Customer Relationship Management

While I was giving in-house training ‘Service Excellence in Your Business’ to a leading mobile telecommunication company in Indonesia, there was a participant named Joan who was sharing about the good relationship between herself as a customer with a meatball seller.

Joan has a meatball seller, whom she always buy meatball, in West Jakarta. One day. she came to the meatball stall with her friends at lunch time. The atmosphere in the meatball stall was quite crowded. But even so, when Joan arrived, the meatball seller immediately greeted her with: ‘Good Afternoon, Miss Joan.’ Then Joan said ‘Sir, I want to order meatballs as usual.’ Some time later, the meatballs is delivered to Joan’s table and the order is really suitable to her wish without fried onions and without noodles.

The story above seems very simple and is often experienced by many people. But in my opinion, there are some lessons that we can learned. Meatball seller in the story above has established a good relationship with his customer. He is very familiar with his loyal customers. He is able to make his customers happy and feel appreciated. It can be said that he has run ‘simple’ CRM (Customer Relationship Management) quite well.

You must often hear the term CRM. Then what exactly is CRM? The definition of CRM, according to one literature, is ‘a business strategy with outcomes that optimizes profitability, revenue and customer satisfaction by organizing around customer segments, fostering customer-satisfying behaviors and implementing customer-centric processes’. Essentially, CRM is a business strategy whose goal is to increase revenue and profit as well as customer satisfaction by organizing customer segmentation and behavior.

In this article, I intend to remind all of you ‘business owners’ to start building CRM well and correctly. The goal is clear, which is for your company’s revenue and profit continues to increase along with the increase of customer satisfaction. The trick is you must pay attention to 3 things which are: people (people who have a serving soul), business process (customer-friendly business processes), and technology (technology which capable of processing customer data). These three things must support each other to create an effective and efficient CRM.

Your success in building CRM will certainly depend on the company’s commitment to provide the best service to customers. Starting from the CEO to the employees, the employees should really focus on the customer because without the customer – the company will not run. No customer no business.

The point is if you successfully build and run CRM well, then your business will be better again. Whoever is in your company, CRM should keep running. Never rely on CRM on only certain individuals because the company must still be able to run although the individuals within the company continue to change.
Back to ‘simple CRM meatball seller’. Some things that are done by the meatball seller are correct, but still has some deficiencies. In service, he is already good but he has done all the things by himself without well data record because it does not have a system yet and does not using any technology. Meatball seller remembers the name of ‘Miss Joan’ because he often meets her. Thus, he only knows the customer named ‘Joan’. Meatball seller can only increase the number of sales and profit as long as he is still in control of his business, but not necessarily when one day he will be replaced by the next generation. This is because all the data is only recorded on his mind and is not well documented.

Therefore, if your company wants to have a long-term business, then once again the customer data record and its history must be really good. Because it is only with the complete data and the correct processing, then you will be able to find the pattern of each customer segment and ultimately can determine the right strategy to retain old customers and get new customers.

Do you want it? CRM is the answer.


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