Is Your CRM Solution a Part of Your Company’s Value Chain?
A value chain is made up of a number of activities that create and build value for the customer. Your CRM efforts should be a part of that value chain if you intend to develop a customer-centric organization. Only if your CRM initiatives complement your other company resources can you extract maximum value from your CRM. This value manifests itself in terms of a value chain within your CRM initiatives. It is this value chain that forms the basis of your customer relationship management decisions.
The value chain consists of:
- Logistics – Inbound and outbound logistics that deal with the storage and movement of goods.
- Operations – Manufacturing or assembly of products.
- Marketing – Reaching out to customers.
- Sales – Sales of product or service.
- Service – The final primary activity in the value chain which includes after-sales service, complaint management, installations, etc.
A CRM solution has to be well-integrated with each of these processes, whose value should be measured in terms of the value they deliver to the customer. The customer’s point of view gets filtered to the processes via the CRM solution and related policies in place. Since a company’s value chain also includes its vendors and suppliers, you need to ensure that these entities work in sync with your CRM objectives as well.
For CRM solutions to mesh with your company’s value chain, you need to manage your value chain. Resources within the value chain need to be allocated so that maximum value can be achieved from those whom we choose to do business with. The value is in the form of process integration geared towards a customer-centric setup, customer satisfaction, and an increased bottom line.
As with any process in the value chain, success with CRM is to be measured by its ability to deliver value to the customer. In order to do this, it is important that CRM is used as a tool to bridge the back-end and the front-end, thereby connecting the entire value chain to a single thought process with reference to customer centricity.
CRM can add value to the customer and by extension to the company in several ways. Excellent service, fostering learning and information dissemination so that solution development can happen, helping suppliers perform dependably with consistency, etc. This implies considering customer experience from the point of view of end users, IT departments, accounts, and the various decision-making heads.
For CRM to yield ROI fast and offer effective customer management support it is important that it strikes a relationship with all the other processes and activities in the value chain. Sharing of knowledge and a common objective leads to effective collaboration, which ultimately serves to optimize the customer solution chain from end to end. A CRM platform that succeeds in channeling value to the customer can be considered to be well-integrated into the value chain.