Tuesday, August 12, 2008

CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT

© Moreniche

Introduction to CRM

Who is Customer?

A customer is defined as someone who pays for goods or services.

4 types of customers:

Ø Paying Client

They give money to the company & company gives them products and/or services.

Ø Employee

Company gives them a paycheck and benefits and bonuses and they give (hopefully) productive work in return to the company.

Ø Supplier/Vendor

They give products and/or services to the company & company give them money.

Ø Partner

They give lead, sales, added value services to the company & company give them the same and/or percentages of a sale they help make.

How do we define CRM?

CRM is a process or methodology used to learn more about customer’s needs & behavior in order to develop stronger relationship with them.

Definition of CRM given by different authors:

Craig Conway

Every time a customer approaches your business, they arrive with an expectation. It may be a service need or a new product interest, but in every case, they have an expectation that accompanies their interest in your business. What happens next will form an experience that shapes their behavior. A good experience may increase their loyalty and tendency to purchase again. A poor experience may transfer their business to your competitor. The ability to recognize this process and to actively manage it forms the basis for Customer Relationship Management, or CRM.

The ability to ensure that the enterprise will act with unity of purpose to ensure experiences that exceed every expectation is a monumental task. Customers interacting with employees, employees collaborating with suppliers—every interaction is an opportunity to manage a relationship.

Scott Fletcher

CRM is an enterprise-wide mindset, mantra, and set of business processes and policies that are designed to acquire, retain, and service customers. Broadly speaking, CRM includes the customer facing business processes of marketing, sales, and customer service.

Advances in technology serve as the primary catalyst to the CRM bonanza. The rise of the Internet as a means to transact business, increasing and affordable bandwidth, and advances in computing power are all driving CRM. These technology advances greatly empower customers and position them to more easily access information on products, services, and competitors.

Brent Frei

CRM is a comprehensive set of processes and technologies for managing the relationships with potential and current customers and business partners across marketing, sales, and service regardless of the communication channel.

The goal of CRM is to optimize customer and partner satisfaction, revenue, and business efficiency by building the strongest possible relationships at an organizational level.

Business objectives: outlining two- to five-year strategic goals should be clearly defined. These can include revenue, market share, and margin goals. These should then drive the next level of business fundamentals: program initiatives.

Program initiatives: are typically one to one and a half years in scope. They are the near-term game plans intended to move the company another step toward the long-term objectives of the company. These initiatives are then associated with specific measurements that will be the clear indications of successful forward progress.

Departmental plans: are the processes and behavior that form the fabric of everyday work within the organization. Examples include deploying an automated email response system, enabling customer self-help on a website, or streamlining the call center processes to answer customer inquiries in shorter time frames. There are often dozens of major processes within a department and many that cross departments. The three layers of business operations are then supported by technology.

Technology: is used to automate and enable some or all of the business processes and initiatives. Organizations use either many separate best-of-breed solutions or larger, integrated platform solutions to achieve the goals of technology-enabled business. The technology strategy is generally a reflection of the coordination, or lack thereof, of the organization.

Ronni T. Marshak

Every company’s game plan includes what I call the “G-SPOT.” (See Figure 1-2.) This stands for Goals, Strategies, Plans, Objectives, and Tactics. Here’s how it breaks down for CRM:

Goals: Every business has clearly defined goals. At the most basic level, these include things like profitability, worldwide recognition, and high stockholder value.

Strategies: To achieve your goals, you establish strategies, such as designing innovative products, focusing on international markets, and establishing long-term relationships with customers.

Plans: Executing strategies require plans. For example, to design innovative products you might implement a plan of hiring top product engineers; to focus internationally you might develop a public relations plan that targets worldwide press; and to establish customer relationships you might determine to measure customer satisfaction and behavior and to invest in technology to support customer interactions.

Objectives: These are the measurable goals of each plan, such as maintaining a 60 percent customer retention rate or lowering product return rates to less than 20 percent.

Tactics: Tactics are how you achieve the objectives that are part of the plans to implement the strategies to achieve the goals (whew!). For example, you might establish 24/7 call center or create a data warehouse that consolidates all customer information.

Objectives of CRM:

Ø To create a consistent customer experience

Your relationship with customer should be thought of as an ongoing conversation without end.

Ø Collective consciousness expected

Customers talking to Accounts receivables person, sales person, call from telemarketing person, direct marketing, returning to web site.

Advantages of CRM:

Ø Provide better customer service

Ø Make call centers more efficient

Ø Cross sell products more effectively

Ø Help sales staff close deals faster

Ø Simplify marketing and sales processes

Ø Discover new customers

Ø Increase customer revenues

CRM Technology

· CRM is disciplined business strategy. CRM technology is the driver of the strategy.

· Technology, in the form of networked collaboration, communication, knowledge management and automated electronic processes can enable different groups within the company to work seamlessly as one unit to fulfill the CRM vision.

· The accepted definition of CRM technology is generally accepted to apply to "front office" processes.

· CRM technology mandates that all interactions between the customer and the company are recorded and stored in a central information database, which can be shared with anyone in the company who contributes to processing the customer's transaction.

· CRM technology fulfils the vision of CRM are through the streamlining of processes and the acquisition of information to form knowledge about the customer.

Types of CRM Technology

Ø Operational CRM

Ø Analytical CRM

Ø Collaborative CRM

Operational CRM:

· Operational CRM is the customer-facing applications of CRM—the

aforementioned sales force automation, enterprise marketing automation,

and front-office suites that encompass all of this simultaneously.

· This is the “ERP-like” segment of CRM.

· One facet of operational CRM is the possibility of integrating with the financial and human resources functions of the enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications such as PeopleSoft and SAP. With this integration, end-to-end functionality from lead management to Order tracking can be implemented.

Analytical CRM

· The analytic segment includes data marts or data warehouses such as

customer repositories that are used by applications that apply algorithms

to dissect the data and present it in a form that is useful to the user.

· Analytical CRM is the capture, storage, extraction, processing, interpretation, and reporting of customer data to a user.

Collaborative CRM

· The collaborative CRM reaches across customer touch points.

It is the communication center, the coordination network that provides

the neural paths to the customer and his suppliers.

· It could mean a portal, a partner relationship management (PRM) application, or a customer interaction center (CIC).

· It could mean communication channels such as the Web or email, voice applications, or snail mail.

· It could mean channel strategies. In other words, it is any CRM function that provides a point of interaction between the customer and the channel itself.

CRM Technology Components

Ø CRM Engine

Ø Front-Office Solutions

Ø Enterprise Application Integrations (EAIs) for CRM

Ø CRM in the Back Office

CRM Engine

· This would be the customer data repository.

· The data mart or data warehouse is where all data on the customer is captured and stored.

· This could include basic stuff such as name, address, phone number, and birth date.

· The purpose is a single gathering point for all individual customer information so that a unified customer view can be created throughout all company departments that need to know the data stored in this CRM engine house.

Front-Office Solutions

· These are the unified applications that run on top of the customer data warehouse (CDW).

· They could be sales force automation, marketing automation, or service and support and customer interaction applications.

Enterprise Application Integrations (EAIs) for CRM

· These sit between the CRM back office and front office.

· They also sit between the newly installed CRM system and the been-around-forever enterprise legacy systems.

· They also allow CRM-to-CRM communications.

· “They” are pieces of code and connectors and bridges that as a body are called EAIs, formerly known as middleware.

· EAIs provide the messaging services and data mapping services that allow one system to communicate with disparate other systems, regardless of formatting.

CRM in the Back Office

· Analytical tool are known as “Back Office” of the CRM.

· Analytics are becoming increasingly integrated from the beginning with the elements of the CRM.

· The analytical algorithms are working in background; they have clear and distinct visibility (By which we can see for miles and miles) within the operational applications which are accessing in real time.

· Embedded analytics are now part of a few of the multifunctional CRM applications.

Customer Life Cycle

· The life cycle of the customer is the process the customer has been undergoing to be with company for all the years.

· This includes the customer’s purchase history, perhaps how often she’s taken advantage of special offers directed at her or her customer class.

· Depending on what company identify as important to customer’s return on investment (ROI), it could also include customers’ marketing value to company and how much revenue that marketing value could be worth indirectly.

· To find out what is the expected revenue generated from a single customer over the anticipated lifetime of that customer’s relationship with company is both the customer life cycle and the customer lifetime value (CLV).

Customer Interaction

· Some of the value that technology brings to the table in CRM is through increased customer interaction that doesn’t necessarily occur with a human being.

· It is convenience and the ability of the customers to get something they need without having to rely on a busy human being, or worse, a lazy human being.

· Customer Interaction is a critical component of CRM—especially the online variety.

Questions:

1. Who is a customer?

2. How do you define CRM?

3. Explain CRM and CRM Technology?

4. What are the types of CRM technology?

5. Explain CRM technology components in detail?

6. Explain customer and customer life cycle?

7. Explain customer interaction?

CHAPTER 2

Introduction to eCRM

Syllabus

Ø Difference between CRM & eCRM

Ø Features of eCRM

Difference between eCRM and CRM

eCRM

· Web enabled self service application.

· eCRM is channel; not a separate technology.

· It is powerful; Flexible Channel that customer could use to interact with companies.

· Self service knowledge bases, automated email response, personalization of web content, online product bundling and pricing.

· Ability to interact with business.

· Improve Customer satisfaction and reduce cost with improve efficiency.

CRM

· Client/Server Based.

· Traditional.

· It is Company centric.

· Based on application.

· Intended for corporate department, individual employee.

· Customer data was used for

history review.

Features of eCRM

· eCRM implies capabilities like self service knowledge bases, automated email response, personalization of web content, online product bundling and pricing.

· eCRM gives Internet users the ability to interact with the business through their preferred communication channel.

· It also allows business to offset expensive customer service agents with technology.

· eCRM puts much emphasis on the customer satisfaction and reduced cost through improved efficiency.

· eCRM use customer data for personalization, cross-selling and up-selling.

· Sales Force Automation(SFA )and Enterprise Marketing Automation(EMA) is integrated in the eCRM.

Questions:

  1. List out the difference between CRM and eCRM?
  2. Give the features of eCRM?

CHAPTER 3

SALES FORCE AUTOMATION (SFA)

Syllabus

Ø Definition & need of SFA

Ø Barriers to successful SFA

Ø SFA functionality

Ø Technological aspect of SFA

ü Data synchronization

ü Flexibility & performance

ü Reporting tools

Definition of SFA

Sales Force Automation (SFA) is designed to help salespeople acquire and retain customers, reduce administrative time, provide robust account management, and, basically, make salesperson activities something that earns them and their companies money.

Need of SFA

Ø Increased Revenue:

The main purpose is obviously improvement in bottom line. But only increase in revenue is not sufficient.

If you have an increase of 100 percent in sales revenues but your cost of sales has increased, or it came strictly as a result of your increased sales force, your SFA implementation failed.

Ø Reduction in Cost of Sales:

In this, we are talking about a reduction in the amount of time that is used by salespeople in coordination of their efforts, continuous and repetitive data entry, and often-unsuccessful attempts to extract and interpret data without the tools to do so.

Studies have been done that show that sales time to fulfill administrative functions is almost half of a salesperson’s activity. By reducing the time engaged in these administrative or other non-sales-related efforts, the cost of sales is reduced.

Ø Customer Retention due to Company, not Product or service:

If your customers are happy, they stay with you, even if they are paying a bit more.

SFA’s benefit is to provide you with a view of the customer that allows that great salesperson or awesome company to understand the value of the individual customer through customer history and communications with the company.

Ø Sales Force Increasing Mobility:

The work of sales force has not remained in the office anymore. They have to move from places to places like, meeting customers, moving through airports, and prospecting for leads on Broadway with their PDAs.

This is making mobility a competitive issue, requiring effective competitive mobile tools, such as the Internet and the handhelds.

Ø Easily available Customer Information with single view:

Each salesperson wants to manage the customer accounts he owns. Each of them has the individual view that allows them to see all the data they need to-that is, have the permissions to see-but at the same time, there is a universal view of all the data available to all departments at all times.

Thus in short the customer information is available to the salesperson or anyone related.

Barriers to successful SFA

§ The most important thing is “Process + Technology = Successful CRM/SFA”. Thus, process and technology must go hand in hand. Process and Technology provides organizations with best practices for selling, and the technology and training to effectively automate them.

§ Salespeople have to see technology as a tool to help them. If they don’t enter the customer contact information and properly track their sales through the predetermined corporate sales process as Solutions Selling and others suggest, the data that management is using will be inaccurate and essentially useless. Therefore, usability and a short learning curve should be paramount to the software selection process.

§ SFA emerged to allow individuals to not only manage their contacts, but also to allow businesses to manage their accounts. The company, not the individual, owns the relationship. Every person involved must understand the history and future plans for accounts. Online shared history of an account that includes not only all contacts, but also all promises, conversations, negotiations, and meetings are important.

§ Thus the barriers are:

ü The technology must be properly selected otherwise the SFA will not work properly.

ü The history of every account and customer must be maintained properly and shared properly for the success of SFA. If not, it is going to endanger the SFA process.

SFA: Functionality

The core features provided are:

Ø Lead management

Ø Contact management

Ø Account management

Ø Opportunity management

Ø Sales pipeline management

Ø Sales forecast tools

Ø Quotations and orders

Ø A toolkit for customizing the application

Ø An engine for data synchronization

The following list is a compilation of multiple SFA applications

· Contact management

It covers the basics:

v Name, address, phone numbers, company, title, personal and business information.

v Activity related to the individual; attachments related to the individuals; and level of the decision maker.

v Thus basically it manages the contacts for the organization.

· Account management

v This standard feature allows the salesperson or sales manager to handle individual corporate accounts.

v Each account has multiple links to other information, beyond the corporate name or address, including the contacts by corporation and the proposed opportunities by corporation.

v Thus it manages the accounts for the organization.

· Opportunity management

The facets that opportunity management covers:

v Specific opportunity, the company it belongs to, the salesperson or team that is working it.

v Assignment of revenue credits if there is a sales team, the potential for closing this particular opportunity, the final results of this opportunity.

v Stage of the sales process this opportunity is in, and the potential closing date.

· Lead Management

Lead Management functionality is a subset of Opportunity Management

A qualified lead becomes an opportunity.

· Proposal management

v In this it is determined who is responsible for what part of the proposal.

v It can also control the effective completion of the proposal by guiding the stages of evolution of the parts of the proposal.

· Quote generation

It is a simple tool that generates quotes for customers.

· Order tracking

This feature tracks the status of the invoice and the product delivery.

· Sales quota management

It allows the sales manager to see how the individual sales person is doing relative to their quotas within some defined time segment.

· Commission management

This tool calculates the commission for salespeople.

· Territory management

Here in short it means a new person takes over an existing territory or a territory can be redistricted and redivided among existing salespeople geographically.

· Pipeline Management

v The “sales pipeline” is a peculiar term for the execution of the established sales process.

v Each company has its criteria for what constitutes its sales process.

v If company successfully embeds sales process into SFA application then the company can properly use that application.

· Sales Forecasting

v SFA programs have adequate sales forecasting tools as sophisticated spreadsheet like tools for forecast fundamentals.

v Sales forecasts are good guesses in spite there are algorithms of the program

Other SFA Applications

· Incentive compensation system

This particular feature allows vice-presidents of sales to design compensation plans and to track them.

· Competitive information system

This is often tied into multiple sources so that the salesperson could do the research online and internally to find what is needed.

· Telesales campaign management

This feature helps inside sales manager design tele-marketing campaigns.

· Sales assistant

This feature helps the beginners to learn the sales process of the company they work for.

· Expense reporting

This feature ties expense reporting into both accounting and CRM systems. It integrates back and front office functionality.

· Learning management system/content delivery tool

It provides a means for newer employees to understand the sales process and experienced employees to request and receives appropriate sales information and tools ranging from brochures to competitive information.

· Marketing encyclopedia

It is a centralized repository for all the marketing materials so all salespeople have access to appropriate materials for their customers.

· Partner management capabilities

It helps to manage the partners and track the sales brought by them.

· Integration with service, marketing, and Internet applications

Little pieces of code called Application programming interfaces are used to integrate with either third party systems or their own back office systems.

· Custom sales process and methodologies

Some methodologies are developed for the organization for the sales purpose.

Other SFA features/functions

· Software distribution to mobile users

This is more of an infrastructural feature that makes simplified distribution of code to multiple users inn multiple locations much easier for system administrators.

· Quote pricing engine

This is the feature that draws from customer records, product catalogues, need assessment, and customized product configurations and generates a quote to customer.

· Smartscripts

These are customizable scripts for telesales to maintain some sort of monolithic sales organization “integrity”.

· eBriefings

It allows the creation and deployment of specific discussions according to defined workflow.

· Voice recognition

Right now it means not much more than making calendar entries of varying sorts and getting your current customer data via interactive voice recognition (IVR).

Sales Force Automation: The Technology

· SFA becomes powerful not only with the functionality aspect but with the combination of the functionality and the flexibility of the technology.

· Two aspects of SFA functionality and technology make SFA useful to both the professional and mangers.

· It allows them to analyze data, embed best practices for future sales people and do it with a desktop

Ø Data Synchronization

· Data synchronization is the process of updating information among unconnected computers such as laptop, mobile, or desktop.

· Salespeople in the field maintain a subset of master database and update their local data while others work on same data simultaneously.

· Synchronization allows corporate managers and sales teams to share information created by field salespeople.

ü Data Synchronization Process

o Data synchronization takes network infrastructure bandwidth.

o Data synchronization process involves following steps

Step 1. Remote databases are created for mobile salespeople and

branch offices.

v Each database is a relevant subset of the corporate database.

Step 2. The synchronization system tracks changes pertinent to the

particular salesperson to both the remote databases and the

host database.

Step 3. Remote salespeople can connect to the home office using low

bandwidth modems or wide area network(WAN) connections.

v Salespeople who are at desk can connect via their local area network(LAN).

Step 4. During the connections, log files are exchanged that contain

new information to be updated in the respective databases.

Step 5. After the connection is completed, new data is applied to each

database so that each database has up-to-date information.

Ø Flexibility and Performance

· A synchronization system should support large-scale field implementation with hundreds of users; even remote sales force is currently small.

· Some synchronization systems perform fine in small test environments

· Some systems are impractical in real-world situations for large groups.

· High-performance synchronization requires powerful database capabilities and performance currently available only in databases such as Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle.

Ø Reporting Tools

· Lack of or poor reporting can lead to bad strategic or tactical decisions, redundant work efforts, and missed opportunities.

· Good reporting tools as part of the technology of SFA (and CRM) are essential.

· Many of the reporting tools embedded in SFA applications are third party tools.

· The most popular is Seagate’s Crystal Reports.

· Reporting is the creation of customized onscreen or printed views that provide the viewer/reader with information specifically in the form they want and with the content they want.

Questions

1. Define Sales Force Automation?

2. Comment, “Acquiring customers mean keeping them”?

3. What is the purpose of SFA?

4. What are the barriers to successful SFA?

5. What is the SFA functionality?

6. What are the SFA applications?

7. What is Data Synchronization and explain its process?

8. Comment on the flexibility and the performance of the data synchronization?

9. Write note on the reporting tools?

CHAPTER 4

ENTERPRISE MARKETING AUTOMATION (EMA)

Syllabus

Ø Components of EMA

ü Marketing camping

ü Campaign planning and management

ü Business analytical tools

Ø EMA components

ü Promotions

ü Events

ü Loyalty

ü Retention programs

Ø Response management

Enterprise Marketing Automation (EMA)

  • EMA is the Technology of end-to-end marketing.

  • EMA is related with the last generation of the business ecosystem’s. The new evaluation of the customer ecosystem is the EMM (Enterprise Marketing Management).

  • EMA tools also provided a consistent continues relationship across multiple channels like the web, email, efax, telephone.

  • EMA provides the templates and tools for planning, executing, & analyzing the campaigns in the real time.

  • EMA was the CRM related marketing tool.

  • EMA was the creation of personalized marketing efforts that not only engaged the customer or prospect, but also engaged the entire enterprise in the effort and provide a single view of the activity to any department or segment of the company.

Ø E-Marketing:

  • Using web-based application and the Internet to improve the effectiveness of traditional marketing and to create new method of marketing and campaign management using the web information technology to craft finely tuned successful efforts.

Ø Permission Marketing:

  • Permission Marketing is asking for the permission to “speak” about its product.

Components of EMA

  • EMA’s core component is Campaign Management. The end-to-end organization and execution of a marketing thrust.
  • The main component of campaign mgmt is the provision of a single view of the customer to the entire enterprise & with the responsibilities for the customer.

Ø Marketing Campaign

  • Marketing Campaign is the process defined by the permission marketing mantra “Opt-in, opt-out ”.

v Opt-in : if some sites want to give some information to us then they want our permission to send the information in our mail id. It is a web- based registration form, which is to be filled out for giving the permission to the site.

v Opt-out : contrast to Opt-in. In the opt-out, we just take back the given permission. And make restrictions on the sending information.

Ø Campaign planning and Management

· E-marketing’s great strength is Campaign management the creation of personalized marketing efforts that not only engage the customer or prospect, but also engage the entire enterprise in the effort and provide a single view of the activity to any department or segment of the company.

· The campaign mgmt features of the technology are end-to end. They plan & monitor all activity, including:

v Identification of the prospect

v Generation of the lead

v Customer information capture

v Distribution of leads to appropriate segments

v Campaign planning

v Campaign execution

v Response management

v Refinement

v Channel management

Ø Business Analytical tools

Ø EMA tools are distinguished from traditional marketing tools by their ability to capture, extract and analyze customer information from multiple and often platform-independent sources and realize the results through the web.

Ø Good analytical tools/software can reduce the cost of customer acquisition via targeted and segmented results.

Ø These tools are scalable, so they can be sift through millions of customer transactions of varying sorts.

Ø These tools are clear and distinct with reporting tools that is provided with the information.

Ø They have to be fast, because they are dealing with many transactions from multiple sources in the course of Internet time.

Ø The EMA analysis provides in depth profiling information on customer preferences, buying behavior, revenue, profitability and purchasing frequency.

EMA Components

Ø Events

Various vendors have developed robust EMA event-mgmt tools capturing customer information through event registration and online interaction.

Ø Promotion

Web- based or web integrated marketing provides the same marketing goodies that customers have always been interested in: promotions, contests, cross-selling of products, up-selling of the products and discount coupons.

Ø Loyalty and Retention Programs

EMA application build in the small ,personalized touches that engenders loyalty and retain customers.

For example:

o Birthday greetings.

o Holiday and Special occasion reminder

o Delivery of the gift ideas

o Welcome programs

o Points based programs

Ø Partner and channel Management

· Partner relationship management (PRM) are embedded into many EMA applications.

· PRM includes features that incorporate targeted, joint marketing programs to promote both business and partners.

Some features are:

v Cross-selling of a company’s complementary products.

v Promotion of new versions or upgrades products.

v Joint promotions with partners or affiliates.

Response Management

· How does your e-marketing suite handle response management so we can analyze the data?

· The complete response management features include banner ads, direct mail, print ads, email, web site link, surveys, event registration results, internet registration, and online survey results.

· Response management is the whole process is response gathering, analysis and refinement of the response.

· The response gathering was completed after campaign was completed.

v Using the internet as a tool that works in real time, what is now called “Closed–loop feedback” that is integrated into the e-marketing.

v “Closed–loop feedback” is the nucleus of the Internet based response management.

Questions

  1. What is Enterprise Marketing Automation?
  2. What are the components of EMA?
  3. Note on Business Analytic tool?
  4. What is Response Management?
  5. Note on Campaign management?

CHAPTER 5

CALL CENTRE

Syllabus :

Ø What Call centers mean,

Ø Customer Interaction,

Ø Functionality and technological implementation.

Ø What is ACD,IVR, CTI

Ø Web-enabling the call centre

Ø Automated intelligent call routing, logging and monitoring.

Chapter Overview

· Call Center Mean: Customer Interaction:

Customer interaction center (CIC), also known as the customer contact center or multimedia call center. CIC sophistication lets you call in on your phone and walk through a website that will handle the most common problems easily, with online information at the ready. The functionality is deep, the technology is complex, and the results are strong.

This is collaborative activity is one aspect of what makes this a CRM application. The customer directly interacts with the company through a customer service representative and variety of communications channels, and both use tools that make the interactions valuable. The customer could be interacting with the website through self-service application. If a human being isn’t involved directly as a customer service representative, there are virtual service representatives. Now that all but the most difficult and complex problems can be automated, customer satisfaction has been improving dramatically.

· The Functionality

Consider one example of typical call you might make to computer company technical service representative. A lot of functionality is involved in this call. There is call routing, assignment management, call tracking, entitlement processing, workflow, problem resolution, etc. There are activities that are going on without the knowledge of the customer, such as logging and monitoring.

  • The Technology

The technology for CIC and customer contact centers is complex and involves a mix of telecommunication and other communications channels, such as email, the Internet, faxes, or CRM Software. By adding advanced telecommunications and web-enabled CIC technology, the ante is upped heavily. The technologies are designed to create collaborative environment for the customer contact representatives. It also means a self service.

· ACD (Automatic Call Distribution)

This is phone call workflow, which is how a call gets routed based on the defining characteristics of the call.

· IVR ( Interactive Voice Response)

This is the menu-driven voices that specify which choices you can make by selecting numbers on your telephone pad. Benefit here is that the it can handle the routine transactions without the benefit of a live agent eg. Credit card company telling the balance.

· CTI (Computer telephony integration)

These are the technology application and interfaces that allow data integration with telephones.

· Web-Enabling the Call Center

Web-enabling the call center is in agreement with the new economics principle that customers want control over their decision making. They don’t want to be forced into their vendor’s rules, nor do they want be railroaded into a decision. Self –service becomes a critical psychological component as well as an effective one.

Certain concepts for web enabling the call center

1. Though it is a technology being implemented, the customer is the focus.

2. The technology chosen to “e-ize” the call center is the one that is most appropriate to the business rules of the company.

3. Web- enablement is time consuming, not just for functional and technical implementation, but in the retraining of support personnel, the increased intricacy of the job, and the change in the mindset of the personnel necessary for success.

4. Use the existing tools. Integrate the existing tools with your legacy system.

5. Plan to give higher – priority treatment or some other reward to self – service Web users.

6. Sometimes a human voice is better than a mouse click.

7. Try to implement software that will capture information well enough to constantly improve your knowledge base.

8. Keep interface simple.

· Automated Intelligent Call Routing

Call Routing is when you call in, you wait a few seconds, and you may or may not speak to someone or carry out something with a touch pad. You are then directed to particular person.

Managing this means using call routing that can handle increasing volume, geographical dispersion of the CCRs, multiple channels, and workflow. Typically it would identify who is calling and why they are calling, use the customer database to identify the history, and then find the appropriate party who is available at the time the caller calls. The software should have integrated IVR so that some of the processes can be routed to automatic responses. It should have CTI to capture information and use the database effectively. Its distribution should be multi-channel, which means open architecture.

Finally, it should integrate workforce management tools with its call-routing capacity so that the CIC’s agent capacity and scheduling forecast can be integrated into the use of the call-routing functionality in micro specific ways.

· Logging And Monitoring

Logging and monitoring software provide the granularity needed to do precision scheduling and improve performance management. Good Logging and monitoring software has following features:

1. The means to develop criteria to capture appropriate samples across the entire CIC network.

2. Extensive and very flexible reporting tools.

3. Universal connectivity to ACD Systems.

4. Strong interfacing with the WFM applications.

5. Easy export to other systems.

Questions

1) Write a short note on Call centers?.

2) What the acronyms ACD, IVR and CTI mean?.

3) What is automatic call routing?

4) How is the logging and monitoring carried out?

CHAPTER 6

Implementing CRM

Syllabus:-

Ø Pre implementation,

Ø Kick off meeting.

Ø Requirements gathering.

Ø Prototyping and detailed proposal generation.

Ø Development of customization.

Ø Power User beta Test and Data Import.

Ø Training and roll out and system hand off.

Ø Ongoing support, system optimization and follow up.

Chapter Overview

Implementation of the system is not just about installing the system but understanding how the system must conform to the business model and style of the company. It involves commingling of multiple software packages already installed. Implementation could be very complex. Because each company has different process and culture, each company might have different set of implementation issues to solve- technical, functional and cultural.

Implementation

§ Statement of Work and change management process should be clear prior to the even starting the installation.

§ Cost of implementing services could cost double to triple of the cost of the software itself

Phases involved in Implementation

Pre-Implementation Phase

· Identify your vendor and the service provider forth implementation

· Identify functionality needs

· Decisions related to implementation

· S/W selection occurs here & it should have following features :-

Ø Scalability of s/w

Ø Toolset & flexibility of customization

Ø Stability of existing CRM application code

Ø Compatibility of CRM applications with legacy systems (existing systems) & internet system.

Ø Level of technical support available during & after implementation

Ø Upgrade support

Ø Availability of additional modules such as EMA complementing SFA.

Kick of Meeting

· Customer needs identified

· Customer & partner decide responsibilities assigned to whom.

People involved in CRM team vendor team (consulting team) for implementation

ü Project Manager

ü Implementation Leader

ü Systems Engineer

Project Manager

Responsible for all aspects of implementation

· Cost Control

· Quality

· Testing

· Customer Satisfaction

· Handles multiple Projects

· In case of any changes to Statement of Work (SOW) with customer to obtain solution.

Implementation leader

· Also called technical leader

· Usually dedicated to one project

· His strength

Combination of people skills & technical skills

· He assists in preparing statement of work with project manager

Systems Engineer

· Primary job is to do coding

· They are onsite all the times.

· In many implementation technical & function linked to do work

· Important that software engineer knows how corporate sales processes tend to function & what is the sales work slow

Customer team

Knowledge team shares

1) About company

2) About applications that needs to be implemented

3) Learn how application works at technical level

Team Composition

Project Manager

· Owns the project from customer’s point of view

· Sees to it that partner project Manager adheres to the SOW

· Filters down changes in SOW prior to a discussion on changes with partner Project Manager

· Political position

· If implementation fails. Project Manager takes the fall at the company & gets few of Kudos if it succeeds.

System/Business Analyst

· Functional experts

· Provides input on business processes & flow that are enterprise specific

· Expected to be onsite most of times

IT staff

· Administrators of the system who are maintaining and setting up the network & its S/W.

· See to it they work out the bugs out during implementation

Integration expert

· Guides the integration of the CRM system with other systems

· Who the person depends entirely on what other information systems are.

· Highly specified position

· Someone who knows

o How to make hooks

o Final API’s

o Write scripts…etc

Heads of Non Technical Department

· Provides input & output approved on aspects affecting their department

· They can make or break a system

· Important group of team members

Teams are Knowledge established & as part of kick off meetings

Ø Concur on what system is functionally and technically going to do.

Ø There has to be a understanding of what software can do & cannot do 7 knowing the limitations of s/w.

Ø Create initial timeline so that each deliverable is scheduled for some date.

Requirements Gathering

· Depending on the scope of the project complexity length of requirements gathering phase can markedly change

· All people going to use the system are involved.

· Legacy systems needs to be analyzed

· Once the requirements for front office has been gathered , the next step is the identification of their inputs & outputs

Questions need to be addressed

a) What screens (i/p)

b) How information retrieved

c) How many customers want to work with system

d) No of users system should accommodate

· As the project processes functionality list narrows down depending technical boundaries & interaction of the proposed system

· Identification on what must be exported

· All information of the legacy system to be ready to provide foundation to see how legacy system functionality will conform to CRM functionality.

· NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement) signed between both parties.

Prototyping to detailed Proposed Generation

Hands on work begins

Objectives

Ø Develop some of the key functionality for the customer to examine before the rollout

Ø Doing so brings out the amount of difficulty in the achievement of functionality.

Once the prototype is done formal project proposal that states the deliverables, timelines and final costs are written to the client .

Mid market CRM projects are divided into 4 phases

Phase1: Sales Module customization.

The product catalogs, the sales process embedding, the account and contact databases and sales management criteria along with other things are developed.

Phase2: Marketing Module customization

Process is technically similar to the Sales Module Customizations but related to marketing.

Phase3: Integration with External Modules

This is a analysis of the existing technology infrastructure and network functionality. This phase identifies the integration points between the legacy systems, the CRM application and customization of other non- CRM applications and systems.

Phase4: Reporting integration

Reporting becomes important especially when the businesses are scattered across one office. By creating appropriate reports the danger of incorrect decision making is reduced dramatically

Development of Customizations

Once there are appropriate signoffs on the formal and final proposal document, the next phase is development of customizations. The time length varies with five to seven weeks depending on factors such as:

Ø The size of the project.

Ø The complexity of:

§ The interfaces

§ The workflow

§ The functions

Ø The availability of employees/users to work with the team to improve the customizations at a given iteration.

Ø Technical problems unrelated to implementation that affect can be resolved by creating independent environment for development, testing and eventually production.

Ø Midstream workflow and rules changes for the customization, necessitated by changing corporate business processes. This can be managed, but will affect the timetable and the price.

These are few of the many reasons the project can exceed its anticipated timeline of five to seven weeks.

  • Elasticity of application

It includes the ease of customized application

  • Assigning task to developers

Assigning right person for right job.

  • Replicating the customer site

It includes development environment & customer’s site should be identical

  • Preparing Project plan

The plan is checklist of tasks assigned to developers and team members.

  • Customer involvement

It includes the customer response for the customizations undertaken.

  • Change management

If changes are requires a clear change management process has to be in place so that the contractors and the customer can accept the changes.

  • Routinize

Finally the data routines are to be written. Writing data routines using CRM toolkit can save days of effort and manual entry.

Power User Beta Test and Data Import

The main purpose is to make sure the basic system works.

Major features:

  • It involves finding the systemic discrepancies that crop up when the customizations are moving to completion and the data migration is being prepared.
  • To create testing environment at the site.
  • The success or failure and strengths and shortcomings determine what kinds of backup resources, procedural automation is needed.
  • After successfully installing test data import is done as the system has to be a full-scale test run to identify the usability and accuracy of data. Customer involvement is necessary.
  • Finally before rollout a consistency check for everything from look and feel of the screens to is performed.

Training

Training time depends on no. of users and available facilities. It consists of:

Basic training

This training is run by the vendor considering the most cost effective.

Example: To send users to Arizona for training includes the cost of training plus the cost of hotel, food, airfare and other incidentals.

Customization Training

This training is done on the employees engaged in the project for making them familiar with the system.

The internal project team cost is taken and ordinary labor costs.

Documentation

The vendor or consulting company’s implementation team has full responsibility to provide documentation on the customized system.

Additional training

Two highly recommended courses are:

Train the trainer: This implies whomever send to this course will be one who will train the user on your staff as it saves time as well as money.

Integrator Course: This includes to teach staff how to make own customizations.

Rollout and System Hand-off

Ø Final Phase as well as Delicate & Huge task

Ø It’s the time when the production environment has to be installed at the site

Ø If any problem occurs:

Þ Legacy system has to be shutdown

Þ Conversion of data into the format of SalesLogix or PeopleSoft or Siebel databases likes Oracle, MS SQL Server7.0, DB, Interbase

Þ Powered up new system

Ø Usually occurs on a weekend for minimal disruption

Ø After completion of Data Migration tools are thrown away

Ø Remote user & Satellite office preparation are also significant part of rollout

    • Differs according to different software & methodologies
    • Depends on individual company & scale of project

Following procedure is followed

  1. Remote user gets the copy of general database for customization
  2. Guided through the use of system by trained implementation personnel

§ Used to increase overall comfort level

Major Features:

§ This production environment is different from beta environment

§ Developer stays onsite to deal with unexpected problems

§ Data Synchronization is a problem with remote users

§ Can be solved very quickly using data synchronization engines

Ongoing Support, System Optimization, and Follow-up

It’s an optional process because:

Þ Not all companies follow through on support after rollout

Þ Small companies have limited ability to provide post-implementation maintenance & support

Importance:

· Level of service is needed, so it’s wise to arrange for post-implementation support

· Incurring cost is better rather than incurring systemic failure

· Implementation partner has some responsibilities

· Must be ready to provide customer with rapidly turned-around support on demand

Activities that to be performed:

Ø Contact customer to make sure they are happy & functioning

Ø Occasional onsite assessment is necessary:

- To carry out new procedures used in system

- Allows the customer to get maximum benefit from system

Caution to be taken

Ö Keep the database compact

Ö Data importing should be minimized

Ö Prepare in advance with more machine power for growth

Ö Ensure that customization shouldn’t be overwritten with the update’s installation

Questions:

1. Describe in brief the different phases involved in Implementing CRM

2. How the different team members of vendor team and give briefly the

roles played by each member?

3. How the different team members of customer team and give briefly and

the roles played by each member?

4. What are the factors involved in Development of Customizations?

5. Explain the main purpose of Power use beta test and data import.

6. Explain the importance of training.

7. Explain the term Rollout in CRM.

8. What are the features of rollout?

9. What is the importance of ongoing support in implementing CRM & explain the various activities carried out by Implementation partner.

CHAPTER 7

Application Service Provider

Syllabus :

Ø Introduction to ASP,

Ø Who are ASP’s, their role and function,

Ø Advantages and disadvantages of implementing ASP.

Overview

Most small to medium businesses could be benefited by the ASP’s .ASP’s outsource the “low-value” work allowing the smaller companies to focus on the limited resources

on more strategic initiatives to drive the advantage.

Introduction to ASP

ASP - Application Service Provider is a company that hosts a software application and rents it out for monthly fees

Basic Value Proposition

1. Outsource the headaches and expenses related to managing a business application ,thereby allowing the customers to free up the resources for more strategic initiatives

2. enable its customers to conserve capital by paying a monthly service instead of huge sum upfront.

Most companies cannot afford to implement the levels of redundancy, reliability and security. By using ASP even a small company can get access to leading business applications and often world class information system infrastructure.

5-> Advantages

Ø Rapid Implementation

ASP’s implement the same products on the same platform over and over again. This makes them extremely proficient at this task.

Ø Lower Cost of entry and ownership

This enables the customers to defer the large capital expenditure traditionally required to bring the applications on line

Ø Reduced people headaches

Outsourcing a customers IT department would reduce the requirement of IT people needed to manage the application.

Ø Availability

Most Asp’s advertise 24/7/365 uptime for their customers application – online all the time, typically backed by service level agreement (SLA).

Ø Scalability

The very nature of Asp business requires that they are high performance scalable technologies. ASP‘s are developed with scalability on mind.

4-> Disadvantages

Ø Limited choices

ASP’s typically provide limited number of brands. They are forced to do this if they are going to be able to produce repeatable, scalable results.

Ø Integration with other applications

Hosting the ASP application outside the enterprise, integration with other enterprise applications become challenging.

Ø Security

For all practical data held in ASP is arguably safe than data held in the enterprise because ASP’s goes to great extent to ensure security and protect information in a multi-tenant environment. Since the data is located offsite the data is outside the direct sphere of control.

Ø Connectivity

When using a ASP telecom company and many others variables come in to picture which means customer is 100% at their mercy.

Questions

4) Write a short note on the ASP ?.

5) Give the role played by ASP and what is its function?.

6) Give the advantages and disadvantages for ASP?

1 comment:

Kris said...

Very nice blog post. It's complete. Partner Relations Management is very important to small or big businesses. PRM is used to describe the methods and strategies for improving communications and relationships between other companies and their channel. Main reasons of this method include selling, commission, opportunity, marketing campaigns, inventory access, and other features designed to facilitate the relationship between manufacturers and others.

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