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Implementation of Relationships as a Social Construction within CRM

Introduction

In recent years, the understanding of managing customer relationships successfully has become an alarming question for every organization that aims to be profitable and efficient. Consumers have different cultural and economic values of products and services, subsequently the organizations should adapt communication strategies accordingly. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is the most efficient and successful way of establishing relationships with customers. Such management approach presupposes not only managing and maintaining relationships, but also a social integration that provides friendly and positive relations between people. One can say that CTM is a strong personal bonding between staff and customers that depends on the social construction. Development of such bonding can drive any business to success and efficiency. Current essay intends to explain the entity of Customer Relationship Management as a way of social construction of employees and customers.

The Notion of Customer Relationship Management

Customer Relationship Management is an emotional and personal connection with customers that helps to identify the actual interests and needs of consumers, satisfy them and serve them in a proper way. Moreover, CRM involves the most sophisticated strategies for attracting customers as this is the basement for a fruitful and successful business. In the present times, many organizations use the efficient tools like CRM systems for the implementation of relationships. These are Sugar CRM, Buzzstream, Salesforce, and BatchBook. All these systems are implemented to improve the work with customers (Reinartz & Krafft, 2004).

Customer Relationship Management presupposes managing and analysis of data and interaction throughout the consumer lifestyle. Moreover, the objectives of CRM are to improve business relationships with customers, drive sales growth and assist in customer resistance. CRM refers to the systems that compile information concerning consumers, contacts between the company and customer. An efficient CRM can operate due to the personal information like social media, websites, direct mail and telephone. Customer-centric strategies, technologies, tools, and programs are the best ways to implement CRM within a company. One should mention that CRM builds cooperative and partnering relations with customers making them a part of their management (Peppard, 2000).

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CRM establishes new technologies and channels that benefit integration between customer services, sales, and marketing. It is a comprehensive process and strategy of finding, retaining and collaboration with selective customers that demand attention. These consumers are valuable; therefore, CRM is a way of achieving efficiency in the work with them. Building relationships with the customers has become a business for any organization or enterprise as it concerns marketing and strategic decision-making processes (Verhoef, 2003).

The advantages of CRM refer to the new opportunities for the organization. Firstly, the company understands and recognizes their customers. As a result, it knows what services and goods are suitable for them. Secondly, CR managers care about customers’ concerns, questions, and needs. Moreover, they can produce only products and services necessary for the customers. Thirdly, Customer Relationship Management is a way of increasing customers’ base, engaging in business online, improving efficiency and enhancing marketing towards the most profitable clients (Stojanov, 2009).

One should mention that CRM is a way of future priorities building such as organizational mobility, integration into the business process and customer relationship experience. Mobility is the result of technologies using like tablets and smartphones. Consequently, one can reach a customer online at all times. Innovative technologies create immediacy and a close relation between the consumer and organization. Integration into the business process presupposes gathering the information about customers, sales trends and services and products that are in a high demand. Customer relationship experience refers to the ways of the attraction and retaining of clients.

CRM depends on the external factors such as growing product diversification, fragmentation of customers’ market, lessening loyalty, high competition, price sensibility of consumers. Profitability, purchase frequency and increasing productivity prove about the efficiency of Customer Relationship Management.

Customer Relationship Management consists of three strategies. Acquisition approach refers to obtaining the most profitable customers. Moreover, this strategy presupposes finding these consumers. Telemarketing, Internet, direct e-mails and direct television are the ways for the customer acquisition. Customer development strategy concerns revenues received from customers’ buying of services and products. Moreover, this process also involves cross-cultural customers. Customer retention is a final strategy of CRM.  It influences organizational and financial state as to retain customers means to find the best approaches for satisfying their demands (Foss & Stone, 2001).

Thus, CRM totally depends on communication and  collaboration of the organization with their clients. As a result, one can say that managers deal with such process and social construction of customer within the company. Social construction includes customers’ experience, interests, demands and ethical principles (Peppard, 2000).

Social Construction as a Crucial Factor for Customer Relationship Management

Social construction is a leading factor for CRM. It includes customer ethics and work with the customers. Consumer ethics is essential for the company. Without a doubt, it depends on employee ethics. They are interrelated and interdependent. Client should feel respect, tolerance from employees. It is forbidden to abuse power, be rude, intolerant and inattentive. The company can lose clients very easily because of the violation of the ethical norms that can lead to complaints and even lawsuits. An intolerant attitude to customers can harm the reputation and image of the organization.

Good relationships between customers and the employees can be achieved through a right direction of CRM. Cooperation, support, mutual help, offering high-quality products and services, caring about customers and showing respect are the ways of mutual ethics between customers and employees. Moreover, all these factors prove about a good policy of Customer Relationship Management (Winer, 2001).

Consumer ethics is also crucial for Customer Relationship Management as complaints and lawsuits because of a bad quality can be harmful to the organizational reputation. For example, if a consumer is not tolerant and ethical, he can conflict with employees. As a result, this can damage the company’s image. The organization should include in their marketing planning the point about ethical training of employees. Another unethical situation can occur if a consumer sues to the court for the products of poor quality. It means that the company should do its best to avoid lawsuits. They should interchange products and ask excuses. The conflict can also appear if customers’ expectations do not coincide with company’s offerings of the product. As a result, the compromise and friendly relationships are the only ways of behaving with unethical consumers (Winer, 2001).

Strong emotions are usually both the cause and the effect of any conflict. In this case, the task of the customer relationship manager is either to prevent or manage them properly. For instance, the manager should take into account the fact that unplanned situation is risky since it may result in ‘increased conflicts, worse communication, diminished security and openness, culture clashes and stress’. Also, the customer relationship manager may conduct an anonymous survey among employees to clarify their urgent needs, analyse those, and build one’s conflict-resolving strategy on this basis (Bull, 2003).

Social construction of CRM within an organization is defined by the level of customers’ satisfaction which is crucial for the organization. Moreover, managers should use various surveys to determine the level of customer satisfaction. It means that the company should be interested in high quality of its services and products, as well as customer satisfaction. It is necessary for the company to be socially committed to social responsibility and attract new customers.

A customer feedback system should be developed by the organization.  Moreover, the company should involve more customers in estimation of its services in order to be aware of all strong and weak points. Customers’ comments and feedback will reveal everything about the company. Positive reviews always stimulate employees to work more persistently and to take care of their clients. Negative commentaries, on the contrary, may damage the reputation of the company. To improve the satisfaction level of its customers, managers should simplify the process of buying products and services. They should ask for feedback, offer some extra bonuses in order to get any present, and cultivate a positive company culture.

Conclusion

In conclusion, one should say that Customer Relationship Management is a must for the company’s policy. CRM is a way to manage and analyze data, improve business relationships with customers, drive sales growth and assist in customer resistance. Customer Relationship Management is a way of social construction of employees and consumers that provide a favourable and friendly environment at the company. Customer ethics, customer feedback system, satisfying customers’ demands are the ways of implementation of relationships a social construction within Customer Relationship Management. CRM opens new opportunities for the organization. Customer Relationship Management is a way increasing customers’ base, engaging in business online, improving efficiency and enhancing marketing towards the most profitable clients.

References

Bull, C. (2003). Strategic issues in a Customer Relationship Management

(CRM) Implementation. Business Process Management Journal, 9(5), 592-602.

Foss, B., & Stone, M. (2001). Successful customer relationship marketing. Kogan Page Publishers.

Loria, K. (2006). Customer relationship management implementation, Department of business administration and social sciences, Lulea University for Technology.

Peppard, J. (2000). Customer Relationship Management (CRM) in Financial Services.

European Management Journal, 18(3), 312–327.

Reinartz, W., & Krafft, M. (2004). The customer relationship management process: Its measurement and impact on performance. Journal of Marketing Research, 293(XLI), 293-305.

Stojanov, M. (2009). Importance of customer relationship management for a retail trade. The International Conference on Administration and Business. Retrieved from http://www.itchannel.ro/faa/778_pdfsam_ICEA_FAA_2009.pdf

Verhoef, P. (2003). Understanding the effect of customer relationship management efforts on customer retention and customer share development. Journal of Marketing, 67 (October), 30-45.

Winer, R. S. (2001). A framework for customer relationship management. California Management Review, 43(4), 89-104.

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