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Introduction eCRM is a great way to stay front of mind with your customers and prospects, especially if the content

is genuine, thoughtful and relevant. Producing content, ongoing management of the campaign, data, processes and results can be a drain on sparse in-house resources but outsourcing is surprisingly cost-effective and simple. Consider the following progression for a moment, and let's see where eCRM can lead: 1. eCRM provides Access 2. Access creates Information 3. Information enables Measurement 4. Measurement is an imperative for Process Improvement 5. Process Improvement leads to Growth in Revenues & Profit Therefore, eCRM, well implemented, leads to Growth in Revenues & Profits, a bold assertion? This paper offers a definition of eCRM and explains why this progression is a valid.

As can be seen in Figure, CRM evolved out of the SFA (Sales Force Automation) systems from the early 90s. Prior to this, companies were not treating Sales & Marketing as priorities for IT investment. Areas such as Accounting, Office Automation and ERP were the money-spinners and it was difficult to find a seriously funded project for Sales & Marketing system. Today it is very different, CRM is considered as very important in most organizations and for many it has become a major element of their ongoing IT investment.

Of course, investment in any IT system has to ultimately contribute to increasing profitability. There is a close correlation between growth in revenues & profits and the benefits gained from well-implemented CRM, these benefits are: Retaining existing customers Selling more to existing customers Finding and winning new customers

Definition The eCRM or electronic customer relationship marketing concept is derived from e-commerce. It also uses net environment i.e., intranet, extranet and internet. Electronic CRM concerns all forms of managing relationships with customers making use of information technology (IT). eCRM is enterprises using IT to integrate internal organization resources and external marketing strategies to understand and fulfill their customers needs. Comparing with traditional CRM, the integrated information for eCRM intraorganizational collaboration can be more efficient to communicate with customers

The essence of CRM The exact meaning of CRM is still subject of heavy discussions. However, the overall goal can be seen as effectively managing differentiated relationships with all customers and communicating with them on an individual basis. Underlying thought is that companies realize that they can supercharge profits by acknowledging that different groups of customers vary widely in their behavior, desires, and responsiveness to marketing. Loyal customers can not only give operational companies sustained revenue but also advertise for new marketers. To reinforce the reliance of customers and create additional customer sources, firms utilize CRM to maintain the relationship as the general two categories B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-customer or business-to-consumer). Because of the needs and behaviors are different between B2B and B2C, the implementation of CRM should come from respective viewpoints. Towards E-CRM

In the early 1990s, the concept of relationship marketing was formally introduced into the services marketing literature. Financial services institutions, airlines and other service providers found it profitable to retain and reward existing customers rather than run after new customers. It was established that building closer relationships with the customers resulted in better returns to organizations through the following means: 1. Increased use of services by loyal customers. 2. Charging of price premiums for customized services. 3. Referrals by satisfied customers that brought in new customers. The concept developed for services marketing also found applications in the case of industrial and customer products. The conventional market approach based on 4 Ps (Product, Price, Place and Promotion) is strongly grounded in the industrial age where goods were mass-produced, mass distributed and mass-communicated using mass media. However, after the advent of Information era, it has become possible to target customers on a one-to-one and one-to-many basis and satisfy their individual needs. The concept of CRM when seen in the context of e-business or transactions over an electronic medium, it translates in to e-CRM, which essentially deals with managing customer interactions over the web. After the adoption of the Internet and availability of electronic channels of communication, it is becoming possible to capture customer related information intelligently at the interaction stage itself. E-CRM applications are the generic of application systems which handle customer interactions over these new electronic channels of communications. The whole model of CRM revolves around the customer life-cycle comprising the following four stages: 1. Customer requisition through referrals.

2. Customer development through personalization and customization. 3. Leveraging customer equity through cross-selling and up-selling. 4. Customer retention and referrals. In e-CRM these four steps of CRM are managed by using electronic media.

Differences between CRM and eCRM

Major differences between CRM and eCRM: Customer contacts CRM Contact with customer made through the retail store, phone, and fax. eCRM All of the traditional methods are used in addition to Internet, email, wireless, and PDA technologies. System interface CRM Implements the use of ERP systems, emphasis is on the back-end. eCRM Geared more toward front end, which interacts with the back-end through use of ERP systems, data warehouses, and data marts. System overhead (client computers) CRM The client must download various applications to view the webenabled applications. They would have to be rewritten for different platform.

eCRM Does not have these requirements because the client uses the browser. Customization and personalization of information CRM Views differ based on the audience, and personalized views are not available. Individual personalization requires program changes. eCRM Personalized individual views based on purchase history and preferences. Individual has ability to customize view. System focus CRM System (created for internal use) designed based on job function and products. Web applications designed for a single department or business unit. eCRM System (created for external use) designed based on customer needs. Web application designed for enterprise-wide use.


As the Internet is becoming more and more important in business life, many companies consider it as an opportunity to reduce customer-service costs, tighten customer relationships and most important, further personalize marketing messages and enable mass customization. ECRM is being adopted by companies because it increases customer loyalty and customer retention by improving customer satisfaction, one of the objectives of eCRM. E-loyalty results in long-term profits for online retailers because they incur less costs of recruiting new customers, plus they have an increase in customer

retention. Together with the creation of sales force automation (SFA), where electronic methods were used to gather data and analyze customer information, the trend of the upcoming Internet can be seen as the foundation of what we know as eCRM today. As we implement eCRM process, there are three steps life cycle: Data collection: About customers preference information for actively (answer knowledge) and passively (surfing record) ways via website, email, questionnaire. Data aggregation: Filter and analysis for firms specific needs to fulfill their customers. Customer interaction: According to customers need, company provide the proper feedback them. eCRM can be defined as activities to manage customer relationships by using the Internet, web browsers or other electronic touch points. The challenge hereby is to offer communication and information on the right topic, in the right amount, and at the right time that fits the customers specific needs. eCRM strategy components When enterprises integrate their customer information, there are three eCRM strategy components: Operational: Because of sharing information, the processes in business should make customers need as first and seamlessly implement. This avoids multiple times to bother customers and redundant process.

Analytical: Analysis helps company maintain a long-term relationship with customers. Collaborative: Due to improved communication technology, different departments in company implement (intra organizational) or work with business partners (inter organizational) more efficiently by sharing information. Implementing and integrating eCRM work

Non-electronic solution Several CRM software packages exist that can help companies in deploying CRM activities. Besides choosing one of these packages, companies can also choose to design and build their own solutions. In order to implement CRM in an effective way, one needs to consider the following factors: Create a customer-focused culture in the organization. Adopt customer-based managers to assess satisfaction. Develop an end-to-end process to serve customers. Recommend questions to be asked to help a customer solve a problem. Track all aspects of selling to customers, as well as prospects. Furthermore, CRM solutions are more effective once they are being implemented in other information systems used by the company. Examples are transaction processing system (TPS) to process data real-time, which can then be sent to the sales and finance departments in order to recalculate inventory and financial position quick and accurately. Once this information

is transferred back to the CRM software and services it could prevent customers from placing an order in the belief that an item is in stock while it is not. Cloud solution Today, more and more enterprise CRM systems move to cloud computing solution, "up from 8 percent of the CRM market in 2005 to 20 percent of the market in 2008, according to Gartner". Moving managing system into cloud, companies can cost efficiently as pay-per-use on manage, maintain, and upgrade etc. system and connect with their customers streamlined in the cloud. In cloud based CRM system, transaction can be recorded via CRM database immediately. Some enterprises CRM in cloud systems are web-based customers dont need to install an additional interface and the activities with businesses can be updated real-time. People may communicate on mobile devices to get the efficient services. Furthermore, customer/case experience and the interaction feedbacks are another way of CRM collaboration and integration information in corporate organization to improve businesses services. There are multifarious clouds CRM services for enterprise to use and here are some hints to the right CRM system: Assess your companys needs: some of enterprise CRM systems are featured Take advantage of free trials: comparison and familiarization each of the optional. Do the math: estimate the customer strategy for company budget. Consider mobile options: some system like Salesforce.com can be combined with other mobile device application.

Ask about security: consider whether the cloud CRM provider gives enough protect as your own. Make sure the sales team is on board: as the frontline of enterprise, the launched CRM system should be the help for sales. Know your exit strategy: understand the exit mechanism to keep flexibility.

Different levels of eCRM

In defining the scope of eCRM, three different levels can be distinguished: Foundational services: This includes the minimum necessary services such as web site effectiveness and responsiveness as well as order fulfillment. Customer-centered services: These services include order tracking, product configuration and customization as well as security/trust. Value-added services: These are extra services such as online auctions and online training and education. Self-services are becoming increasingly important in CRM activities. The rise of the Internet and eCRM has boosted the options for self-service activities. A critical success factor is the integration of such activities into traditional

channels. An example was Fords plan to sell cars directly to customers via its Web Site, which provoked an outcry among its dealers network. CRM activities are mainly of two different types. Reactive service is where the customer has a problem and contacts the company. Proactive service is where the manager has decided not to wait for the customer to contact the firm, but to be aggressive and contact the customer himself in order to establish a dialogue and solve problems. Many factors play a part in ensuring that the implementation any level of eCRM is successful. One obvious way it could be measured is by the ability for the system to add value to the existing business. There are four suggested implementation steps that affect the viability of a project like this: Developing customer-centric strategies Redesigning workflow management systems Re-engineering work processes Supporting with the right technologies


The effective and efficient employment of CRM activities cannot go without the remarks of safety and privacy. CRM systems depend on databases in which all kinds of customer data is stored. In general, the following rule applies: the more data, the better the service companies can deliver to individual customers. Some known examples of these problems are

conducting credit-card transaction online of the phenomenon known as 'cookies' used on the Internet in order to track someones information and behavior. The design and the quality of the website are two very important aspects that influences the level of trust customers experience and their willingness of reluctance to do a transaction or leave personal information. Privacy policies can be ineffective in relaying to customers how much of their information is being used. In a recent study by The University of Pennsylvania and University of California, it was revealed that over half the respondents have an incorrect understanding of how their information is being used. They believe that, if a company has a privacy policy, they will not share the customer's information with third party companies without the customer's express consent. Therefore, if marketers want to use consumer information for advertising purposes, they must clearly illustrate the ways in which they will use the customer's information and present the benefits of this in order to acquire the customer's consent. Privacy concerns are being addressed more and more. Legislation is being proposed that regulates the use of personal data. Also, Internet policy officials are calling for more performance measures of privacy policies.

E-CRM and its Benefits The long-term business relationships provide many potential benefits for banks and clients. It is generally less costly for any service firm (bank) to maintain and develop an existing client relationship (Berry 1983). The customer can also make transaction cost savings by developing a long-term relationship with bank. The numerous studies carried on in USA reveals that

transacting through Internet is much more economical than other channels. For instance, it has been estimated that while it costs nearly US $1.07 per transaction using the normal means, on the Net the costs comes to a mere cent. Even when compared with telephone banking (5 cents) and the ATMs (2.7 cents), the Net seems to have an edge. In addition, the strategic and social benefits may be considerable for both parties (Halinen 1989). A longterm relationship may, for instance produce strategic benefits for the bank in its marketing by generating references and credentials or it may create competitive advantage by building barriers to switching. The client on its part may enhance the quality of services offered by engaging in long-term business relationship with a bank (Berry & Parsuraman 1991). In Net bank in the financial statement can be viewed, printed or downloaded in any format for ease of analysis. Thus, Internet as a service-delivery channel shifts the control of transactions from the bank staff to the customer. Net bank customers find better information through websites than from the unwilling, less knowledgeable and non-cooperative banking staff. Thus high level of customer control that translates into customer satisfaction and repeat purchases the most critical advantage of e-CRM in banks. Other related benefits include decreased cost of sales and promotion, high supply-chain management integration and improved logistics management.

Conclusion In conclusion, eCRM takes conventional CRM to new heights. Combining the technologies of conventional and Web CRM opens Customer Relationship

Management to all participants in the process, inside and outside the enterprise. Users can access the CRM system via PCs or Laptops using Windows or via the Web using a Browser.

As we move towards WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) devices, costeffective access will increase still further. eCRM takes us one step further towards harnessing the true database marketing philosophy.