CRM constituencies are defined as the components that comprise the whole ecosystem of relationship building between a business and its consumers. In addition, the ecosystem of the CRM constituencies remains extended to third parties providing technical and management support. Therefore, the CRM constituencies mainly comprise of the internal management team, customers, stakeholders, and third-party service providers.
However, the CRM ecosystem is a massive term that is not just limited to consumers or vendors or stakeholders, but also to the company’s strategy development process, value creation process, performance assessment processes, and information management or analytical process (Buttle, 2013).
The internal management team of a business
The internal management team or the business itself forms the most important constituent of the CRM ecosystem. The whole ecosystem of CRM begins with the inception of a business and its strategies towards building short-term or long-term relations with the customer. Businesses in the field of financial services, telecommunications and manufacturing have efficiently used various models either by themselves or with the help of third-party service providers. These models include IDIC Model, QCI Model, and CRM Value Chain Model (Buttle, 2013).
These models of CRM focuses on the customer rather than acquisition, retention, and penetration. Subsequently, these processes help retain and acquire customers and to do so, the business needs technology to assist the processes. Therefore, these models remain related to employees, people, organization, and technology, which also form the complete ecosystem of the CRM. The internal management of a business is responsible for value creation process and performance assessment processes.
Customers and stakeholders of the businesses
The customers and stakeholders of businesses comprise of the CRM ecosystem to form an important constituency. CRM influences customer experience and impacts customer satisfaction ratings and loyalty. The dawn of the new customer, or in other words, tech-savvy customers, implicates that a customer does not do business with a business due to price or product (Larivière, et. al., 2017). Rather, the new age customers are more focused on technological aspects.
For instance, customers look after ease of using the application and the purchase process. Therefore, the CRM constituent comprising the customers are directly linked to the vendors on a common CRM platform. Customer behaviour motivates the company’s strategy development process and information and analytical process. Businesses use the CRM Value Chain Model to manage customer relationships with the help of people, information technology, customer’s data, company’s process and customers themselves.
Vendors of CRM software
To begin with, vendors of CRM software include names such as Oracle, SAP, SAS, KANA, Microsoft and StayinFront (Kumar and Reinartz, 2018). There has been considerable consolidation of the CRM vendor marketplace in recent years. Vendors sell licenses to businesses and install CRM software on the customer’s servers either directly or through system integrators. The client’s side is then trained to use the application=. On the other hand, vendors of CRM hardware and infrastructure provide the technological foundations for CRM implementations (Buttle, 2013). They supply technologies such as servers, computers, handheld devices, call centre hardware, and telephony systems.
CRM application service providers (ASPs)
Businesses implementing CRM can also choose to access CRM functionality on a subscription basis through hosted CRM vendors such as Salesforce, Entellium, RightNow and NetSuite (Kumar and Reinartz, 2018). Clients upload their customer data to the host’s servers and interact with the data using their web browsers (Buttle, 2013). The ASP vendors deliver and manage applications and other services from remote sites to multiple users via the Internet. This is also known as SaaS (Software as a Service). Clients access CRM functionality in much the same way as they would use eBay or Amazon.
Role of management consultants in forming the CRM constituencies
Consultancies offer businesses a diverse range of CRM-related capabilities such as strategy, business, application and technical consulting (Mukerjee, Prasad, and Rao, 2017). Consultants can help businesses in implementing CRM to form an effective CRM ecosystem using different methods. To begin with,
- systems integration,
- choosing between different vendors,
- developing implementation plans and project management.
These management consultants make use of the CRM constituencies in the formation of CRM ecosystem to compose a large number of smaller projects, for example, data quality improvement, market segmentation, process engineering and culture change. The major consultancies include Accenture, McKinsey, Bearing Point, Braxton and CGEY that offer CRM consultancy (Buttle, 2013). However, smaller businesses sometimes offer specialized expertise. Similarly, Peppers and Rogers provide strategy consulting, and
- Buttle, F., 2013. Customer Relationship Management Concepts and Technologies. 2nd edn. Burlington: Elsevier. doi: 10.1017/CBO9781107415324.004.
- Kumar, V. and Reinartz, W., 2018. Software Tools and Dashboards. In Customer Relationship Management (pp. 171-178). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
- Larivière, B., Bowen, D., Andreassen, T.W., Kunz, W., Sirianni, N.J., Voss, C., Wünderlich, N.V. and De Keyser, A., 2017. “Service Encounter 2.0”: An investigation into the roles of technology, employees and customers. Journal of Business Research, 79, pp.238-246.
- Mukerjee, H.S., Prasad, U.D. and Rao, S.P., 2017. Defining success in CRM implementation projects: An empirical study from the it consultants perspective. Parikalpana: KIIT Journal of Management, 13(1), pp.116-125.
- Payne, A., 2012. Handbook of CRM. Routledge.
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