Choosing a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform that supports both your tactical and strategic requirements is essential to ensure its longevity
- Rajesh Hari Parsad – TAUSPACE CEO
We had the opportunity to be interviewed by Business Management Middle East (BMME) on the effectiveness of CRM in the current market conditions.
You can read the entiew interview on BMME Website.
BM. How can effective CRM initiatives allow organisations to boost productivity, better serve customers and lower response times to customer inquiries?
Rajesh Hari Parsad. By ensuring that the CRM initiative is driven by business issues and not technological ones. CRM is a business problem first, a technological one second. It is critical to understand how and where customers interact with their company and how CRM technology can provide assistance in automating and expediting those interactions to the benefit of both the customer and business.
Once the business issues are resolved, selecting and implementing a CRM solution that fits the processes and procedures that support your CRM initiative is critical. In short, the technology should support the processes, not visa versa. By doing so, business are leveraging a CRM solution to meet their customer’s needs across channels and outlets that are unique to that business and/or industry, and in a fashion that customers expect and are more satisfied with.
BM. What would you say are the common mistakes that people make with their CRM strategies?
RHP. In addition to the mistakes mentioned above, end-user adoption is one of the most common reasons for CRM failures. Adopting solutions with a intuitive, simple-to-use user interface, in addition to training, is critical for success. Failure to achieve executive buy-in is another common mistake company’s make. Having C-level support for a CRM initiative provides leadership and motivation, provides support at the management level, helps to solidify and achieve goals, and drives high end-user buy-in.
BM. We are currently witnessing a significant global economic downturn. How can CRM help to attract and retain customers, as well as gain a competitive advantage in these tough times?
RHP. During economic downturns CRM initiatives need prioritisation. Deferring these projects can lead to reduced customer satisfaction or acquisitions. Reducing customer churn is critical, since most research points to the fact that customer acquisition costs significantly more than retention.
CRM can be leveraged to track and maintain current relationships, identify cross-sell and up-sell opportunities, and identify disgruntled customers for further service. In addition, analytics and reporting can give managers insight into different customer segments during a recession that can lead to increased sales and marketing opportunities.
Choosing a CRM platform that supports both your tactical and strategic requirements is essential to ensure its longevity. Web 2.0’s collaborative and viral nature should be exploited to extend the lifespan and effectiveness of your campaigns, especially when marketing budgets are dwindling.
BM. Could you explain about a recent CRM solution that you implemented for a client that you are particularly proud of?
RHP. Neotel is a converged telecommunications provider offering wireless and wire-line services across South Africa. SugarCRM Enterprise is used across the consumer and SME verticals within the organisation for sales force automation, customer support and order entry. Tied into a middleware and workflow engine, the solution provides a comprehensive mechanism to automate key areas of order entry, management and fulfillment, which is often complex and disparate in most telecommunications companies.
A unique trait of this solution is one that many telecommunications companies strive for. There is a single, profile driven business interface: SugarCRM. This simplifies internal training and the rollout into new sales channels. Every customer interaction is always captured and tracked in one place, which is unusual in a telecommunications company, where unstructured customer information is spread across many applications. Another feature enables business users to quickly build reports using a graphical interface to measure KPI’s or gather statistics.