By Integrated Solutions for Retailers magazine
In the retail world, customer relationship management (CRM) has quickly evolved from a luxury to a necessity. If you do not retain, analyze, and use your customers' key data, chances are another retailer will. In addition, CRM has grown from a cumbersome manual process to a proliferation of automated data collection, customized loyalty programs, one-to-one marketing efforts, and more. So, loyalty as it pertains to CRM is only one component of a multifaceted process. In this month's Retail Solutions Forum, Tim Lemieux, senior VP and CIO of Ratner Companies, and Kathryn Murphy, VP of product management at Tomax Corporation, discuss CRM as a comprehensive discipline and where it's headed next.
Why are retailers using CRM?
Lemieux: CRM allows retailers to better understand their customers and create demographic profiles, which lead to improved effectiveness in marketing efforts. In service-oriented organizations, customer information capture helps the retailer provide increased value-add services to the customer. Information capture functionality offered by a CRM solution allows retailers to acquire service and individual customer data. For example, at our salons, a stylist can create a record for each customer, which details his or her chemical composition or hair color formula and personal information. When the customer returns to the salon, the stylist can deliver consistent service and continue the personal relationship developed during the previous visit.
Used with permission from Integrated Solutions for Retailers magazine