Category: Why CRM?

Excelling in Service Quality

It is a dream of every services organization right from coffee shop to hi-tech professional services organization to excel in service quality. It is easier said than done. Measuring service quality is lot more difficult than measuring product performance due to many factors. Some of the key factors that differentiate service quality among service providers are explained by SERVQUAL model. The easiest way to understand the model is to take the most common example of our experiences in restaurants as we all know just the food quality alone may not be a very compelling reason for us to go to specific restaurant than another. I tried to present below the five dimensions of SERVQUAL model, their definitions and their applicability to a restaurant scenario

Tangibles: Appearance of physical facilities, equipment, personal and communication materials. This has to be considered as basic hygiene factor (if it is not there it would create a big dissatisfaction, if there not a great differentiator) that everyone expects from a service organization. In the context of restaurant it could be anything like hygiene of the place, well dressed staff, neatly arranged chairs and table, presenting the dishes in the right format etc

Reliability: Ability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately. This is a very important aspect as you would never go back to the restaurant if he assures you the food in 5 minutes but takes more than 30 minutes to serve (no wonder why companies like Dominos promises 20 minutes guaranteed delivery). Other factors like consistency in the taste of the food every time, availability of your favourite food whenever you go, no mistakes in taking / delivering orders, error free billing etc are other reliable factors that you obviously expect from the Restaurant

Responsiveness: willingness to help customer and perform prompt service. I believe many of you would have the experienced a situation of where the waiter vanishes after serving (dumping) the first round of orders. You have to really look around every nook and corner of the restaurant to locate to get even a glass of water. These aspects go under responsiveness

Assurance: Knowledge and courtesy of employees and their ability to convey trust and confidence. Factors like the ability of the waiters to explain us the ingredients of the menu items, ability to recommend the right food depending on your requirements (less spicy, hot etc), some accreditation/ certifications from Organizations like http://www.burrp.com etc goes under the assurance aspects of Service delivery

Finally Empathy: Providing care and individualized attention to the customers. This is a significant differentiator. Some of factors like the special attention given by the restaurant staff to kids, elderly, physically challenged people etc are examples of empathy. Promptly replacing a dish that is not in good form or shape without arguing with customers by understanding the concerns from customer stand point is also an example of Empathy

I presume with a good understanding on the above, it is no big deal to map the above to whatever services your organization delivers to ensure they are taken care to excel in service quality. Feel free to post on what does each of the parameter means in your organization’s context

Venkatesan Sundaram

Senior Director, CRMIT

(Originally Published in : http://venkysundaram.wordpress.com/2012/03/25/excelling-in-service-quality/)

Growing Into Social CRM

During my childhood days, whenever I used to receive gifts from my family relations, one thing would always confound me, Volume of oversized clothing that I received from aunts, grandparents and family friends was really surprising. This usually left me with two conclusions, either my relatives were not paying attention or they overrated my physical appearance in a way that reflected my personality. However, eventually I actually grew into those clothes. Social CRM is like those gifts for most of the businesses. It may not fit immediately, but given time and the evolution of business, we are likely to grow into it.

Social CRM Fact

In general, CRM arrives via the sales team and then spreads its influence into marketing. This is a natural fit CRM. And then, as the businesses grow, data captured in CRM systems is seen as a valuable source by people serving different roles.

But when we talk about CRM failure, we consider force fit situations, where CRM application is just brought in and the workers and various departments are not ready to use it. And because the adoption rate is really bad, the entire endeavor receives a black mark. However, in reality CRM could have been a success. This is how CRM goes, but the growth is not driven by business issues alone.

Other Scenario

Social networking has been instilled into private lives of people and now they are enthusiastic to bring the ease of communication into their workplace. This clearly means that most of the organizations already have the willingness to accept and take on Social CRM. For some staff members, age barrier and change management may be a big concern because there is still little lack of understanding the fact “what does SOCIAL mean?” and how it can facilitate in enhancing customer relationships.

We never get our kid track spikes for a race before he is actually able to walk on his own. And same goes for Social CRM. So, it is always better to have the feet under you with a good CRM groundwork before you actually get on board with a full-blown social CRM initiative.

Charu Mehta

CRM Consultant, CRMIT

Misusing CRM : How to understand / avoid this

How many times have you seen a person trying to use a hammer while fixing a car’s engine, despite knowing the fact that he will not succeed? Or may be somebody trying to drive a nail from the rubberized side of a screwdriver, which is equally useless. We all know that every tool has a purpose, but still there are some always looking for an opportunity to use a tool for a reason other than what it is designed for. Same is the case with CRM.

Some businesses often make the mistake of taking Customer Relationship Management as software where all the data can be populated and problems will be solved magically. However, the truth is, CRM works like a discipline, where CRM software can be used to upgrade the discipline and automate its data management features. It is a tool and only using it right can facilitate you in finding success. Its applications do not create a problem, but the pesky users who work with it make it happen. Let’s have a look at common misuses of CRM.

CRM Systems & Sales Managers

With one of the toughest job profiles in an organization, sales managers are always fully loaded with the responsibility of motivating and communicating with group of people regarding byzantine information, be it lead changes, new collateral, sales contests and so on. Therefore, sales managers get an automated insight into sales pipeline through Customer Relationship Management software via how quickly sales staff enters the data into CRM. Though blunt words from managers, at times, can prove helpful for salespeople, but overdoing it may cause a drop in usage of CRM system. And due to the unpleasant behavior of the manager, sales staff will quickly catch on to the source of his anger and will gradually stop using CRM system, thinking that why load the system with data that will ultimately drive manager to turn around and use the data against them. So, if sales managers do not want to get into a situation where they will have only a partial idea of how the pipeline looks like, they should be careful while using info from CRM system.

CRM : A Silo Or Tool for Breaking Silos?

CRM is very good at collecting data, be it comprehensive reports or customer records, but these are just a way to increase the office paper costs, particularly if not put to some use. This is a common problem, because many organizations make sure that data is flowing into the system and is keeping sales organized, but actually fail to connect with the rest of the organization. The data that was equally helpful for support, marketing and R&D team may not be able to make it to other constituents, just because there is no pathway. Now, this is an organizational issue that should be tackled at the outset of CRM strategy development. So, it is always advisable to use CRM system in a way that it breaks down silos, rather of becoming a silo itself.

Charu Mehta

CRM Consultant, CRMIT

Oracle Fusion CRM : New Features

Already being delivered as a comprehensive suite of modular applications, Oracle Fusion apps are enriched with the potential of coexisting with existing Oracle apps. This pioneered advancement not only matches the current business needs and improves efficacy of the existing system, but also ensures a new level of performance. Here are some new features of Fusion CRM that are worth sharing…

Customizable Dashboards: Are you facing problems in finding specific insight to data that you need? If yes Fusion CRM has a solution for you. It allows you to simply customize your sales dashboards with smarter reports. Know more about this feature by just following this You tube video link
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCotrQ8H6gM&feature=related

Contact Data Quality: Can you keep bad data from bugging down your CRM system? With fusion CRM it is possible. From automatically validating the record to checking records for duplicate data, Fusion CRM does it all. To find how Fusion CRM built in data management dashboard helps with ongoing data cleansing and taking immediate corrective action , click here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sp0NEpJZT4Y&feature=related

Native Outlook Client: Is your sales team double entering customer interactions or not entering them at all? Fusion CRM has a true outlook plug-in that avoids manually entering information from outlook to CRM. All you need to do is create your mail in outlook and share it with fusion CRM automatically. Know more about how to make better communication and coordination with the team, by just clicking here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkyN6Pcyntg&feature=related

Native Mobile App: Do you need to work with your customer data away from your laptop. Fusion CRM lets you sell smarter wherever you are. You can simply use fusion mobile to access contacts, accounts and opportunities. To know how, view this You Tube video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKy4xn62wyk&feature=related

Customizations Made Simple: Do you need IT help for customizations? With Fusion CRM you can tailor the system without waiting for IT. Follow this link and know how this new feature can assist you all the way.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yE4Ys-qMJZU&feature=related

Territory Management: Assigning territory offline always creates gaps and overlaps, thus preventing you from maximizing your revenue. But with Fusion CRM you can model your territories right within the system. Know more about deploying your territories with confidence by clicking this video link
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXCg21ttosw&feature=related

Sales Coach: How do you make every sales performer a top performer? Well, Fusion CRM coaches every representative with your best practices. Click here to know how reps can continue getting best practice sales that can coach all the way through to close
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBdB8ME5e2E&feature=related

Opportunity Landscape: Are you spending too much on prospecting? Fusion CRM allows you to keep a check on lead quality and aging. So, to learn how this new feature facilitates with less prospecting and more selling, just follow the link here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZ4RiIEejR0&feature=related

Integrated Sales Contracts: Is completing your contract harder than selling? Fusion CRM allows your sales people to create contract faster. It makes it simple to preview contracts and generate printable version for the customers. Follow the link to know how you can also be freed from delays, thus leaving you more time to sell
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwXtZHCYNtY&feature=related

Chitti babu & Charu Mehta,

CRM Consultants, CRMIT

Innovative Newsletter

Recently I got an Email Newsletter which had this subject line : “What To Do With Your Riches From The Facebook IPO?”

Obviously, I am not going to get any riches from the Facebook IPO, so I got curious who is writing to me with such a SPAMish, yet cheeky subject line. I started reading this mail immediately (Very rare, for a mass distributed mail!).

The mail was as interesting as the subject line. It went like this : (Edited slightly, to skip some unnecessary details)

Hello,

As you may know, there are over a few thousand new millionaires in the Bay Area this afternoon. You may want a few ways to spend that cool million that may have just landed in your lap.

Here’s my advice on things you can do with your newfound nest-egg:

1. Open a Jazzercise studio

2. Take a few hundred friends on the Kiss Kruise

4. Get a butler for the next 15 years

5. Buy a medium-sized island

9. Purchase 4 Manhattan parking spots

10. Call my financial advisor to turn it into a cool 1.1 million.

Regards,
Adam

P.S. Just in case you didn’t make a windfall in this IPO, feel free to grab yourself a no-cost 30-day trial silver membership in our Community so you don’t miss the next big thing in social CRM.

Brilliant mail. Puts things in the right perspective, in a humor filled style and sticks immediately:

  • The mail talks about something real, recent and big. You would have read about Facebook IPO somewhere or heard about it in the news. So you would immediately connect with this mail
  • Those ideas are super fun (and real, I assume)
  • Unlike other SPAM mails, this mail may be ‘real’ for few people, if they were associated with Facebook in its early days and got some shares
  • So, what if you are not one of those lucky fellows? No problem, join our Social CRM community and you will make millions in the next big IPO, because we are going to teach you how to spot such good eggs early
  • If the same message is presented without all this additional drama, it would have become a routine text and ignored, most likely

Once again, let me use the ‘Brilliant’ word here. This is as personal and effective a mass circulated newsletter can get. Love it!

Naga Chokkanathan

Director, Presales & Innovation, CRMIT

PS: The mail was from Author of “The Social Customer”, Adam Metz on behalf of his company Metz Consulting. Well done team!

Oracle Fusion CRM : All that you need to know!

While other CRMs are just focusing on finding a way to facilitate sales reps to sell smartly, Oracle Fusion CRM helps sales professionals to outmaneuver their competition by planning, viewing, working together and closing smarter. This recently unveiled cloud service is a comprehensive sales suite solution that is sure to drive better sales performance management.

A Sneak Peak

Oracle Fusion CRM is not just a part of the most complete set of enterprise grade services available these days, but is also the smartest CRM solution available in cloud. Whether you require strengthening the power of your enterprise or you need vendor accountability, Oracle Fusion CRM is the best solution that offers high quality CRM capabilities and drives smarter selling.

How it works?

This brand new cloud service facilitates in incorporating sales territory management with quota management to assist businesses optimize resource allocation. In addition to this, it also combines customer and product master data with all CRM processes and helps sales representatives to spotlight their efforts on solutions.

It not just perks up lead generation processes by organizing customer dialogs with multi-stage campaigns and consistent lead qualification processes, but also enables businesses to bring a secured customer center for all CRM business processes which are supported by a common 360˚ view of customer info. The best part is that it supports various choices of deployment models by offering flexibility between on-premise deployments and public & private cloud.

Benefits

  • This extensible, flexible and modular advancement for rapid adoption provides role based user experience, thus endowing sales representatives, executives and managers with information when they need
  • Its 100% standard based infrastructure trims down the cost of implementation, staffing and perpetuation
  • It’s availability on demand offers true value for money.

CRMIT is taking initiatives to deliver Oracle Fusion CRM as a complete suite of modular applications that will work together with existing applications portfolio to evolve business to a new level of performance. So, if you also want to make the most of business intelligence that can bring unparalleled insight into sales planning and performance management, then Oracle Fusion CRM is the one stop solution for you.

Charu Mehta

CRM Consultant, CRMIT

Listening To Customers : Very Valuable!

Here is a wonderful CRM story I read today, about listening to your customers!

J Sainsbury Plc, a London based prominent retailer has recently decided to chang the name of their “Tiger” bread to “Giraffe” bread. Reason? Feedback from a customer!

So, what’s new? Everyone listens to customer feedback, once in a while they change the product name, Nothing great!

True. But this news item is unique because, the feedback actually came from a 3 year old baby, and the big fat organization listened to this very young customer and decided to make the required changes.

Lily Robinson, the now-famous baby who gave that feedback, saw the tiger bread and stated that it has more resemblance to Giraffe Bread.

Chris King, working in J Sainsbury’s customer service team picked up Lily’s letter and replied “renaming tiger bread giraffe bread is a brilliant idea, it looks much more like the blotches on a giraffe than the stripes on a tiger, doesn’t it?” and he thanked little Lily Robinson for helping them see the spots for what they are.

Reading this story, one thing that really stroke my mind was how listening to customers can prove helpful. We all are familiar with the fact that listening is one of the most important skills, when dealing with customers, but do we really know how to listen?

Well, the reality is that we just pretend to listen and usually, try to overcome the situations by stating “thinking about your response” or may be “wondering how this will impact your work”.

To really listen to our customers, we need to put ego aside and open ourselves to the customers. Although this is difficult, it is an effective way to drive a positive impact on customers. This helps to enhance the customer experience and improve the product and service base.

When a customer complains, that means he / she wants the products of our company to serve him / her better. This is an effectual way to share the important happenings in our industry that customer is actually seeing from the opposite side of the street. So, just love when customers complain.

To learn more about how an open minded approach to negative feedback boasts earnings and morale, read this interesting article from ‘inc’ magazine :
http://www.inc.com/vanessa-merit-nornberg/why-i-love-when-customers-complain.html

Charu Mehta,

CRM Consultant, CRMIT