Before we further delve into the article the onus lies on us to clarify the meaning of internal and external customers in the context of a business organization which is clarified below:
External Customers —
Those outside the organization who buy the goods and services the organization sells.
Internal Customers —
A way of defining another group inside the organization whose work depends on the work of your group. Therefore, they are your customers. Itâ€™s your responsibility to deliver what they need so that they can do their jobs properly.
Even for you as a manager whose area doesnâ€™t deal with external customers, this part of the definition still applies. First, you and your team support and add value to the individuals in your organization who do come into direct contact with customers. Again and again, the research has proven that external customer satisfaction is directly proportional to employee satisfaction. That means that the quality of support given to internal customers predicts the quality of support that is given to external customers. Second, consider your internal customers as advocates for your department or area. For you and your team, CRM is about growing advocates and finding new ways to add value.
Finally, what do we mean by â€œcustomer relationshipâ€ in todayâ€™s economy, where we do business with individuals and organizations whom we may never meet, may never want to meet, much less know in a person-to-person sense? CRM is about creating the feel of high touch in a high tech environment. Consider the success of Google.com. Both of us are frequent customers and neither of us has ever spoken to a human being during one of our service interactions. Yet, we each have a sense of relationship with Google> Why? Because the CRM tools support Googleâ€™s customer relationship strategy allow Google to:
Add value to customer transaction by identifying related items with their â€œcustomer who bought this laptop also boughtâ€ features, in much the same way that a retail assistant might suggest, related to complete a sale.
Reinforce a sense of relationship by recognizing repeat shoppers and targeting them with thank you ranging from thermal coffee cups to one-cent stamps to ease the transition to new postal rates.
In short, customers want to do business with organizations that understand what they want and need. Wherever you are in your organization, CRM is about managing relationships more effectively so you drive down costs while at the same time increasing the viability of your product and services offerings.
Know your Purpose:
Donâ€™t get enamored of the tools of CRM before becoming clear about your purpose and what your approach to creating, maintaining, and expanding customer relationships look like.
Having a customer database is not the same thing as having a CRM strategy. It is like mentioning about a software program say â€˜this program is wonderful for database of consumers, but the program canâ€™t write a letter on its own and get business unless initiated by the marketing executive.
Know your intention:
The more clarity you have about your CRM intention, the greater the likelihood that you will choose the appropriate tools to support it and that you will follow through on using them.
Share your Strategy:
Make sure your team members know what your CRM strategy is and how the tools youâ€™ve chosen support that strategy. One way is, a representative from another area of the organization to a staff meeting to explain how his or her area uses the customer data that your team members collect.
Working together for CRM:
At the Consumer Product Call Center, the Market research group wanted to add a short customer survey to the end of each customer call. The team leader there worried that both customers and staff would resent spending additional timeâ€”customers because it wasnâ€™t the purpose of their call and staff because of the pressures to handle a particular number of calls each shift. Engaging in dialogue with his marketing colleague about their needs and his concerns helped the CRM team to come up with a workable strategy. Using the power and flexibility of the existing software application callers are randomly selected to participate in surveys. Customers are asked if they would be willing to spend an additional few minutes answering three questions in return for a thank-you coupon. Customers who agree are transferred to an automated survey system, while service representatives are freed to respond to the next call.