Keep customers happy: Use the latest business technologies

Keep Customers Happy Use the latest business technologies By Fred Workley In today's market, customers have come to expect convenient, fast and accurate response to their inquiries and needs. Companies must deliver a consistent...

High technology has made business intelligence practical and cost effective. Business intelligence tools enable you to use data to provide valuable information very quickly. This can improve the decision-making process while increasing responses to the ever-changing marketplace.

Organizing the information
Real-time information gathered constantly must be stored, organized, and disseminated in order to be useful to your organization. It is a matter of transforming large amounts of data into a usable resource. Your goal is to improve the efficiency of your organization through CRM.

Using CRM might ensure your survival in today's economy. You need every customer both old and new. Good customers are a limited commodity. Your ability to build loyalty and retain a base of repeat customers is critical to your success.

Integrating the technology
Technology applications are available to implement worldwide multichannel contact centers that synchronize all customer contact points. Servers accept all contacts including voice inputs, web, e-mail, fax, and wireless communications. We have to convert these customer contacts to customer relationships. CRM is really about managing customer contacts. Technologies such as interactive voice response (IVR), fax-back, speech recognition, and text-to-speech recognition can provide round-the-clock access for your customers.

Technology is allowing you to integrate all of your contact channels to deal with today's complex marketplace. This integration allows customers to access information on a 24/7 basis. Most systems give customers the relevant information that they need quickly. Self-service is a strategy that links users, relevant information, and transactions into a common framework. But don't forget web self-service doesn't replace human interaction.

Consider the return
CRM is like any other investment. You need to consider your return on investment (ROI). E-business initiatives should use the satisfied customer as a benchmark. Customer value is the true measurement, not just trying to justify the cost of the technological components of a system. Customer satisfaction equates to profitability and survival in a tight economy.

Just looking at technology costs and training make this new strategy difficult to justify as an ROI. Part of the cost of implementing CRM is changing from a product-focused to a customer-focused organization. The change from just making a number of sales to counting satisfied customers may be a big jump.

Consider CRM as an investment and not as an expense. CRM expenditures that improve customer service and ensure customer loyalty have value and not every measure is based on cost reduction. Customer expectations are that you and your organization are in this business for the long run. Make your presence known in every communication medium.

Keep 'em Flying. AMT

Fred Workley is the president of Workley Aircraft and Maintenance Inc. in Alexandria, VA, and Indianapolis, IN. He holds an A&P certificate with an Inspection Authorization, general radio telephone license, a technician plus license, ATP, FE, CFI-I, and advance and instrument ground instructor licenses.

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