Technological environment is changing and people are adopting new and modernized methods. The conventional paper oriented environment is transforming into paperless environment and people are experiencing a mammoth change in the information industry. In this paper we would discuss the importance of CRM and the major categories of CRM. Besides that online features of federal Express (FEDEX) would also be discussed in this paper. This paper would give describe the effect to web enable services on organizations and how an organization gains competitive advantage through it.
Customer relationship management Customer relationship management (CRM) is a term of information technological industry and it is directly related with internet capabilities that facilitate an organization to manage the relations with the customers in an organized way (Buttle, 2008). For example an organization might create a database of customers which would give a detailed analysis of customers. This database would help the management in effectively developing relationships with its customers and it would also help the salesperson to approach the customers.
The customers on the other hand would be attached with the company and they can have information about newer products and services of the company (Buttle, 2008). CRM also helps the company to save costs and achieve sustainable competitive advantage. CRM is used by many organizations to convert the prospect customer into a customer, but the company must first have to attract the customers. Thanks to Information Technology, CRM software is more than often regarded as the latest innovation in this field of business.
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However it is necessary to understand that several CRM strategies have failed where CRM software was the only tool used in the development of the CRM strategy. Internet has allowed CRM applications to progress rapidly and they can integrate with the internet to achieve competitive advantage. Different types of CRM tools There are certain types of Customer Relationship Management applications and these applications are discussed below: Customer-facing Application A customer facing application is a tool of CRM that can be software, hardware or any aspect that allows the customer to directly deal with the problem.
The example of a CRM would be customer service centers that are opened 365 days, 24 hrs and that can help the customers to deal with their problems. Similarly, through UAN number the customers can ask any problem related to a service of the product that was purchased by the customer (Baran, Galka, & Strunk, 2007). These applications are widely used by multinationals around the world to effectively handle the customers. Organizations like IBM, Unilever, Barclays and nearly all the multinationals of the world facilitate their customer through this application.
Customer-Touching Application It is a type of CRM application through which the customer can direct interact and attain benefit from it without the involvement of an external source. Customers can alter their decisions and fix certain elements from their home (Anderson & Kerr, 2001). Personalized web pages and Ecommerce products are considered to be the most apt examples of Customer-touching applications. Through this application the organization can save its cost and the amount of labor invested.
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Customer Centric Intelligent Operations In depth analysis of customers and elements like data mining, data warehousing and certain data related reports are included in this application. The raw data of customer through different sources are gathered and then it is converted into meaningful formats. The customers can be marketed in an effective and efficient way because their needs are identified through this. Customer data can be categorized and arranged by application like Excel and SQL server (Baran, Galka, & Strunk, 2007).
Customer Relationship Management-Fed Ex FedEx is a multinational company that effectively manages its customer through its operations. The company is experienced in overnight delivery services and it is operated in more than 220 countries of the world. The company is actively participating in world issues through its philanthropic actions. They have actively used CRM applications and properly targeted the needs of the customer. The website of FedEx is user friendly and customer can scroll the entire website easily.
In the first page the customers can select their location and then they can avail the online services that are offered with respect to their location. Through the website customers can plan their entire order and they can schedule an order and find the rates of the entire order. Certain features of the website are online payments of bills and tracking of the entire order. Customers can track their entire order and see the location of the order. Customers can search the entire site and can explore the services that are offered by the company.
The biggest online advantage of FedEx is the through the link “find the FedEx solution” (FedEx, 2009). Customers are intelligently catered by this service because they can have technological oriented solutions through this service and the help of FedEx experts. The customer can select their industry and the services they need. Then they can also select the field of problem and search for the results (FedEx, 2009). Similarly customers can select a time of delivery and they can plan their entire operations of freight with the company.
Gaining Competitive Advantage Effectively managing the competition is quite necessary in today’s world. Organization that manages the competition and acquires a sustainable competitive advantage prospers in both the short and the long run. Many organizations offer online services on their web portal to gain competitive advantage (Kincaid, 2002). These services include online help and customer support services that are offered online. Online help and web based programming is considered to be a necessary tool of CRM.
This strategy is quite beneficial because it is very much cost effective and through this strategy a sustainable competitive advantage can be maintained. But achieving a sustainable advantage needs new and unconventional online strategies because the competitors can copy these strategies easily. Although, most companies have online CRM applications but new and novel approach is to be followed in order to attain the best results. A lively and interactive website can be a best option to increase its effectiveness.
FedEx offers online solutions to customer problems by not just generalizing the facts but they find out what is the actual problem by taking details. Similarly, their website is interesting and customers find it very user-friendly right from the first click. Before implementing the CRM application software’s it is necessary that the organization should evaluate it and they must implement it properly. Similarly, they must decide that whether to implement a new software or make profits from the existing one.
Therefore organization must invest in developing a proper website because they can have customer insights through different forums and questions that are placed on the website. In the way they can effectively target the customers and can attain benefits from them (Kincaid, 2002). The website is considered to be informal way to interact with the customers and customers also prefer this methodology. That is the reason why customers give detailed information to CRM applications that are developed online. Traditional CRM’s integration with the online technologies
Since the transformation phase of technology is going on and people are shifting from paper oriented to paper less environment. Organizations on the other hand are adopting this technology as it is more cost effective and beneficial for the company. The traditional features of CRM are amalgamating with online technologies and a novel approach is practiced nowadays by most of the organizations. Organizations which include banks, operational organizations and sales oriented organizations are adapting this strategy to manage their sales force and the activities that are related to sales.
Traditional CRM practices are costly and they consume heft amount of time and labor. These practices were performed manually and they did not produce the desired results. That is the reason why many organizations integrated their CRM activities and features with online technologies. This can be done easily through outsourcing the work to any other organization because this activity consumes time and cost. Many companies including FedEx have online CRM features and they are benefitting from it because most of the, have hired outside parties to manage these aspects.
List of References Anderson, K. , & Kerr, C. (2001). Customer Relationship Management . McGraw-Hill. Baran, R. , Galka, R. , & Strunk, D. (2007). Principles of Customer Relationship Management. South-Western College Pub. Buttle, F. (2008). Customer Relationship Management. Butterworth-Heinemann. FedEx. (2009). FedEx Solutions Tool. [online] available from <http://www. fedex. com/solutionstool/start. do? startover=true>[18 feburary 2009 Kincaid, J. (2002). Customer Relationship Management: Getting It Right! Prentice Hall.
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