For a service oriented company, this process is absolutely crucial to get right. Companies are starting to realize that service is where the profit is manifested, for instance; IBM transforms itself from a hardware company into a service business (Denning, 2005). A service is the enterprise intangible output which is generated from customers or from some of the assets that are directly involved with the service. The process of service management is the planning, monitoring, and control in the provision of service. Activities that are classified as service might include; maintenance, repair, and support in the after sales period as well as the provision of the service after the contract have been made. Among the factors that determine to produce success in this process are; how could the customer be trained to use product or service that that is most preferable to them (Mulder, 2001), how reliable is the service (Bahia & Nantel, 2000), does the service have the ability to meet their demand (Jones & Dent, 1994), does it have a measurable intangible/tangible output to the customer (Lancioni & Kyj, 1989), is flexible in customizing itself to meet the customers’ needs (Harris, 2001), and the quality level is satisfying the customer (Bennett & Barkensjo, 2005).
Figure 2.2 factors that contribute to the success in forwarding customers in the sales process
Implementation of CRM activities
After customer knowledge has been identified as an implementation of CRM activities. These required activities are design interface to the customer at their preferred interaction points.
This is another activity in the ECRM model that is connected is the deeply to the interaction management that is the channel management, without it the dependent activity simply could not function. Interaction management require a least one communication channel, it must provide the synergy among others to gain full benefit for the entire system. The activity addresses challengers in the configuration and synchronisation among different communication channels (Lihra & Graf, 2007). The management objectives are to conceptualize functional responsibilities for each channel in order to avoid conflict between multichannel architecture that the organization has employed. This is to ensure the constant of knowledge flowing among different channels. Also management is to find ways in decreasing the cost of each individual channels in order for the business to gain a distinctive competitive advantage over competitors by utilizing an integrated relationship management system.
For the ECRM to gain its maximum benefit, and effective means of interaction with the customer must be employed throughout the sales process. Also interaction management must provide an analysis report for is the agents to a selection of media base communication channels. For instance, in the 21st century applications, there are numbers of system that have surface; interactive voice response (IVR) or the World Wide Web (WWW), but to achieve optimum affect, a mix of channels must be in place (Broderick, 2008). This is due to the customer will have their unique preference in communication channels that they like to communicate with the company. The main objective is to increase the quality and value of interactions, while seamlessly decreasing the cost of the interaction channels that directly involved with customers. The business must utilize the knowledge that was captured and be analysed through the ECRM system to provide benefits that has been gain from implementing customer orientated system. The interaction management is activity that acts like vehicle that take customers through the sales process and back in again.
Among the activities, the opportunity management could simply be regards as the most important of all. This activity act as the primary role in the CRM ecosystem, it is the product of creation from all three aspects in the customer orientated knowledge dimension. The aim of the opportunity management is to identify specific opportunities that involved upon knowledge from customers through the communication channel management (Gordon et al, 1997) which combined with analysis capabilities that is the result from the ECRM analytical function. When an opportunity is identified, the management team must be able to draw new campaigns to start enrolling either the existing customers or new prospects into the sales process which is a result selection of promising opportunities (Talvinen, 1995).
The CRM activities are tools that have been identified to support the CRM sales process model; it is a joint that integrates the system together. But among all these activities that make ECRM distinctive and add competitive advantage to the enterprise that is using it. The importance of ECRM still remains in the analytical capabilities and how the information is then relayed through the whole system which is then used effectively to mesmerise the total benefit that ECRM has to offer.