Customer Relationship Management as a Strategic Development Philosophy

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Customer Relationship Management as a Strategic Development Philosophy
Ken Gordon MBA PMP, Strategy Consultant, United Kingdom

Customer Relationship Management is a term that not only describes a set of software tools bundled into a 'CRM' application but, is also becoming a guiding philosophy in the development of the strategic IT capabilities of an organisation.
As marketing channels become more digitised and diversified, capturing and making use of customer insights will become more complex as developments continue.
These insights may well be the deciding differentiator in the competitive market place as will the ability and agility of the organisation in reacting to these insights.
Can a philosophy such as CRM become a guiding strategy in its own right; where tactics are informed by the discoveries made?

Customer Relationship Management is not Just About IT
john 18, Consultant, Singapore
According to the glossary term from CIM-UK, Customer Relationship Management is the coherent management of contracts and interactions with customers. The term is often used as if it related purely to the use of IT, but IT should in fact be regarded as a facilitator of CRM.
How rightly I agree!

CRM as a Guiding Strategy
K.Narayana Moorthy, HR Consultant, India
Strategic IT capabilities in CRM are:
1. SERVICE MODEL ARCHITECTURE. This provides a structured evaluation of an organization's service capabilities, identifying strengths and gaps in customer service capabilities by the organization.
2. SALES/SERVICE CHANNEL EFFECTIVENESS. Each channel is unique, and has both strengths and limitations when it comes to business needs, and meeting customer's expectations.
3. CRM PLATFORM ASSESSMENT. Provides organization with an objective and fact based assessment, balancing CRM capabilities with: a. Technology, b. People: c. Process, and d. Knowledge and insight.
Best practice companies put a strategic capability in place to enable CRM. They tend to modify their vision to use the capability for customer bonding to create a learning relationship and competitive advantage.

Strategic CRM: Customer Feedback and Management Responsibilities
K.Narayana Moorthy, HR Consultant, India
Collecting customer's feedback and insights can be achieved in several ways:
- Feedback analysis and reporting feedback;
- Various IT / mobile services;
- Voice of the customer and its analysis;
- Customer service satisfaction surveys;
- HR and employee surveys;
- Training feedback and evaluations;
- Marketing and product surveys; and
- Market research.
In a strategic CRM process, managers will have additional responsibilities:
1. Providing a compelling vision to keep the organizations focused on CRM strategically;
2. Bringing customer data all together in a single location, aligning processes, and ensuring smooth integration;
3. Selecting a competing request in accordance with CRM;
4. Helping lower management and employees to understand CRM concept;
5. Ensuring that sufficient flow of time, money and knowledge goes to CRM;
6. Ensuring that financial and operational controls are in place to monitor and control.

Strategic Customer Relationship Management
john 18, Consultant, Singapore
Strategic IT (SIT) is an encompassing fact since the dawn of time. Technology enables new tools that allow for example, 'ease of use' such as possibly a fountain pen at some point in time. 'Information is power' in the light of best practice, resource base, and so on.
SIT provides the direction 'literary' in the use of information.
Customers and or potential customers can relate to internal and external processes, leading to clients and other stakeholders of the firm. Thus, CRM can be used to directly involve them in company's financial, marketing philosophy, etc., and indirectly in TQM, standard costing technique and the processes, the thinking list goes on and on.

Strategic CRM
Ken Gordon MBA PMP, Strategy Consultant, United Kingdom
Thanks John and Narayana; a philosophy of strategic CRM potentially brings significant benefits to the implementation of the strategic vision within the organisation. Complexity theory and organisational dynamics are both reaching towards the point of understanding the significance of the communication issues surrounding the effective implementation of strategy.
Personally, I believe a philosophy of strategic CRM has the potential to overcome the issues of communication and localisation of the strategic objective within all areas of the organisations activities. Indeed there really should be a concept of internal and external CRM. This would serve to focus the attention of the various organisational units on the development of effective intra-departmental working, communications and relationships between functional elements within the firms value chain. Whilst also enabling a view of each department or functions contribution to the firms efforts overall.


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