According to Kristin Anderson and Carol Kerr, the sole aim of a business is to create customers; the two business management experts and book writers have brought the concept of maintaining customers that a company has as it enlarges its customer base. Customer relationship management (CRM) is a strategic management tool, strategy, and weapon that managers have to ensure that customers become and remain royal to their business. BRANZ is an international building services provider where it engages in appraisal services, library services and consultancy; the industry has a number of players thus the company should have an effective customer management program (Kristin and Kerr, 2002). This paper analyzes how BRANZ can improve its customer service using CRM, business intelligence (BI) tools, and a data mining approach.
Some of the CRM technologies that BRANZ’s customer service department could use to strengthen its relationships with its customers
CRM is a comprehensive approach to creating, maintaining, and expanding customer-business relationships; it has the main role of ensuring that the customer is satisfied with the products and services of a company. Although BRANZ can be applauded for its effective customer management policies, there is no limit to good customer service; it should enact the following policies to improve its customer’s relations:
When using this approach, the company should ensure that the customer’s time with the officers on the ground is minimal but quality: contact management system for tracking the time and resources spent on customers. To have this, the company should have a well-equipped website where it offers information that can be attained through the site. When a customer contacts the company; their competent staff will cover the much he will need to know adequately.
Customer service and support
The company should have a customer contact center where clients can ask various questions in real-time from the company; this center should be manned by experienced and intelligent human capital who can handle customer issues effectively. The call centers should go ahead and contact some customers asking them their input on various issues; this is seen as including customers in decision making a move that boosts their loyalty to a company.
Marketing should be integrated and effective methods of reaching customers; after selling products, the company should offer some after-sales services to the contractor and ensure they have bonded with the client further (Raab, 2008).
How could BI with CRM help BRANZ to maintain relationships with its customers?
Business intelligence strategy aims at documenting information and collection of information that can assist a company makes decisions pertaining to different issues; when the strategy is integrated with CRM policy, then the company gets a chance to have customer information that can be used to make more sound decisions. Consumers have a certain move; they follow a certain behavior, to analyze and predict the next move of customers, there should be a documented system that shows past and present behavior adopted by consumers; this will assist BRANZ to come up with customer management policies that are responsive to consumers needs (Olszak and Ziemba, 2004)
Business intelligence tools allow a company to get information from third parties relating to the trend of business and how the market is moving; when having such information, the company will get information that could not be generated from internal sources. External information will assist BRANZ to understand the market from a wider angle thus when making customer management policies, it will be able to focus on the wider picture; this would be different if the approach was without the external input (Kersten, Mikolajuk and Yeh, 2004).
How could BI and data mining help improve its income base?
Data mining is a strategic approach that aims at looking for correlations or patterns among dozens of fields in large relational databases; it aims at taking a different analysis on available data to ensure they make business sense. When making decisions, managers need to be informed and have reliable past, current and futurist data. With futuristic decisions, a company is likely to satisfy its current and future customers. When making a strategy for a company, there are generally three approaches, cost strategy, differential strategy, and flow strategy.
When information has assisted in coming up with methods of cutting costs, the company will have an increased income; this is seen as an approach of not focusing on revenue improvement but a focus on increasing the profit margin. In a cost strategy, a company aims at improving its efficiency to a level that it becomes the least-cost producer. In a differential strategy, the business aim at getting unique products that will attract the greatest number of customers and meet their need.
BI and data mining systems offer a company a chance to analyze the treads of customers and make decision that makes the business be ahead of its customers and competitors in their products and processes. Flow strategy about establishing a certain area that has un-tapped market then enter the market. When there is data, a business will always be aware of emerging opportunities in the business world, and probably diversify its services to the emerging areas or offer consultancy services, whichever the case it will be an increased business to BRANZ (Kantardzic, 2002).
Kantardzic, M., 2002. Data mining: Concepts, models, methods and algorithms. New York: J. Wiley.
Kersten, G. Mikolajuk, Z. and Yeh, A.,2004. Decision support systems for sustainable development. A resource book of methods and applications. Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Kristin, A. and Kerr, C., 2002. Customer relationship management. London: McGraw-Hill Professional.
Olszak, C. M. and Ziemba, E.,2004. Business intelligence systems as a new generation of decision support systems. Orlando: The International Institute of Informatics and Systemics.
Raab, G., 2008. Customer relationship management: a global perspective. London: Gower Publishing, Ltd.