Sunday , 24 March 2019

Managing customer relationships

Manu Anand

Efficiently dealing with customers and providing them with what they need increases customer satisfaction which further increases the chances of getting more business. Establishing and maintaining good relationship with customers is the fundamental element of running any business or organisation successfully.

What it is about: Customer Relationship Management or CRM merges marketing techniques with information technology to organise, computerise and coordinate business processes for sales activities, marketing, customer service and technical support. The CRM cycle can be briefly described as learning from customers and prospects, creating value for customers and prospects, creating loyalty, acquiring new customers and creating profits. Customer relationship management is not only pure business but also about strong personal bonding amongst people.

How it works: Once this personal and emotional linkage is built, it is very easy for any organisation to identify the actual needs of customers and help serve them in a better way. CRM has a historical view and analysis of all the acquired or to be acquired customers. This helps in reduced searching and correlating customers and to foresee customer needs effectively and increase business. The key elements to a successful customer relationship management plan are people, process and technology. If one of these foundations is not sound, the entire CRM structure will crumble.

What they do: They solve customer requests proactively, offer ideas and insights to improve the customer’s issues and challenges. The customer relationship manager will follow up on every issue and ensure complete satisfaction and maximum utilisation of the product or services sold to customers. They are responsible for building customer relationships, managing accounts, and developing new programmes that facilitate positive alliances between companies and customers.  Responsibilities: CRM manager is responsible for retention campaigns, from conceptualisation through to analysis. This includes idea generation, proposal preparation, overseeing the production process and execution. They manage relationships with customers systematically, efficiently and profitably and search out and gain new clients, work to expand and retain existing client relationships, strengthen client commitment, reduce costs and increase productivity and profits for the company by solidifying customer satisfaction, loyalty and support. They manage marketing campaigns and generate quality leads for the sales team.

Course details: Postgraduate diploma in customer relationship management programme aims to address the growth in the service industry and the need for leadership skills in services marketing and managing the customer supplier relationship. The programme curriculum is designed to equip students with knowledge and skills related to services marketing, customer service, customer retention/relationship management, call centre management, account management, service design and service quality management.

Eligibility: Graduates in any discipline (BSc, BE, BTech (computer science) or MCA degree) can create a career in customer relationship management. There is no specified undergraduate or postgraduate course in CRM, except MBA in CRM and marketing. Candidates with MBA are in demand for the positions of customer relationship manager in reputed firms. But opportunities are also available for graduates who have successfully completed a CRM course with excellent interpersonal skills and work experience.

Institutes: IIM, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Lucknow; JK Business School, Gurgaon; XLRI Xavier School of Management, Jamshedpur;  Apeejay School of Management, New Delhi; Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning; Indian Business School of Advanced Management Studies, Mumbai; AMITY Centre for CRM, Noida; National Institute of Retail Management (NIRM), Mumbai; Indian School of Business Management and Administration (ISBM), New Delhi; Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi University; Management Development Institute, Gurgaon and FORE School of Management, New Delhi. This list is only indicative and candidates are advised to exercise due diligence before applying to any of the institutes.

Careers: After completing the customer relationship management course students can engage in various corporate designations such as manager-client servicing, customer relationship manager, CRM specialist, relationship manager and product manager.

Employment avenues: Banking, e-commerce sectors, finance, accounting, insurance, research, legal, IT, management, sales, marketing, manufacturing and consulting organisations.

Salary: In India a graduate or postgraduate customer relationship manager can earn a starting salary in the ranging from `15000 to `25000 per month. An experienced and qualified customer relationship manager can earn more than `60,000 per month. The average pay for a customer relationship manager (CRM) is `4 lakh per year.

Growth scope: The role is very demanding in terms of the work assigned. Growth in this area depends on one’s capacity to bring more business to the organisation. The demand is set to rise in the next five years with expanding businesses. The competition for this position will become tougher as employers will prefer candidates with specialised skills. Specialisation will be required as a lot of technical changes are also taking place in the business.

Skills required: One should be well organised, possess interpersonal and leadership skills, and also be understanding, tactful and patient. He/she should have problem-solving and active listening skills; knowledge of word processing, desktop publishing, graphics and video software; good administrative skills, communication and presentation skills. The candidate should also be good at strategising.

Customer relationship management strategies have given a new outlook to all suppliers and customers to keep the business going under an estimable relationship by fulfilling mutual needs of buying and selling. In a world where there are countless companies vying for one’s attention, special treatment and customised services are likely to boost the credibility and preference of the company in the eyes of individual clients and that is the primary focus of CRM.

Director Alpha Mindz

Please like & share: