, by providing more information and adding personal experiences, helping in short-listing the best fit for his requirements.
Companies could monitor these discussions and suggest their product and services to people looking for them; they should start profiling these new contacts to understand them and their future needs better,
They could also add current customers to their company’s online community and increase fan following, this increases brand loyalty and ensures repeat sales. Various social engineering techniques can be used to study each customer better, this would not only help cross selling other services to that customer but also would generate a database which on analysis would give valuable insights on changing customer preferences, and hot industry trends.
How it affects company’s overall CRM strategy?
Social CRM will mean different things to different companies, the goal is to first understand the business challenge and then to make a SM supporting strategy to reach that goal, different companies would want different things and a sound strategy to achieve that goal needs to be formulated before the company enters into Social CRM.
Data gathered over time from such sources could be fed into company’s CRM infrastructure, and can later be used to analyse for better decision making.
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Customer relationship management is all about putting your customers first, understanding the needs of your clientele and designing Products and services which meet those requirements is all but a easy task, finding new customers and engaging the existing ones for them to keep coming back for more is a planned and intelligent approach, using tools like CRM which provide flexibility, seamless collaboration of information, creative thinking in rules and policies, abundant storage and much more is a important part of a company’s marketing strategy.
Cloud computing has become a important part of this process with most vendors offering CRM solutions on the cloud, such solutions are now much more affordable for the masses. As a metaphor for the internet “The Cloud” harnesses the processing or computation power and storage capacity of multiple computers and servers, such services commonly known as SaaS, do not require the end user knowledge of the physical location and configuration of the system that actually provides the service.
Image courtesy – Wikipedia.com
Advantages of using Cloud Computing in CRM implementation:
There are a lot of advantages in running a business application which operate’s from a remote server that can be accessed via “The Internet” aka “The cloud”, with cloud the end user can simply log on to the business application generally using a web browser to gain access to the CRM system, generally paying a small monthly fee for the service, the user can avert financial expenses in setting up the infrastructure and maintaining it, security patches, computer viruses and system crashes are all taken care of by the vendor, software updates are also provided by the vendor and are updated at the server side from his end.
Not only can business avoid financial waste but they can also track their employee’s performance and maintain a collaborated systematic database which post analysis will help business in understanding their customers better and hence formulate better workflows and administrative policies.
Hence CRM implementation via cloud computing (HOSTED CRM) provides all the benefits of On-premise model, but at a much lower cost and minimal infrastructure and maintenance staff. Not only that, the model also provides troubleshooting in a contained and secured way making sure that no virus contamination reaches the end user ever.
Disadvantages of using Cloud Computing in CRM implementation:
Cloud computing application is hosted and is heavily dependent on Network connectivity, and requires higher bandwidth to run the SaaS based applications. In case the network goes down the company loses its access to its business applications running on the cloud.
Some more disadvantages of cloud computing are being addressed to by each vendor in their own way, concerns about Data Security –
How the data is transported form user end to vendor’s server?
Is it encrypted to avoid interception?
What happens once the data reaches the vendors server? Is it stored encrypted?
What is the strength of the encryption algorithm used?
How often is the data being backed up? Etc.