CRM is both a business strategy and a set of discrete software tools and technologies, with the goal of reducing costs, increasing revenue, identifying new opportunities and channels for expansion, and improving customer value, satisfaction, profitability, and retention. CRM software applications embody best practices and employ advanced technologies to help organizations achieve these goals.( Mc Dougall,2004) CRM focuses on automating and improving the institutional processes associated with managing customer relationships in the areas of recruitment, marketing, communication management, service, and support. CRM takes a very customer-centric view of the entire customer life cycle, which means that a CRM business strategy places the customer at the centre of the organization’s universe. The management of relation with customer (CRM) as a key competitive strategy needs paying attention to the customers' needs and practicing customer- facing method in all industries (Buttle, 2009, P.89). Using communicative technology of information, industries try to create long term relation with customers, so improving management relation customer has been more common(Lambert,2010,P.12).
For example, in Zimbabwe, Econet has its customer services and these help maintain their relationships with its customers. Customer care services (www.econet.ac.zw) at Econet Wireless include: General Enquiries (111)
This helpline is the main Econet Help line which caters for both prepaid and post-paid related queries. The helpline supports the three main languages used in Zimbabwe, these being Shona, Ndebele and English. Other languages like Tonga, Nambia, Nyanja & Venda are supported but to a limited extent. Our call centre is national in nature and takes cognizance of that fact, hence diversity in the languages to support our various clients. Interactive Voice Response – IVR
We are on a path to international standards level and to begin with we have invested in the best technology to support our Contact Centre. Econet was the first ever mobile network provider in Zimbabwe to put in place, the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) function. This is a channel which customers can use to information on all Econet products electronically without having to speak to an operator. Subscribers can get assistance with issues as Voicemail, SMS, tariffs, current time enquiries and additional product information. We encourage our valued subscribers to utilise this channel as the IVR is available 24 hours a day. Live Chat
Econet is the first in the country to launch a live chat service to its clients. Clients get to chat live with Call Center agents, getting instant answers to their queries. The Call Center Agents are multi-skilled in handling queries on all Econet products and services. The focus is first-contact resolution of all queries logged with our Agent. However, in the absence of a live Agent, clients can submit their query via the query form available on the website. We will respond within 24 hours. SMS Help
In the spirit of innovation Econet Call Centre realized that it’s not easy to service a toll free SMS help centre. This is a customer support system which allows clients to get service via SMS toll free. It is designed to give automated responses to those customers who may need specific information on any Econet products and services. To get the information, customers type the word help or abbreviation of the keyword and send it to 111. The customer will receive the automated answer without having to call to speak to an operator. The SMS to 111 is free and it is available 24 hours a day. Econet Contact Centre
To become a leader in service provision from inception, Econet embarked on a major investment project to open a contact centre which would assist subscribers with enquiries related to its services. Econet established a toll free call centre, which handles an average of 70 000 calls per week and manned by 120 operators.The Econet Contact...
References: 1) Buttle. Francis, 2009, Customer Relationship Management, concept & Technology, Elsiveir, London
2) Douglas. M. Lambert, 2010, CRM as a business process, Journal of business & industrial marketing
3) Greenberg, Paol, 2010, The impact of CRM on customer insight, Emerald.
4) Kotler, P., and Fox, K. Strategic Marketing for Educational Institutions. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1995.
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