Operational CRM is mainly focused on automation, improvement and enhancement of business processes which are based on customer-facing or customer supporting. The main importance of a CRM system lies on how the selling, marketing and service oriented processes are automated, and for which operational CRM systems are embedded with following major automation applications:
- Marketing automation- As the name implies, marketing automation is basically focused on automating marketing processes. In marketing, campaign management involves marketers to use customer specific information to determine, evaluate and develop communications that are targeted to customers in individual as well as multilevel or multichannel environment. Campaigns developed to communicate customers individually are easy and involves unique and direct communications. For multichannel environment the implementation of marketing strategies and campaign management is quite difficult and challenging. For example, some retailers have multichannel transactions like shops or stores, wholesale stores, websites, home shopping and even television shopping. Here integration and implementation of communication strategy is difficult and evaluation of performance and quality of campaigns needs to be automated and should be technologically sound across each of the channels. For handling this, a CRM marketing strategy called event-based marketing is inherited. Using event based marketing communication and offers are presented to customers as and when they are required. For example, credit card customer calls the call center for inquiring the current interest rates, this indicates that customer is specific about the interest rates and is trying to compare the interest rates and may switch to different competitor to find specific deals which suits him. Without wasting time the automated CRM system pops up an event of offer which is best suited for that customer and helps to retain him back.
- Sales-force Automation- A CRM system is not only used to deal with the existing customers but is also useful in acquiring new customers. The process first starts with identifying a customer and maintaining all the corresponding details into the CRM system. This process can be distributed into many stages which includes generation of lead and then qualifying those leads as prospects. The Sales and Field representatives then try getting business out of these customers by sophistically following up with them and converting them into a winning deal. Automation of selling process is efficiently handled by Sales-force automation which automates all the methodologies or sales cycle and above described process sophisticatedly.
- Service Automation- Service automation deals with managing organizations service. The actual interactions with customers such as contact, direct sales, direct mail, call centers, data aggregation systems, web sites and blogs etc. are examples of operational CRM. Each interaction with a customer can be collected to the client database generally known as customers history and the information can later be used wherever necessary. Any one in the organization can have access to this information about customer which gives a clear view of customers needs and important information on the customer such as products owned, prior support calls etc. It naturally eliminates the need to obtain this information individually from the customer. On the basis of the information, if required, the customer can easily be contacted at right time at the right place.
Operational CRM refers to services that provide support for various front office business processes in helping organization to take care of their customers. Focus on customers value is important for a successful operational CRM strategy. Different customers have to be treated differently so information on variables like customers ranking, actual value and potential value is of strategic value.
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