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S. Gowrishankar Speech at SME-Makeover Conference 2008Mr. Gowrishankar Speaks at Singapore PolytechnicI am Shankar from Tigernix, here to share with you all about CRM Success in an Organization

The one common element that links all of us present here IS probably the urge to win; in life, in business, in action and in results.

There are several ways to win. And each of us has a unique formula. I’m going to talk about one sure bet, one sure path to win; a path that I had a taken and have won.

I should say that in my years of entrepreneurship, the one inevitable reason for winning that I personally experienced, that all of you as IT experts already know, is how well you understand, perceive, and deliver to your customers.

So what’s the one thing that can radically turn a very mundane business in to an all round success certified by your own customer? Well, what I’m about to say isn’t a secret any longer. Yes you know it already; it is CRM – Customer Relationship Management. It is the heart that pumps in valuable growth and sustenance practices in to the entire body of business.

The primary goal of CRM is to improve long-term growth and profitability through a better understanding of customer behavior. CRM aims to provide more effective feedback and improved integration to better gauge the return on investment (ROI) in these areas.

CRM, the tool that unifies real-time customers with state-of-the-art technology, is no longer a new phenomenon. What was once considered as an option has grown by leaps and bounds to be known as a more structured and necessary practice in most organizations.

According to Glen Petersen, author of "ROI: Building the CRM Business Case," the most successful CRM systems are found in organizations that realign their business model for profitability, not just redesign their information systems.

So let’s go on to see how, in this extremely competitive market, you can carve a niche for your business using CRM. Quality and processes clubbed with user-centered technology steer companies to achieve phenomenal ROI. Here CRM plays an important role as a constructive initiative; going against the popular belief that it is a mere tool.

Adding CRM to your business means that you have the perfect ingredients for end-to-end customer management. By following CRM metrics you can measure your benefits.

CRM gives you a clear edge because you know your customers and their interests very well. You stand on that high platform by utilizing CRM to its fullest.

  • Managing customer interactions to build brand image
  • Implementing user-centered information architecture to integrate data with a service-oriented architecture.
  • Manage customer performance with clear-drawn metrics.
  • Understand customer behavior and attitudes to implement good customer loyalty methods.

Any business, as we know, isn’t a success if we don’t see good revenues. Well, a good CRM tool has all the qualities to make your business generating consistently growing revenue. It not only helps you to get your business organized, but integrates customer data with disciplined architecture and drives an integrated customer strategy. An effective CRM also largely reduces your business process understanding and implementation time.

So, by conducting proper analysis of your customers, you can optimize time and that gives you a reason to visibly achieve the targeted ROI and even scale above that. CRM puts many of the invisible processes, especially with regards to the customer, in the limelight. Sales is not the only area in which CRM is useful, it spreads to the other areas such as:

  • Executive management contact with key accounts
  • Customer support functions, such as a help-desk customers may call for technical support
  • Customer service functions, such as billing and accounts receivable
  • Trade shows, marketing, advertising, press releases and so on

CRM makes yours and your customers processes a lot simpler. It makes your customer happy and helps you retain them for long- and that means your project is a success.

A study conducted in 2004 (CustomerThink Corporation) shows that 68% or the predominant amount of customers leave due to poor services offered by companies, about 14% leave because of issues with the product, 9% because of competition and another 9% due to other reasons.

Practicing CRM in your company is going to put things in perspective, especially the growing needs of the customer.

So which company do you think would be the most successful? Profit-oriented? Or the one which is focused on the benefits the business provides? It’s clear and proven, with the effective use of CRM, that the company that aligns itself with benefits is the winner. That does not mean that profit isn’t measured, but the focus is on benefits of the core business they operate. That makes it easier for employees to stay, and creates a loyal customer base.

Last and definitely not the least of all, let’s take a look at the success principles to be followed while implementing a CRM tool. The implementation of a successful CRM does not end in the implementation itself. It lies in the entire cultural change that takes place in the organization in understand and using CRM. One cannot define a stringent success principle, but a celebrated version would include:

Understanding and prioritizing the customers needs. That’s done by effective collection of customer data, defining, and mapping them impeccably to the system.

Ensuring that the CRM is a reflection of your customer’s familiarity. Study the customer’s large database, and chunk them in a logical and a very user-friendly manner.

Building a CRM that covers every aspect of your customer’s business.

And the top 10 steps to success would include, of course this is a concoction of various theories:

  • Defining your customer’s role
  • Building a clear Business Case
  • Planning a definite road map
  • Establishing your contacts
  • Implementing effective sales strategies
  • Measuring and managing marketing patterns
  • Leveraging customer loyalty
  • Picking the best approach, suited uniquely for each customer
  • Building a good team
    - Executing it locally, with a global touch

We at Tigernix provided Raffles Corporate Consultants with a comprehensive CRM to address their unique needs. And now, the company has a single resource for all customer-facing activities plus financial and operational data. The productivity of relationship management teams skyrocketed within 90 days of implementation. The turnaround time for leads from SMEs was reduced from 24 hours to 2 hours. And, the reporting pattern has improved greatly, including more accurate pipeline reporting.

In conclusion, CRM isn’t the end of evolution. It will evolve further and the meet the soaring and ever-complex customer requirements and would still meet and exceed their expectations and keep evolving.

CRM is customer, customer and more of customer. It’s all about delighting your customers and needless to say that it is the sign of a winning business. Ultimately, it’s all about winning and with a perfect CRM tool, we are nothing less than winners.

Thank you.