Effectiveness of CRM use in Hilton Hotel, Singapore
The establishment and maintenance of a good working relationship between businesses and customers is a challenge for most enterprises. Initially, businesses were able to identify customers by sight instead of code or ID number (Chan, 2005). This is because the businesses were small and easy to manage. Managers in the small businesses knew all their customers and understood their customer’s value to the business. They knew how much each customer spent and how frequent they visited their enterprise. In addition, managers remembered customer’s preferences and idiosyncrasies. During this time customer relationship management was something that was not known or adhered to by the businesses. In the contemporary world, the absolute size of organizations and businesses and the broad range of customers call for a good customer relationship management. This should be unequivocally managed so that the business can be successful. Therefore, Customer Relationship Management or CRM concept has arisen. CRM is a novel strategy that has been developed to understand customers and their needs in a business. The term CRM is used to refer to a model for managing interactions between an organization and its customers. The main objective of CRM is to optimize interactions between business and customers (Chena, 2009). This is the philosophy that hotels should adopt in leveraging technology so as to develop a stronger relationship with their previous, existing and potential customers. This philosophy should be adopted while maximizing a hotel’s customer service and marketing capabilities.
Significance of the Research
This research is aimed at establishing the effectiveness of CRM in ensuring customer satisfaction in the hotel industry. The use of CRM is believed to help improve the rate of customer satisfaction; however, the hotel’s management should establish whether this is being achieved. This is because without adequate monitoring, CRM may become an added expense with no benefits for the establishment. It is also essential to note that technology is assumed to automatically solve problems in an organization; however, this is not true since like any other resource, technology requires frequent monitoring to ensure it is successful.
The research on the effectiveness of CRM will be essential in determining the marketing needs for the attraction. The management will also get vital information on areas that need to be improved to ensure consumer satisfaction. The research will help identify training needs on the employees’ use of the CRM to achieve the technology’s objective. Data collected will also be used to give the management feedback on other areas the employees think may be used to improve customer satisfaction.
Implementing a CRM is a capital intensive project; this research will be used to show the management their return on investment from this project. The information from the research may be used to determine the feasibility of the CRM by the management.
Scope of the Study
The study will be focused on Hilton Hotel in Singapore, and the respondents will include customers and employees of the establishment. The employees to be interviewed will mainly be those who directly interact with the CRM system and also those that have direct contact with the hotel’s customers. These will include front office personnel, waiters, chefs, customer service personnel and marketing executives. Customers to be interviewed will mainly include those who have visited the hotel for more than one instance. This will be essential since CRM is based on a trend in customer visits and not a single experience.
Managers of the hotel will also be interviewed since they are aware of the objectives of the CRM, and can relate these objectives to the reports they receive from other management systems. Respondents from managerial positions are also considered critical for the research since they have a holistic view of the hotel unlike departmental staff who are mainly concerned with their operations alone.
The implementation of CRM systems should help improve customer satisfaction in a business. This is because these systems help in tracking consumer attributes, preferences and dislikes; hence, providing an establishment with the knowledge of what should be done to make a customer happy. CRM systems’ ability to achieve customer satisfaction should, however, not be assumed since without monitoring the technology may be inefficient. This research is aimed at conducting an audit of CRM to determine whether the perceived objectives of implementing the system are being achieved.
Adoption of CRM enables a hotel, to; actively manage their customer relations, in strategic and an organized manner. The business needs to develop some internal operations, methodologies, and Internet and software capabilities. This enables an enterprise like a hotel, to; better address their customers' needs. The effect is that the relationship between the business and customers become more profitable. CRM system use makes a business to keep track of significant customer information like communications, contacts, preferences, purchases, and accounts. The system also allows the business to match their customers' needs and those of the enterprise products and services (Richard, 2007). The data from CRM can be analyzed by the business, and this can help in various ways. The best customers can be identifies, customers response times can be reduced, marketing campaigns can be managed well, hotel can be, in a position, to serve and cover large geographical regions. In addition, the systems customize and enrich the way hotels communicate with their customers.
There are several varieties of customer relationship management systems that exist in the market. They range from the very uncomplicated to complex and also from the online solutions to the off-the-shelf software and to custom-tailored programming. A simple example of CRM system is the use of contact management software or spreadsheets to keep the path of hotel interactions with customers. The adoption of a more complex and effective system calls for a widespread, company-wide effort to retain and attract customers. This is by integration of policies, processes, people, information, and technological strategies. Small hotels can also use CRM technologies as they are become cost-effective and accessible technology solutions (Chena, 2009). The use of the technology has increased, and the prices of the technologies have also dropped. There are wide ranges of online options that can be accessed over the Internet. The web-based applications require no purchase for software or installation. All a hotel needs is an effortless payment fee subscription to use the services. Small hotels can also decide deploy their CRM technologies in steps. This can be done from the call centre software or sales force automation. As the business grows and employees become more acquainted with the software and the software capabilities, the hotel can start to comprehend how other features can be used to help the business succeed.
Hotel businesses can adopt advanced CRM as the business grows. The hotel can outgrow an uncomplicated contact management system. This leads to the consideration of implementing a full-featured CRM system. The integrated CRM system has more features and offers the business with additional capabilities. A central database that can be viewed and accessed by all workers is provided by the advanced CRM (Overby, 2005). Employees can be in a position of updating the customer data. This can go a long way in improving the customer service, retention, and loyalty. Hotel prospects and customers can be segmented. This allows for analysis and customization of sales and marketing campaigns. In addition, close ratios and campaign targeting can also be improved by the implementation of an integrated CRM. Customer prospects and sales can be tracked. The ratios and closing probabilities can be analyzed. Moreover, pricing, products, and proposals of each of the prospects can also be tacked easily by use of the CRM (Gummesson, 2004). Use of CRM also helps in forecasting business revenues. This is by use of trend analysis and automated reporting, which result to better decision making process in the business. The customers are provided with the ability to self help and self order password accessed, and web-based system. This helps in reducing the customer’s service costs and order entry costs.
The implementation of the CRM system requires the understanding of customer’s behaviors, preferences and management methodologies. Hotels should ensure that for CRM systems to be effective they have t consider a number of factors. Richard (2007) notes, data should be analyzed and captured accurately and properly before the implementation of CRM. In addition, the right of people’s information to be used correctly and results reported properly should also be considered before the implementation. Privacy regulations should be respected. These are the regulations that help in using, collecting, and disclosing the personal information that have been gathered by the business in the course of their work. CRM calls for better business strategy. Successful deployment of the CRM system requires the development of business strategy. The process identifies the best functions in the strategy. Measurable objectives should be set for the system. The implementation should involve the staggering phases so as, to, smoothly integrate the business to the business process.
Examples of the CRM are the single platform that is built for hotels. Edward (2010) says the Cendyn's CRM Suite is an incorporated suite of systems. The system is designed to assist hotels to comprehend their guests, meetings and event planners. The CRM components are is deliberated to analyze and acquire given behaviors. They also cultivate customer relationship and offer management with the capability of marketing the right product to the correct planner or guest at the precise time. The Cendyn's CRM Suite is composed of three main systems. This includes eConcierge, eSurvey, and eInsight. The systems are built on vigorous middleware platform called eConnectivity® to permit efficient and easy data automation and access. This is to utilize the event planner or meeting and guest data in the CRM Suite. This CRM architecture is created to administer the "Customer Value Cycle" for hotels. In addition, the system can offer a continuous upgrading process. Each of the components collects planner, meeting or guest events on an ongoing basis so as, to, continuously advance personalization for every communications. The process provides for higher communication, conversion and customer retention levels.
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