There are three aspects of CRM which can each be implemented in isolation
from each other:
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
- Operational - automation or support of customer processes that include a
company’s sales or service representative
- Collaborative - direct communication with customers that does not
include a company’s sales or service representative
- Analytical - analysis of customer data for a broad range of purposes
META Group (acquired by Gartner in April 2005) developed this
conceptual architecture in the late 1990s, and dubbed it the CRM EcosystemCon.
A pioneer of CRM ,Help Desk Software since 1992 SOFFRONT the
mid-market CRM leader gave a whole new interface and practical solutions to the
CRM by offering end-to-end CRM Software solutions spanning marketing automation
and sales force automation software, customer service and helpdesk software,
sales order processing software, asset and project management software, defect
tracking software and more.
The latest CRM functionalities
The latest CRM should incorporate features that extend the CRM functionality
beyond sales, marketing, and customer support.
Some features are
- Superior user interface
- Support for Web Services
- A framework, which should support integration with popular accounting
- Support e-mail client integration and advanced email support
- Support perforce integration
- Features to make the engine to support automated business rules, email
support and alerts etc
- Supports customization of UI,TOOLS,REPORTS,TEMPLATES etc.
- Should be WEB and WAP enabled.
Zero footprint web browser : the CRM should be web based
and operate from your browser. You can access the application just as you
would access a web site like amazon.com. There must not be any requirement
of writing code at the client’s end or any requirement to download a plug-in
or an applet. Standard browser access is a must should support open
technologies like http/xml which provides all the functionality.
All modules should be inherently integrated with each
other. The complete breadth of crm functions spanning sales, marketing,
customer support, employee support, partner management, defect tracking and
customer portal applications must be integrated by design.
The product should support database like oracle, ms sql
server and sybase. A single repository should hold all the data generated
across various customer touch points.
- If the modules are pre-integrated then you have the flexibility to start
with what you need and activate the rest when you need them.
Should be release independent so that the customizations done at installation
and over the years are preserved when you upgrade. There is no need to rework
Operational CRM provides support to "front office" business
processes, including sales, marketing and service. Each interaction with a
customer is generally added to a customer's contact history, and staff can
retrieve information on customers from the database when necessary.
One of the main benefits of this contact history is that
customers can interact with different people or different contact channels
in a company over time without having to describe the history of their
interaction each time.
Consequently, many call centers use some kind of CRM software
to support their call center agents.
Operational CRM process customer data for a variety of purposes:
- Managing Campaigns
- Enterprise Marketing Automation
- Sales Force Automation
Collaborative CRM covers the direct interaction with customers, for a variety
of different purposes, including feedback and issue-reporting. Interaction can
be through a variety of channels, such as web pages, email, automated phone
(Automated Voice Response AVR) or SMS.
The objectives of collaborative CRM can be broad, including cost reduction
and service improvements.
Analytical CRM analyzes customer data for a variety of purposes:
- Design and execution of targeted marketing campaigns to optimise
- Design and execution of specific customer campaigns, including customer
acquisition, cross-selling, up-selling, retention
- Analysis of customer behavior to aid product and service decision making
(e.g. pricing, new product development etc.)
- Management decisions, e.g. financial forecasting and customer
- Prediction of the probability of customer defection (churn analysis).
Analytical CRM generally makes heavy use of predictive analytics.
Several commercial CRM software packages are available which
vary in their approach to CRM. However, CRM is not just a technology, but rather
a comprehensive approach to an organization's philosophy in dealing with its
customers. This includes policies and processes, front-of-house ustomer service,
employee training, marketing, systems and information management. Hence, it is
important that any CRM implementation considerations stretch beyond technology,
towards the broader organizational requirements.
The objectives of a CRM strategy must consider a company’s specific situation
and its customers needs and expectations.
The technology requirements of a CRM strategy can be complex and far
The basic building blocks:
- A database to store customer information. This can be a CRM specific
database or an enterprise data warehouse.
- Operational CRM requires customer agent support software.
- Collaborative CRM requires customer interaction systems, e.g. an
interactive website, automated phone systems etc.
- Analytical CRM requires statistical analysis software as well as
software that manages any specific marketing campaigns.
Each of these can be implemented in a basic manner or in a high end complex