Article by : Dr. Suman Kumar Dawn, Associate Professor, Calcutta Business School
Indian companies are on a journey to become more customer-centric. In today’s commercial world, practice of dealing with existing customers and thriving business by getting more customers into loop is predominant and is mere a dilemma. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is the strongest and the most efficient approach in maintaining and creating relationships with customers. Customer relationship management is not only pure business but also ideate strong personal bonding within people. Increased competition, margin pressures and demanding customers are forcing companies to look at CRM in a big way. Companies those are likely to deploy CRM solutions in the future are pharmaceuticals, BPO, retail, FMCG, healthcare, airlines and the government. Manufacturing is also showing potential for CRM deployment with a focus on maintaining relationships with dealers and helping them enhance their sales and service capabilities.
“Segments with increasing competitive pressures and high-value sales will deploy sales force automation systems. Support-oriented organisations are the next big gainers if they deploy CRM. A typical example of this would be IT resellers and systems integrators, since they need both sales and service to remain competitive,” says Rajeev Mittal, Director, Small and Medium Solutions and Partners, Microsoft India.
Quality, consistency and customised care to the patient help the healthcare service providers to retain the patient as well as the entire family for their lifetime. “CRM technology is implemented to minimise cost and time in healthcare, and ultimately enhance the customer relationship,” says G Radhakrishnan Pillai, Head, IT, SRL Ranbaxy.
OYO Rooms has in a very short time emerged as India’s leading branded network of hotels offering standardized stay experiences at a competitive price. Millions of web and mobile visitors every month turn to OYO to book a room at more than 7000 hotels in 200+ cities. According to Vishal Jain – VP of Growth & Marketing at OYO told that OYO has been using a full 360-degree view of guest-interactions to drive sales in both online and offline channels. For this, OYO has deployed Blueshift, with its advanced ability to ingest and process many data sources from online and offline activity, quickly segment specific audiences and operate in real-time across multiple channels. This has helped us build a better user experience spanning mobile and email. Offline and call centre bookings can now be coupled with each customer’s online behaviour to deliver relevant recommendations as well as price-drop alerts that are customised for the individual. Following tie-up with Blueshift, OYO was able to rapidly launch campaigns delivering more than 50 million personalized messages per month, across various channels such as email, mobile notifications and SMS.
Pizza Hut recognises frequent callers and the context of their call enabling the customer to be routed to the agent who best fulfils their requirements, where it is a new order, changes to an existing order or a status enquiry on an existing order. Pizza Hut operators access up to-date information on its outlets in the catchment area , enabling them to select Pizza Hut store that fulfils the customer order quickest , thereby meeting it commitment to deliver hot pizza quickly. The new service using IT offered by Hindustan Unilever was intended to be friendly and personal. For this, an innovative communication route was adopted. The entire service was branded as “Infra Jini” to give users an Idea of the friendly and personal nature of the service. “This little “infrastructure genie” gave the service a personal touch and was popularised by means of posters and mailers. The Infra Jini is also present on the desktops as a clickable icon , which took the user to the website from where he could log a call online. Taj Hotels provide the “frequent customer “with much higher luxury facilities at no extra cost. Cross word bookstall allows its customers to go through any book without any compulsion to purchase the book. Airtel customers in Mumbai are given a special feature along with their connection which helps them to perform the famous Siddhi Vinayaka pooja by simply sending a sms nicknamed vpuja51.
i. CRM obtains better customer satisfaction.
ii. Servicing, marketing, and selling products to customers can be carried out in an organized and systematic way.
iii. Better services to customers can be done through improved understanding of issues and this in turn helps in increasing customer loyalty and decreasing customer dissatisfaction.
iv. Receive continuous feedback from your customers regarding your products and services.
Club Mahindra’s Holiday Experience profilers (HEP) aim to provide instant response to customer feedback at its resorts. The HEP’s are touch screen kiosks set up at the company’s resorts in Goa, Munnar and Binsar. Club Mahindra is probably the only timeshare company with a TV campaign and the only such company in India to have a toll free number for reservations. Club Mahindra has launched an initiative called cruise gallery, which is a tie up with an American company, International cruise and Excursions, to provide its members all-inclusive cruises to popular destinations worldwide.
Coca-Cola India says it trains consumer response coordinators (CRCs), who in turn train their sales teams to understand and implement its global systems. According to Sunil Gupta, Vice-President, Public Affairs, Coca-Cola India, the CRM system generates daily, weekly, monthly and annual reports that keep the management aware of routine and evolving consumer concerns, with management reviews undertaken routinely. Similarly, Chennai-based FMCG company CavinKare Pvt Ltd, meets up with identified members of consumer panels once a quarter for every brand in its portfolio to take first level feedback on user experience or to test a hypothesis based on feedback from the sales force. A consumer durable brand like Videocon or BPL or LG and Style SPA has a number of product categories and could attempt cross selling these products to appropriate consumers who have tried out one products of the brand.
Carlo M. Donati, Chairman & Managing Director of foods major Nestle India, whose consumer-end CRM-driven initiatives include setting up `affinity groups' like the Maggi Club, the Nestle Kitchen in partnership with Online Shopping, Rediffmail, Latest India News, Business, Bollywood, Sports, Stock, Live Cricket Score, Money, Movie Reviews, and Cook-n-Serve interactive cooking demos. Dabur India, which is also now toying with the idea of setting up call centres with toll-free numbers or interactive Web sites or both. "The problem of the consumers being too many and too scattered remains. But we do recognise that CRM is an emerging industry trend, the effort would be to provide a platform to the consumer to get closer to the company and encouraging her to offer solutions, feedback and suggestions,'' observes Sunil Duggal, Chief Executive Officer, Dabur India.