Organizational structure is one of the most important aspects in ensuring the organization meets both its long term and short term goals. The structure of the organization is what determines the strategic approaches of the organization in management. For the purpose of maximizing on productivity organizations will tend to come up with various retention programs for the welfare of the organization. Likewise, organizations will also focus on different customer relations management tactics to ensure that customer satisfaction is attained.
There are different retention programs employed by different organizations in the field of management. One of the retention programs employed by various organizations is the employee retention program. This program is designed in such a way that the needs of the employees are met and the grievances of the employees are responded to as well. This program is basically concerned with ensuring that the employees have a comfortable work setting hence maximizing on their productivity in the organization.
Customer retention programs are similar to employee retention programs only that they deal with the concerns of the customers (McKeown, 2000). This program ensures that customers are fully satisfied when being provided for products and services. The main aim of this retention program is customer satisfaction. Whole Foods Market, a chain supermarket based in Austin, Texas has utilized this retention program by providing natural foods for customers. It has received positive response because many clients are health conscious and hence prefer natural to processed foods.
Retention bonuses are also used in various retention programs to ensure that employees remain loyal to the organization. This retention program is generally referred to as the pay-to-stay strategy. These bonuses are essential in retaining employees within a particular organization. Likewise, organizational motivational programs act as retention programs as well and are applied by organizations. Once employees are motivated, the probability of them moving from the organization to another is limited.
Customer Relations Management (CRM) is a globally implemented strategy for managing the relations between the organization and the customers (Kumar, 2005). It is an essential tool in management because it helps ensure that the organization is in a position to determine the preferences of the customers in terms of products and services. Whole Foods Market is an example of a chain supermarket based in the United States of America which has effectively implemented CRM practices. The chain supermarket advocates for the consumption of natural food products to customer. This has been communicated to customers in different ways thereby increasing the supermarket’s market share.
Analytical CRM is basically a decision support system employed by organizations to understand the needs of the customers and see to it that they are accomplished (Greenberg, 2009). This strategy of initiating CRM within an organizational setting is mostly used by the senior management. Whole Foods Market has implemented this tactic by incorporating artificial intelligence within the Management information systems (MIS). These tools have been effective in analytical CRM within the organization. In this case, the company has utilized the internet in improving CRM services.
Operational CRM involves the application and utilization of automated front office customer care services to enhance the relations between the customer and the organization. This system of CRM incorporates various factors which include sales, marketing and customer care services amongst others. Whole Foods Market has applied this system of operational CRM from hence the reason it has been in a position to win a large portion of the global market. Since operational CRM relies mostly on automated systems, computer technology is very crucial. Sales force automation is one of the technologies applied in operation CRM. An automated system is used to aid in a variety of customer related activities such as lead management, sales forecasting and generation of proposals (Greenberg, 2009). Contact management soft-wares are important components of the sales automated system. Marketing automation is another way in which Operational CRM is implemented. This is where the marketing strategies of the organization are fully automated by application software programs. Just as sales force automation and marketing automation, service automation is another important component of operational CRM. An organization automates the system of delivering services to clients through various technological applications. From the view point of operational CRM in any organizational setting, it can be seen that technology is a very important aspect that should be fully utilized in ensuring that customer relations are carried out in the most effective way possible.
CRM metrics refers to a system of measuring the effectiveness and efficiency of the customer relations utilized by an organization. These metrics aid in the performance of an organization in achieving both long term and short term goals. Once an organization employs a CRM metrics it is in a position to improve on various areas which are crucial to customer relations management. Customer quality and customer segmentation are amongst the most important CRM metrics in the management of any organization (McKeown, 2000). These metrics will assist an organization in analyzing the amount of profit they are likely to gain from different kinds of customers. From the performance of Whole Foods Market, it can be observed that the company has utilized this form of CRM metrics. These two forms of CRM metrics basically focus on the value and profitability of the customers. The other system of CRM metrics involves the measurement of customer loyalty by the use of a balance score card. Once an organization has full knowledge of winning the loyalty of its customers, then it would be in a position to maximize on its sales and profits as well.
There are a variety of technologies employed CRM in various organizations. The CRM Enterprise Application Integration (EAIs) is one of the technologies applied by different organizations. This technology requires skills and the know how to operate it and solve problems associated to customer relations. EAIs give the provision of data mapping services as well as messaging services that aid in the communication between different systems regardless of the formatting (Kumar, 2005). The second form of technology applied is the CRM Engine which is also referred to as the data warehouse or the data mart. This is a system location where information concerning the customers can be retrieved. This system would be very efficient especially in cases where the customer would have lost important documents. The system would be efficient in tracing the customer thereby improving the customer relations between the organization and the customer. Whole Foods Market has applied these forms of technology thereby creating efficiency in providing goods and services to clients. Front office solutions are another form of technology applied by organizations in ensuring that the needs of the customers are fulfilled as far as customer relations are concerned. Front Office solutions constitute of unified applications that assist in improving customer relations. These applications include the sales force automation, marketing automation and customer interaction applications amongst others.
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Greenberg P. (2009). CRM at the speed of light: Social CRM strategies, tools and techniques for
engaging your customers, New York: McGraw Hill.