Over the past few decades there has been prolific growth in various industrial and business sectors with the significant increase in technology and digitalization. The prolific growth has boosted the business sectors in implementing and applying varied new strategies by which the entire face of business operations has changed. With globalization being one of the major aspect that has impacted various sector in an effective way, technology has boosted the game plan of the business sector publicizing the attainment of goals and objectives on positive grounds. The major aim of the report is to highlight the critical introduction of CRM and e-CRM (Anderson and Kerr, 2012). Customer relationship management and electronic customer relationship management has prolifically enhanced the headways in information boosting the business operations in an effective way.
The introduction of electronic customer relationship management has provided an improved potential to perform the business in the global market. Therefore it is quite obvious that it has also enhanced the affiliating lines that would help in transforming a significant business in a strategic way. The main aim of using e-CRM in an organization is significantly divided into three core aspects i.e. people, strategy and technology. This report will strategically analyze the importance of the electronic customer relationship management process in one of the most influential organization of the world, Sony (Azhar, n.d.). It would provide a detailed analysis about the process along with the major components that has been the key aspects in implementation and improvement of business operations within the organization.
Background of the Organization
Sony Corporation is one of the most influential consumer electronics organizations in the world. It is placed second best in electronics sector behind Matsushita Electric Corporation. Originating just after the end of the Second World War Sony has prolifically established it base with the introduction of varied revolutionary products. The company’s electronic product ranges from audio and video products, personal computers, televisions, computer peripherals, and electronic components and telecommunications devices (Batenburg and Versendaal, 2007). The company with its innovative technological operations has also launched various products like game consoles and software accounts which significantly provides the organization about 9% revenues. Sony earns about 10% revenues from its music business that includes the Epic and Columbia record labels. Another 7% of revenues are generated from the television business and Sony’s motion picture that prolifically includes the grand studio Columbia Tristar. Sony Corporation was founded by Akio Morita a former naval lieutenant along with Masaru Ibuka a defense contractor. The company prolifically deals in search of technological advances that enable them to provide quality technological concepts products to its wide range of customers present in over 150 countries all around the world.
Background to the process
The process that is being discussed in this paper is e-CRM, which stands for Electronic Customer Relationship Management. Primarily, the said process is an interface which enables the organization to strengthen the relationship between their customers. Although the scope of e-CRM extends to a much larger functionality rather than merely help the company in understanding the requirements of their valued customers (Busaidi, 2013). The functionality that an organization is able to gain from an e-CRM interface helps them in not only assess the requirements of the customers and meeting their expectations but also enables them to do the same with their clients, employees, and associates. This is the prime focus of this paper. An elaborate analysis on the e-CRM process is presented in this paper that would help in understanding every nook and cranny associated with this process.
The purpose for which an e-CRM process is implemented in the organization primarily serves as a medium through which the organization is able to understand the requirements of its customers. Gathering knowledge of the customers is an essential element of businesses as it greatly helps the management to develop products and services accordingly (Wps.pearsoned.co.uk, 2016). The process e-CRM is an electronic process which is primarily required to be installed. Prior to the installation of the process the interface upon which the process runs requires to be developed by software developers. The developers develop the software, which after its development procedure is tested to ascertain that it is providing optimum and flawless functionality. If the test results demonstrate that the interface is running appropriately and does not contain any bug within its programming the interface becomes ready to be installed in a company’s server (Chua, 2011). Once the e-CRM has been installed in the server it can be set to be the source point where all the data’s get accumulated. Now, in order to obtain the data the e-CRM interface is required to be installed in the medium from which the data will inputted by the users. These medium can be of various kinds ranging from desktops, laptops, websites, blogs, social medias, mobile device applications etc… the medium from which the e-CRM will be made available to users exclusively depends upon the organizations choice (Cunningham, 2012). The more the organization has spread across the digital space the more functionality the organization is capable of providing to the e-CRM interface. It would only require proper planning for the maintenance of the data’s accumulated through it, and maintaining the e-CRM from the organization’s end.
Planning an e-CRM process is essential as without proper planning an e-CRM cannot provide appropriate functionality to neither the organization implementing it nor the user using it. Therefore, properly planning the process through which the entire operations would run is very essential.
Primarily it is required to assign employees who would constantly monitor the data that comes through e-CRM. If the e-CRM application has been incorporated in the webpage of the organization it can be accessed by the customers or prospective customers. The information received from the customers from the other end would then be passed on to the concerned services which the customer has requested for thus, simplifying the information gathering process in the organization (Iyer and Bejou, 2014).
Once the e-CRM interface has been installed in the organization it is required that the interface is maintained appropriately in order to provide optimum functionality to it. This is due to the fact that the e-CRM interface is entirely based on programming which can easily malfunction (Shihab, Sukrisna and Hidayanto, 2015). Therefore, in order to carry out the process without any hindrance the software analyst team has to monitor the core programming of the interface to make sure that the interface is bug free and has not been affected by any sort of malware.
The functionality that an e-CRM process can provide to the organization is of potentially amazing. A successful e-CRM process can help businesses spread its wings and soar to new horizons. Therefore, once the e-CRM process has been implemented in the organizations framework it is very necessary to use the interface to in the organizations communication chain. This will require the organization to distribute the process within organizations network, to the distributers and suppliers, to the clients and associates. This would assist the company in shortening the verbal communication duration to a great (Jham, 2009). The persons having the e-CRM interface would then simply require putting in their requirements in the interface which would then be communicated to the management via another e-CRM interface by the employees receiving the information in the first place.
The executives and employees this process would require will comprise of:
Software programmers: These software programmers would be required by the company for the development of the e-CRM interface. Developers are largely responsible of providing functionality to the process interface and removal of bugs and malware from the core programming.
Software analyst: the function of an analyst is to sort out the issues which are forcing the interface to malfunction. They are the ones who have to identify the presence of malwares and bugs and report the issue to programmers (Jones and Ranchhod, 2007).
Software Designers: The purpose of the designers is to design interface that would be compatible with the program developed by the programmers. They are largely responsible for compatibility issues and implementing the program into interface so that it is compatible with the device or medium from which it is being used.
Website developers: the purpose of the web developers is to install the e-CRM interface and keep it functioning in the company’s webpage, social media page, blogs etc (Shah, 2008).
App developer: the program developed by the software developer is required to be converted and made compatible with the mobile device so that the e-CRM interface can be used on mobile devices. This is carried out by app developers.
App designers: they are largely responsible for the design of the interface on which the e-CRM mobile application would be accessed from.
Data analysts: Employees would be required for the data to be analyzed and forwarded to the customer support executives so that the customer support executives are able to provide the required solution based on the information interpreted from the data (Kumar, n.d.). Furthermore, the data analysts will serve the purpose of communicating the collected information to the management and serve as the communication medium between the clients, associates, suppliers, distributors and the concerned management.
Customer care executives: based on the data collected by the e-CRM the customer care executives would required to provide the support the customer requires.
The process will primarily require a software team. The purpose of the software team would be designed the e-CRM interface according to the requirement of the company. The software team can also be used in providing better and more functionality to the e-CRM. They will also monitor the functioning of the e-CRM so that it does not malfunction. This is very important for the safety and security of the data that the customers and clients have inputted. Furthermore, the more security the software team is able to provide to the data transmission from the user to the management the more safety the company’s vital information gains (Muther, 2012). The function of the web developers and application developers are similar to the responsibilities of the software team and do not require any further elaboration.
The design of the process is simple and is based on two modes, which are exclusively based on the source from which the e-CRM is collecting the information, which are:
- Customer Source.
- Clients/ associate/ supplier/ distributor source.
The modes will require the data received from the e-CRM provided by the user to be transferred to either the management or the customer care executive in order to carry out the request incorporated in the data (Ranjan and Agarwal, 2009).
The objectives of the process would be:
- Offering better functionality to the communication process.
- Shortening the duration required for communication.
- Simplifying business processes by providing easy and effective means of collecting information.
- Efficient means gathering and distribution of information.
- Offering superior solutions to the other business processes.
Performance and contribution
The performance of the e-CRM process affects the overall performance of the organization to a large extent. This is due to the reason that the process chiefly deals with gathering and distribution of data and information, which are afterwards incorporated in the business processes in order to carry out various operations of the organization (Muther, 2012). Therefore, it can be assumed that the entire function of an IT industry bases its primary operations on the e-CRM process, and as the e-CRM process is largely responsible for the optimum functioning of other processes in the organization its contribution to the organization can counted among the chief source of operation through which the organization runs.
Furthermore, contribution of the e-CRM process can be ascertained with the effective functioning of the other segments of the business such as the sales, distribution and finance. These departments will largely function based on the data received from the e-CRM process and based on the utilization of the data gained from the e-CRM process the processes will have to function accordingly in order to make the contribution of the e-CRM processes functioning significant (nassar, 2015).
It is recommended that the process is not confined to the limits where it is only implemented and used in gaining information from the customers only. It is highly recommended that the process is used in gathering overall information required for the proper functioning of the business. The information relating to employees in the marketing segment can be gathered with efficiency using an e-CRM interface designed to be used by the employees (Nguyen and Mutum, 2012). As the employees in the said segment are required to spend a lot of time outdoors therefore this interface would be very helpful in providing an efficient means of tracking their progress in order to make sure they are not slacking on company’s time.
The maximum ways the process is used the maximum amount of information the company would be able to gather. The process can be used in survey and analysis operations as well. These kind of operations focus on gaining knowledge regarding potential customers and businesses therefore, expanding the e-CRM process to such extent would help the organization to acquire business possibilities and prospective customers. Analyzing the implementation of e-CRM it is quite prolific that it would a significant effect on the supply chain management and the distribution management. Sony being one of the most influential companies of the world operating in more than 150 countries it is quite obvious to provide products and services at a continuous basis (Noruzi, n.d.). Thus, it is important for the organization to evaluate and analyze both the supply chain and distribution management effectively with the significant implementation of e-CRM. The effective implementation of electronic customer relationship management process would enable to track the demand of the customers and supply products as per the needs. It would also have a prolific effect on the distribution channel of the organization by prolifically evaluating the major channels of distribution. But side by side it is also very important to strategically analyze the potential threats of that can lead to major drawbacks for the business operations of the organizations. Thus it is critically important for the organization to evaluate the risks that are associated with the implementation of the e-CRM (Nykamp, 2011). Evaluation of the risks in an effective way would enable the organization to have a smooth process of business operations.
Significantly evaluating the basic process of electronic customer relationship management it can be said that the process has provided a wide scope of opportunities to various companies in gather significant information about the customers along with having a major control over the supply chain and distribution management (Ranjan and Agarwal, 2009). The effective information that are gathered by the implementation of e-CRM in Sony Corporation not only helped to analyze the major purpose of business operations but also providing key horizons for the organization. This process orientation has enabled Sony Corporation to prioritize the customer service in a prolific way that would enhance the future endeavors of the organization in an efficient way.
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