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International giants entering India in a big way was an impending trend only waiting to happen. Get set to impress customers and increase your bottom-line with the aid of the right CRM.
CRM will happen. It’s simply a question of how long it will take and in how many ways retailers will benefit. Customer Relationship Management is important, especially for your repeat customers and for them to feel camaraderie with you. A good CRM package will provide the right framework to retailers so that they can personalise merchandise purchases, services and responses across all communication channels for the customer’s satisfaction and for increased sales.
But before retailers invest on CRM software, they need to ensure it comes at optimal cost, with minimal risk, high value, and a higher Return on Investment (ROI). It should install quickly, interface readily with existing systems, be easy to learn and to use, and deliver uncompromising -performance.
India has more than 129 million mobile communication subscribers and the number is expected to go up to 300 million in 2008. This is a strong marketing channel retailers cannot afford to miss. “Truly loyal customers can’t imagine doing business with anyone else. They are your best means of advertising because they’ve become advocates for your company. They bore their friends with stories of how great you are,” writes Shaun Smith and Joe Wheeler, authors of Managing the Customer Experience.
To implement the right CRM, retailers need to analyse customer preferences and trends, and then merge analysis with inbound and outbound calling via CRM technology so that customers can communicate with the retail chain by fax, phone, web, SMS and the like. The CRM framework links and integrates these channels to individualise the customer’s experience and ensure satisfaction.
Similarly, competition must be kept under check. If a retailer offers volume discounts, its competitors must likewise offer comparable value to the customers. If a retailer has tools to reach more customers with personalised purchase offers, or to process orders faster, or with fewer errors, or more efficiently, other vendors must adapt or gradually surrender market share.
But unfortunately, only 30 percent of companies worldwide have actually implemented a commercial CRM software package. And most of these are only a year old. Of this minority, 54 percent have implemented just one part of CRM. With so much room for improvement in meeting customer demands, CRM can only help.
Contact centres form an integral part of CRM because they directly impact how customers feel about the retailer’s products, services and business. With an efficient system at the contact centre, retailers can help customers buy what they want and need. For instance, retailers are yet to utilise the opportunity of selling daily needs to a population that is using the latest technology to purchase almost everything.
If you are looking at moving to customer-centric marketing, this means that all customer functions are subject to CRM’S analytical processes. This helps retailers understand both how the customer base is presently segmented and, for the future, according to what retailing values. Other analyses identify new services, evaluate their ROI, shift focus from less to more profitable customers, etc. The outcome from CRM analytics is better service, improved planning and profitability, and more appropriate pricing.
CRM analysis can help retailers make a smooth shift to a customer-focused enterprise by allowing processes like differentiating customers into segments, discovering precise needs of customers and redesigning compensation and rewards to effect behavioural changes. This process establishes the context that stimulates the customer to shop and buy. Hardcore -marketers make their own analytical
If a retailer has tools to reach more customers with personalised purchase offers, or to process orders faster, or with fewer errors, or more efficiently, other vendors must adapt or gradually surrender market share.
understandings with the help of a CRM to evaluate what their customers need.
Better services imply the customer’s improved ability to make purchases. They will make informed decisions and be happy with their purchase. Such efficient shopping will only mean a patronising customer. For the retailers, this means higher transaction rate, increased revenues, and a wider profit margin.
Smart retailers are looking up new and critical CRM tools such as the unified agent desktop that allows customer service agents to respond faster and with greater accuracy and consistency every time a customer picks up the phone, accesses e-mails or chats. The unified agent desktop brings the customer into focus at the desktop and turns the agent’s screen into a hub that can access all enterprise applications and databases necessary to respond rapidly to the customer. The result is increased quality and decreased operating costs, leading to one of the most handsome ROIS in the industry. It also eliminates data redundancy like repeating customers with the same requests or relying on agents to recall the correct systems to enter a new customer record or service request.