By Lipokmarla Imchen, Assistant Professor (Department of Management-BBA)
What exactly is Management about? Is it necessary only for large corporate companies? Is it required only for private enterprises or for businesses only? These are some thoughts that may cross the minds of many. However, we opine that these are only a part of the wide area of management.
In this series of short papers, C-Edge College with the initiative of Management Department will draw out and illustrate the necessity and applications of management skills.
In this article, we introduce you to the basic idea of the importance of maintaining good customer relationship by any organisation with special reference to the retail sector. When we talk about retailing and customer relationship management, these are two of the most talked about topics in the current marketing scenario. And talking about marketing, the heart of one’s business success lies in its marketing. Most aspects of a business depend on successful marketing. The overall marketing umbrella covers advertising, public relations, customer relationship management, promotions & sales and retailing. Marketing is a process by which a product or service is introduced and promoted to potential customers. Without marketing, your business may offer the best products or services in your industry, but none of your potential customers would know about it.
Customer relationship management (CRM) is an approach to managing a company's interaction with current and potential future customers which tries to analyse data about customers' history with a company, to improve business relationships with customers, specifically focusing on customer retention, and ultimately to drive sales growth. It is not merely the response of the times, but the necessity of the times as well. CRM has become very essential for every business in today’s business environment where we have cut throat competition.
Retailing is defined as a definite set of actions and steps used to sell a product or a service to customers for their personal or family use. The Indian retail industry has emerged as one of the most dynamic and fast paced industries in the world and India is one of the most popular destinations attracting FDI which is believed to be contributing to the growing organised sector (in Retail). Pantaloons, Big bazaar, Tata Trent and RPG enterprises are among the biggest players in the Indian retail market. In Nagaland, the organised retail scenario comprises of Tata Westside (Trent), Vishal Mart, Jack & Jill, BabyOye (Mahindra), and many other players. Precious Me Love is one of the pioneers in e-retailing business based in Nagaland. Big Bazaar is expected to enter the Dimapur market soon.
Customer relationship management in retail can increase customer satisfaction, reduce your costs and improve your company's performance in the marketplace. CRM software manages your relationships with individual customers to create advantages for both parties. A retailer’s relationship with their customer is key to repeat store visits, brand loyalty and ultimately sales conversions. But how do you go about creating a winning formula? How can you engage consumers in today’s multi-channel environment; be it through a website, social media channels or in-store, to keep them coming back? One can send a voucher offering a discount once a year. And if you haven’t seen a customer for a while, we can send an email with the latest news and products available. For regular customers, invite them to an exclusive event.
A good retail CRM system can help build loyalty, creating brand ambassadors who will happily spread the word about their positive customer experience. Once the customers have a bad experience with the retailer, they’ll be even more vocal about a bad customer experience.
There are several ways to collect information to build a successful CRM database. Many retailers ask for an email address when you purchase in-store, others offer the latest news and discounts by signing up to their newsletter online or by developing customer chat rooms and communities. Using a database to personalise products, discounts and events for consumers is crucial to creating repeat customers who are keen to engage with a brand.
And it’s not just stores that offer personal, targeted marketing but E-tailors such as Amazon, Myntra, Shop Clues, etc. also do the same – they all want repeat customers who they know better, and who they are willing to go the extra mile to get them.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) in retail is not a new concept, but it is one that could help retailers win the battle for sales in these competitive times. Customers need to be attracted in to the store, given a reason to visit and a reason to stay and shop. Retailers need to create a welcoming environment as well as an experience for their customers.
Having an accurate retail CRM database, focused on the customer, is an integral part of the jigsaw for any retailer. Today, the consumers are savvy, demanding and often in a hurry, so a successful retail CRM system will pay, when it comes to building loyal customers. Retailers need to think smarter to engage shoppers and create loyalty towards their brand, and to do this they need to know as much as possible about them.