In retailing domain, one of the most important things is increasing the customer satifaction and the customer loyalty. To reach the goals, we need to understand CRM (Customer Relationship Management) firstly, then we can take steps to improve them. In this blog, I’ll talk about this with the following points:
- What is CRM ?
- How does CRM help retailers ?
- Applications in retailing
- CRM application in other industries
What is CRM ?
Customer relationship management (CRM) refers to the principles, practices, and guidelines that an organization follows when interacting with its customers. From the organization’s point of view, this entire relationship encompasses direct interactions with customers, such as sales and service-related processes, forecasting, and the analysis of customer trends and behaviors. Ultimately, CRM serves to enhance the customer’s overall experience.
How does CRM help retailers ?
SAP INSIGHTS shows us five biggest benefits of CRM:
- Improved customer experience: Give contact center reps and field service technicians a 360° view of customers – so they can deliver personalized customer experiences and resolve issues quickly.
- Increased customer retention: Wow your customers with personalized service that wins loyalty. Run real-time analytics to identify the best offers, the right timing, and the optimal channel.
- Higher sales revenue: Boost pipeline visibility and sell more – with integrated tools for sales force automation, lead management, forecasting, cross-selling, e-commerce, and more.
- Greater process efficiency: Help your sales, marketing, and service teams accomplish more with less effort – by taking advantage of automated processes and scheduled follow-up prompts.
- Work smarter – better collaboration: Share information across teams, departments, and internal and external stakeholders with collaborative CRM – to better serve customers at every touchpoint.
Applications in retailing
Khalifa, Mohamed, and Ning Shen  developped, operationalized and empirically tested a temporal model explaining the relationship between three categories of eCRM (i.e., pre-purchase, at-purchase and post-purchase eCRM) and online customer satisfaction at two phases of the customer lifecycle, i.e., attraction and retention.
They used the customer lifecycle framework to conceptualize satisfaction and relied on the transaction cycle to classify eCRM features. Their research model identifies the important features for three types of eCRM, i.e., pre-purchase, at-purchase, and post-purchase eCRM:
- Pre-purchase eCRM features
- Site customization
- Customer education
- Alternative channels
- Loyalty program membership
- Search capabilities
- At-purchase eCRM features
- Product customization
- Payment methods
- Purchase conditions
- Comparative shopping
- Dynamic pricing
- Post-purchase eCRM features
- Online sale of spare parts
- Problem solving
- Feedback channels
- Order tracking
- Online community
- Web center
Their research found that the significance and magnitude of the effects of product customization, website customization and dynamic pricing reflect the perceived importance of eCRM activities that are intended to support the one-to-one paradigm shift: transforming the relationship between the firm and the customer from a one-to-many mode into a one-to-one mode. Other eCRM drivers of customer satisfaction include alerts, search capabilities, order tracking and problem solving. They represent another transformation of the relationship between the firm and the customer: from passive to active. Another significant variable, i.e., online community, is intended for yet another paradigm shift: many-to-many marketing, where the customers are involved in providing value to each other.
Moreover, Khalid Rababah, Haslina Mohd, and Huda Ibrahim  suggested an important step before the implementation of CRM programs/systems, which is the creation and communication of customer-oriented culture within the organizational. The purpose of this step is to be as a pre-implementation plan for CRM programs/systems in which, a better understanding of the concept of CRM and the sense and awareness of the CRM program/system are created within the organization.
CRM application in other industries
Except the application of CRM in retailing, CRM is also important in many other industries:
- Banking: Due to the tough competition in the banking industry in Jordan, it is very necessary for financial institutions to build and maintain a strong relationship with the customers in order to achieve the ultimate goal of customer satisfaction. The statistical analysis of Azzam, K  revealed that there is a significant relationship between the independent variables(i.e., CRM elements represented by service quality, employee’s behavior, customer data base, solving customer problems physical environment; and social network interaction) and customer satisfaction as a dependent variable in the services banking industry.
- Education: The study of Olaleke, Oluseye Olaleke, Tairat Taiye Taiye, and Emmanuel Olumide Olumide  explored the ways in which student satisfaction can be achieved with the use of customer relationship management. Their research findings showed that student’s willingness to recommend to others increases when the student lifecycle in the university is well managed. It was also discovered that strong parent relationship management at the University enhances the student’s willingness to recommend their Universities to others. It is therefore recommended that Universities should adopt effective customer relationship management strategies to achieve student satisfaction.
- Mobile telecom: With the expansive growth of mobile commerce come opportunities for business and mobile service providers. To distinguish its service from another’s and build a loyal customer base, a mobile service provider must look beyond technology and appeal to their customers’ individuality through CRM. A study of Chen, Ja-Shen, and Russell KH Ching  examined the relationships of CRM practices and mobile services with customer loyalty, and the moderating effects of brand image was conducted. The results suggest that all contribute to loyalty. However, brand image moderates the relationships of customer service and customization, and mobile usage with customer loyalty.
This blog talked about what is CRM and its 5 biggest benefits, it also presented the application in retailing and other industies, such as banking, education and mobile telecom. Hope it’s useful for you!
-  Khalifa, Mohamed, and Ning Shen. “Effects of electronic customer relationship management on customer satisfaction: A temporal model.” In System Sciences, 2005. HICSS’05. Proceedings of the 38th Annual Hawaii International Conference on, pp. 171a-171a. IEEE, 2005.
-  Saeed Awadh Bin-Nashwan, Haslinda Hassan. “Impact of customer relationship management (CRM) on customer satisfaction and loyalty: A systematic review.” Journal of Advanced Research in Business and Management Studies 6, Issue 1 (2017) 86-10.
-  Khalid Rababah, Haslina Mohd, and Huda Ibrahim. “Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Processes from Theory to Practice: The Pre-implementation Plan of CRM System.” International Journal of e-Education, e-Business, e-Management and e-Learning, Vol. 1, No. 1, April 2011
-  Azzam, K. “The Impact of Customer Relationship Management on Customer Satisfaction in the Banking Industry–A Case of Jordan.” European Journal of Business and Management 6, no. 32 (2014): 99-112.
-  Olaleke, Oluseye Olaleke, Tairat Taiye Taiye, and Emmanuel Olumide Olumide. “Customer Relationship Management Approach and Student Satisfaction in Higher Education Marketing.” Journal of Competitiveness 6, no.3 (2014): 49-62.
-  Chen, Ja-Shen, and Russell KH Ching. “The effects of mobile customer relationship management on customer loyalty: brand image does matter.” In System Sciences, 2007. HICSS 2007. 40th Annual Hawaii International Conference on, pp. 151b-151b. IEEE, 2007.
- SAP INSIGHTS, “What Is CRM Today?”, insights.sap.com. [Online]. Available: https://insights.sap.com/what-is-crm/
- Marshall Hargrave, “Customer Relationship Management (CRM)”, investopedia.com. [Online]. Available: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/customer_relation_management.asp
- Tumisu, “smileys satisfaction du client”, pixabay.com. [Online]. Available: https://pixabay.com/fr/photos/smileys-satisfaction-du-client-5617876/