Using CRM to Attract and Retain Customers

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CRM software is also known as the Customer Relationship Management. It is an enterprise software which covers a wider set of software and applications which are designed to aid businesses to be able to manage their customer data and their interaction with customers, efficient access to business information, automate sales, customer support, marketing and further, to also be able to manage employees, the available vendors and the relationship between existing partners. The main approach of the software is to analyze the data of the company to the history of a customer so that the business might have room for improvement in its relations with its customers. Specifically, retaining the customers is the main agenda so as the sales could also be driven up. The one most important aspect of the Customer Relationship Management software approach is the systems of CRM which work at compiling information from a wide range of channels that are different which include the website of the company, email, telephone, marketing materials, live chat, and social media among many others. Through the approach and the systems that are being used to facilitate the Customer Relationship Management, businesses are able to learn about their target audiences and they can cater for their needs in the best manner possible (Kumar 2012). Despite that fact, the Customer Relationship Management software adaptation might lead to favoritism on some occasions, within a specific audience of the consumers. This might eventually lead to some customers not being satisfied and even defeating the whole purpose and the main concept of CRM. Toyota Company is a good example of a company that has implemented and uses the software. Through the Customer Relationship Software, Toyota Company has been able to increase their sales, they can manage their customer data effectively and even interact with their customers.

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The use of Customer Relationship Management software technology has formed an e-business strategy that has a very crucial front-end. Essentially, the software of Customer Relationship Management has surfaced as a weapon that is convivial in the hands of the laggards of the industry as well as the leaders to be able to cascade the suites of the business. The only point of touching that is formulated on this particular basis is the awareness that is among the corporatists to suffice the consumers who are already available to the companies, to an extent that is very large. Currently, in the business environments that are very first-paced and really competitive, it is important for any company to create and even maintain business relationships that are long lasting. In todays economy, Customer Relationship Management aids the managers to span their businesses up by supporting the sales and the marketing by creating interactions between the customer and the company that are very effective (Gentle 2002).

The Customer Relationship software is very crucial to the attracting and retaining of the customers, if it has been implemented effectively. CRM works as a customer service tool and it evident that effective customer services are what will keep the customers keep coming back each and every time and even further recommending other consumers. CRM was only used for large companies but recently, the trend has changed. The providers of the CRM have tailored some of their offerings for the smaller markets in business by providing the software-as-a-service option to integrate with other technologies and even to understand what it is that the small businesses want in regard to their relationships with their customers. The software-as-a-service (SaaS) has provided the Customer Relationship Management with the and the NetSuite with is efficient for small businesses (Kumar 2012).

A management system that constantly updates the needs and wants of the customers is a very powerful tool when it comes to marketing. The CRM software has made it possible for the company to know each and every necessary detail about the customer including their spending patterns, their gender and even age. This is a fine method of determining the wants of the customers. This makes it easier for the company to be able to develop the marketing strategies and even know the specific needs of each customer in particular. This criterion makes the customer feel like they are being appreciated. Constant update in their information is reflected to the system and the company is able to relate to that. If a customer feels important and their needs are known, then they stick with the company that they feel knows their needs. Customer satisfaction is also important when it comes to attracting and retaining customer as their feedback is important. CRM provides the forum where a customer is free to mention their dislikes and likes which increase the room for more improvement (Gentle 2002).

Additionally, in order to gain and retain customers using the Customer Relationship Management software, it is important to keep the very important customers. When close attention is paid to the reactions of customers one will be able to note if they want to leave. This is not supposed to happen as customers are retained by not letting the leave. Proper customer relationships have to be created between the company and the customer in order to be able to understand what they disliked. The CRM software enables one to view the history of a customer and thus one can determine the special offers that they can give to the so as to retain them. The other means of retaining a customer is through rewarding the most profitable ones. Word will go round and this will increase chances of new customers. In addition to that, regular follow ups aid in the retaining of customers. Personalization of the follow-ups boosts the relationships between the two parties (Kumar 2012).

Good examples of companies that have tried using the Customer Relationship Management software include Mathusek, Scotia McLeod, W & O Supply, and Dolphin software, StemCells, Marriot and Toyota. They met challenges as the implementation process is not an easy one but need a strategy. Toyota is the main focus as they used their own strategy to be able to implement the software into their system.

Toyota is a corporation that is multinational but Japanese. It is the second largest automaker in the world that makes trucks, buses, robots, automobiles and even providing services that are financial through their division known as the Toyota Financial Services. The company is part of Toyota Group which is the largest in the world. The company encompasses Lexus, Toyota, Scion and some parts of the Daihatsu brands, companies and divisions.

Although it is best known for the sales of cars, Toyota is also in the textile industry as it still makes looms which are automatic which sewing machines that are electric and computerized are currently. With the high competition in the automation industry, Toyota decided to implement of the Customer Relationship Management software. In response to the rapid growth of the industry and the high number of customer information, Toyota implemented the Lean CRM to be able to collect and store the information of their customers. It allowed for Toyota to be able to sense the changes in the behavior of each customer individually and to be able to respond in a manner which increases the retention of that particular customer.

The software has thus enabled Toyota to significantly sell more of their vehicles with a trade cycle that is shorter and a purchase rate that is higher as compared to the previous sales, which are at lower costs, significantly (Liker 2006).

Most of the large companies have different departments that are meant to deal with customers. Typically, the division is into sales and service and marketing. Toyota initially had more than three. This made it difficult for the software to be effective. They had to implement another strategy of collaboration. This meant that all the departments had to collaborate in order to effectively implement the Customer Relationship Management software. The departments agreed and signed to the Lean CRM A3 and made an agreement to coordinate loosely to their own activities of customer management with the CRM program.

The implementation of the software was not welcomed warmly by the Toyota departments but step by step, after improvement, more departments began engaging themselves to the Customer Relationship Management software. Currently, the Lean Customer Relationship Management program is very successful within the Toyota Company. All the Toyota outbound contacts of the customers are being managed by the software and leading to an increase of the ones inbounded. The effectiveness and efficiency of the activities of marketing have increased in a great range. This comes with half costs and a response that is doubled and very immediate in their rating in regards to the marketing campaigns. Even those dealers that contact the customers directly have been introduced into the program.

The success secret of the Customer Relationship Management software was not only due to the capabilities of CRM which was introduced through the Lean CRM, but also the process which was step-by-step in the particular changes which were associated with the programs that they have implemented. It is through the Customer Relationship Management software that Toyota has been able to provide the best customer care and customer services. They have also been able to make their call centers more efficient. They can now sell their cross products effectively and even help their staff to be able to close deals faster. The marketing and sales processes have also been simplified. It has enabled Toyota to discover new customers in the market and even being able to increase the revenues of their customers (Liker2006).

The other benefit of Toyota from the CRM software is that they are now able to view the responses made towards their campaigns, the shipping dates and the filling dates of orders, the data of the purchase and the sales, the accounting information, the data of web registration, the records of support and the services made, the web sales data and finally, the demographic data. The CRM software has been a success at Toyota because they had an implementation strategy that included breaking it down before generally introducing it.

Work Cited

Gentle, M. (2002). The CRM project management handbook: Building realistic expectations and

Managing risk. London: Kogan Page.Liker, J. K., & Meier, D. (2006). The Toyota way field book: A practical guide for implementing

Toyota's 4Ps. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Kumar, V., & Reinartz, W. (2012). Customer Relationship Management: Concept, Strategy, and

Tools. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

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