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Customers are the most valuable asset of any organization along with an organization’s own Human Resource. Both the customers and the company are dependant on each other in some way or the other. It is for them that a company operates and wishes to serve them loyally. Therefore it is essential to manage the customers by maintaining a cordial relationship towards them. To handle this area, most organizations have a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program which handles all the relevant aspects related to customers to ensure that they are satisfactorily retained towards the company.
There are many different components of customer relationship management which serve as measures as to how effective a CRM program is. These can be customer acquisition, customer retention, customer loyalty, customer satisfaction, customer perception towards quality and different others success factors as well. All these success factors are different in nature and considered separately but their total impact shows the overall success of CRM program. A successful CRM program would at least be scoring well on these success factors.
“Highly skilled staff + Hard work + Customer Loyalty = Strong Brand Value + Long Tern Success” Good Year is without doubt one of the world’s largest tire manufacturers, located in USA it has its operations in various regions around the globe. It forms rubber and tires for wide array of automobiles ranging from light earth-mover such as race cars, light trucks, commercial trucks to heavy earth-movers such as airplanes. The main feat of the company apart from above mentioned are the Good Year Blimp which has now been recognized in America as most different and famous advertising icons.
Good Year also prides in itself as the most successful tire suppliers of the Formula 1 race event (Good Year, 2010). The brief background about Good Year shows that they have to encounter extensive customer dealing and hence, a CRM program is a must. We would be evaluating the success of its CRM program on some above mentioned success factors. Good Year must have a proper CRM evaluation method or a complete set of CRM measurement metrics so that it can be evaluated how successful their CRM program implementation is. For this measurement of success Good Year must have a scientific and objective method.
Good Year’s CRM would comprise of salesperson mainly as they have to deal with the clients for sales of tires therefore they must be fully equipped with the essentials of carrying out proper CRM. In a successful CRM program, the first important key is the sequence of implementation of CRM program (Customer Think, 2005). To evaluate the success of CRM program of Good Year it will first see how in which manner the CRM program is implemented. If the sequence of the CRM program starts with understanding of the different segmented customers and their differences towards tire needs.
This would prove successful as it would provide base line on which the CRM strategy could be developed. The complete CRM check should start with the customers, on this understanding a strategy would be formulated, then the employees would integrate the processes and technology. This is how Good Year would have successful CRM program. Of all these components customers must have the most weight age. To see whether or not success is ensured, Good Year will have to match all their customer relationship solutions including sales and marketing solutions with the whole of the business processes.
They would have to see whether there sales, marketing and customer care solutions are aligned with their overall business processes. To check this they would have to make sure that data collection is accurate, effective data integrity and reporting, this would enable to develop long term repeat customer relationships. Leadership also plays a vital role in success of CRM as it is work of management to give direction to CRM program and to empower the employees by giving liberty to develop cordial relationships along with technical support for this.
Employees of Customer care can perform better if they understand both their customers and the business as a whole. As an innovative company that Good Year is, it must develop new tires according to the needs of their customers and also according to the technological platform that it has. If the change is to be brought in the program then it should be done on a small scale because both the customers and employees take time to adapt to new functionality of CRM. And last but not the least, the evaluation and maintenance should be on continuous basis so that the fit is maintained between success and CRM program (Customer Focus Consulting, 2003).
If Good Year covers the above aspects then they can evaluate on the basis of the above factors. The success of CRM is mainly reflected by the components which we discussed in the beginning i. e. customer loyalty, customer acquisition, customer retention, customer satisfaction and customer’s perception about the quality of tires that Good Year makes. For this purpose they have to form a complementary evaluation program along with the CRM program which main aim would be to measure success of these factors.
For this purpose Good Year should form a feedback and complaint system for this CRM program on which continuous feedback should be taken. The customers should be welcomed to share their experiences whichever segment they may belong to. Attributes of tires which can include durability, road grip, smoothness on road and many others can be measured through this. This will give us the degree to which the customers are satisfied. This will also uncover the issues and problems faced by the customers. A database platform should also be developed which should keep record of the customers, both new and old.
This would reveal figures and help quantify the customers retained and acquired over the time period. A quality check should be done by mailing questionnaires, direct interviews, personal conversations, focus groups and other activities in which sales force can be used on continuous basis. Continuous competitive analysis should also be done so as to know what new are the competitors working on and why customers go for them. This would maintain a check on the perception of quality by the customers.
After all these are done then if there are inconsistencies and gaps between the results and the criteria then accordingly corrective measures would have to be taken. CRM is an integral part of an organization. For a successful CRM program there must be an evaluation of CRM program on the continuous basis. Good Year is a company which has extensive customer interaction and therefore they should monitor their CRM program. Success factors such as customer loyalty, perception regarding quality, satisfaction, retention and acquisition reflect the success of the CRM program.
References: Good Year. (2010). Our Company. Retrieved on May 26, 2010, from http://www. goodyear. com/corporate/about/index. html Customer Focus Consulting. (2003). Seven Golden Rules for Successful CRM. Retrieved on May 26, 2010, from http://www. customerfocusconsult. com/articles/articles_template. asp? ID=17 Customer Think. (2005). How do you evaluate your CRM Implementation. Retrieved on May 26, 2010, from http://www. customerthink. com/article/how_do_you_evaluate_your_crm_implementation
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