Setting a Customer Relationship Management CRM Program

Setting a Customer Relationship Management CRM Program
Before executing a Customer Relationship Management CRM plan, getting to understand the processes is very important. As stated by Winer (2001), different people perceived CRM to mean different things. To some, it means direct e-mails, some other see it as mass customization or developing products that fit individual customers’ need.

IT specialist sees it as some sort of technical jargon like online analytical processing (OLAP) or customer interaction centers (CICs).

Before microfinance institutions go into launching their Customer Relationship Management CRM, the author will highlight the CRM Model developed by Winer (2001) that will help them to get a sense of direction.

These Seven components are as follows: creating a database, analyzing the data, selecting the customer, targeting the customer, set relationship marketing, considering privacy issues, and designing a metrics.

Customer Database Creation: This step deals with the construct of a customer database or file for customer information. For existing microfinance companies in Cameroon that have not collected much information on their customer because Customer Relationship Management CRM has not been used, they could first seek customer history stored in their functional unit records such as accounting, customer service or marketing. Information to be obtained from the historical records of these units will be on transaction, customer contacts, descriptive information and response to marketing stimuli (Winer, 2001).

Data Analyses: This stage deals with segmenting the customers. According to Kamakura and Wedel (1999), there are different statistical methods (e.g. Cluster and discriminant analysis) for grouping together customers with similar behavioural patterns and the descriptive data interpreted can be used for developing different product and services to each customer segments. However, Peppers and Rogers (1993) disagree with this approach by suggesting that understanding be paid to each “row” of the database. To do this, understanding each customer and defining what he or she can contribute to the firm (Profitability) this will then determine the nature of product and services targeted at individually customer or as a small cluster.

Customer Selection:  this point of action is to sort out the customers to target for the firms’ services programs. If segmentation kind of analysis has been performed on purchasing or other relation-based behaviour, selection can match with customer in the most desired segments (highest purchasing rates, greatest brand loyalty, etc) and served with retention programs. According to Winer (2001), it would be easier task to determine on which customer to focus if individual customer-based profitability is also available through Life time customer value or other analysis means.