Posted in Operations & IT Articles, Total Reads: 1750
, Published on 01 October 2011
The world has changed over the last few decades with computers and technology becoming a part of everyone’s life. Computers, internet, telecommunication have become an essential and integral part of even the corporate and the business world. In the world of business, computers play a pivotal role in realizing objectives, simplifying processes and delivering results. Be it operations or finance or marketing or managing human resources, the use of technology has become critical for the success of a company. Another place where the use of computer has simplified business and gives companies an edge is customer relationship management or CRM.
Customers are the most crucial element of a business. It is often said and is true that it is much more difficult to retain customers than acquiring them. Thus it’s important to build relations with the customers which are achieved through CRM, and its success these days is dependent upon use of technology. The use of technology and softwares can help in CRM in the following ways.
Front-office Operations in CRM are boosted by the use of technology in the following ways. Use of computer helps in Billing / Cashier Operations. Various things under billing operations like MRP, Sale Rate and Savings are achieved. Customized Footer messages based on any criteria can be created, multiple payment options can be created etc can be done. Apart from this, Customer tracking with personalized database for C.R.M) can be done along with linking with telephonic Sales Orders and home deliveries. Thus, these are few of the things which can be achieved at the customer facing end.
Computerized CRM also helps in giving facilities like Customer Schemes, Discounts and Loyalty programmes to customers. Computerization helps achieve Deep Discounting multi-piece (in % or in Rs., based on quantity slabs), Scheme definitions are Parameterized and Slab-based (Qty or Amount slabs) and Scheme Definitions applicable at Bill-level, Item-level or Item-Group level. Customer fixed-deposits and coupon information can also be implemented by using simplified soft wares. Moreover, enabling technology helps in cashier hand-over and deposit processes along with sales returns with credit note adjustment.
Similarly, the backend operations are also simplified. Computerization helps in evaluating and understanding daily sales summary in terms of cashier & machine-wise, mode of payment-wise, category wise etc.
Another aspect covered by computerized systems are centralized and integrated financial accounting system which cover activities like consolidation of all branch transactions at H.O (using incremental data transfers), MIS Reports, controls and security. Centralized Bank Payments, Receipts, Transfers and Reconciliation etc are also automated processes which help in achieving overall efficiency. Purchase of items from customers with automatic calculation of actual markup, margin and discounts, category control, transfer to accounting system etc are all covered by technology. Moreover, automated ordering by studying historical records, stocking options, ware housing, distribution network etc is undertaken by automated systems.
Another important role which technology plays in CRM enhancement is by using technology like Barcode and QR Codes. These give customers and also the shop employees’ details about the product, price, company etc. Standardizing and having universal bar codes also takes the burden of manufacturers in reaching out to retailers across the entire landscape. Bar codes also help in inventory management as it simplifies the process of stock keeping.
The competition amongst all companies is intensifying by each minute. And organizations are looking for quicker, more efficient ways of performing businesses. And one such way of increasing customer relationship and creating customer bonds is the using of computers and technology.
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