Thursday, March 13, 2014

Customer Relationship Management

Operational and Analytic CRM
While working with CRM we often see that a good CRM implementation needs to address the requirements of both the analytical as well as operational objectives. A successful implementation often relies on the interactions with the customer for data collection and then leveraging that data for analysis.
Operational CRM often is related to the processes that are related to sales, marketing, operations and services. This is often an end to end solution beginning from the initial contact, to the final payment and the ensuing customer service. CRM succeeds in integrating all the key customer metrics and processes.
Business Intelligence software tools are used to transform the raw data that is gathered from multiple meetings with the client into useful information and provide insight to the stakeholders, to improve the decision making timeliness and accuracy.

The Essential Problem:
Every management faces the quintessential problem, i.e to consistently make the right strategic and operational decisions in a timely and accurate manner. To make the right decisions, one needs to have data that is not incomplete, inaccurate or irrelevant.

The Solution:
Integrating DW/BI with CRM and essentially using it as a repository to first collect and then integrate all the customer related information, not only from the operational systems, but also the analytic systems as well as external sources. The goal is to make the DW the foundation of the CEM process. Once the data has been accumulated and integrated, Analytic CRM can be enabled. The advantage of this is that the results can be measured and the customer data can be leveraged to identify cross-sell opportunities, identify inefficiencies and improve customer retention.

The following steps should be followed to successfully implemented to deploy a CRM system integrated with BI.

Ø  Identify key requirements/ objectives: One of the first steps is to identify the requirements of the stakeholder. Any relevant and first-hand information that can be obtained holds relevance to a successful deployment.

Ø  Resource Allocation: IT participation plays a huge part in implementing BI solutions. Tasks like data cleansing, transfer, consolidation and integration require skill and expertise. The technical resource pool in the team can contribute effectively in these tasks. Meanwhile, focus should also be on business objectives providing operational insight. Business intelligence is best achieved by leveraging skills, from both the IT staff as well as business staff.

Ø  Defining metrics: Key performance Indicators (KPIs) need to be identified as the defining characteristics for a successful implementation. KPIs often drive performance selecting it is depends on the business plan, budgets and the objectives. Customer service is sure to measure strategic metrics such as customer satisfaction and retention. Its important to start with fewer and more relevant metrics and increasing progressively.

Ø  Determine sources of data: For CRM analytics, the bulk of data is likely to reside in the central repository. However, additional sources may exist, like a Content Management System(CMS), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system and some transactional applications.

Ø  Determine the tools to be used: A CRM analytics or operational platform often includes data visualization technologies like dashboards. Scorecards and OLAPs are effective tools for effective querying, reporting and other analysis.

Information is the fuel that power's intelligent organizations. However, management's traditional use of reviewing static, generic, historical reports which usually only pull data from a single source is no longer sufficient in competitive markets. These reports are designed for passive viewing and do little to proactively advance business initiatives in the shortest cycles possible.

BI solutions are increasingly popular, and beginning to be embedded with traditional and on-demand CRM software solutions. These tools offer increasing value when extended throughout the business. Strategic, Data driven projects such as annual business plans, budgets, workforce analysis and more can strongly benefit from automation and analysis with BI solutions.

The Data Warehouse Tooklit 3rd Edition