For a long time Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has not been valued enough. Due to the rapid development of the technology, changes in the consumer behavior and competitive market, companies now use CRM as a tool not only to increase the amount of satisfied customers and their level of loyalty but also to differentiate themselves in the market. The use of CRM among companies has increased from 50% 10 years ago to 82.9% nowadays (Felipe-Barkin, 2014). Companies realize the benefits that can be gained from CRM. It should be in the company’s strategy. ‘Companies are most successful when they recognize that CRM is not so much a destination as a journey’ (Felipe-Barkin, 2014).
An airline industry is a highly competitive market. Nowadays, the product and the price are not the only factors that determines the company’s success (Hanke, 2015). The amount of satisfied customers also depends on the customer service provided. Customer service and customer satisfaction are closely related. Customer satisfaction with the product or service can lead not only to customer loyalty and increase in recommendations but it also can have a positive effect on return of investments (ROI).
A research performed in Sweden proved that customer satisfaction has a significant impact on ROI. Research involved 21 Swedish organization and more than 15’500 interviewees. It measured the customer satisfaction, likeliness of recommendation or repeat purchases. In the results it could be seen that 1 per cent increase in the customer satisfaction can lead to an improvement of ROI by 2.37 per cent, whereas 1 per cent decrease can lead to negative development of ROI with 5 per cent (Peelen & Beltman, 2013).
To increase satisfied customers, companies are bringing CRM to a whole new level. Due to developments in the market and the customer being in charge, companies are changing the way they focus on customers. Many companies adapt the strategy of customer intimacy. It is not the whole market wishes that are in the center of attention but the individual wishes of the customers (Peelen & Beltman, 2013).
A great example is Virgin America airline company. It differentiates itself from competitors with great customer experience and culture that is not only friendly but also fun (McCallion, 2013). They have introduced a very clever tech powered solution to connect its employees with customers in order to deliver an incredible customer service in the terminal and in the air. They are using a new chatter platform from Salesforce.com. This solutions shows how CRM is evolving from a traditional approach into real-time conversation (Salesforce, n.d.).
The new developments and changes in the market challenge companies and their CRM. It is not only a challenge but an opportunity at the same time, depends on how company uses it.
Beltman, R., & Peelen, E. (2013). Customer Relationship Management(2nd ed.). Edinburgh, United Kingdom: Pearson Education Limited.
Felipe-Barkin E. (2014). Maximize the ROI of your CRM solution: Learn how to get the most for the least. Customer Relationship management, November, p.42-45
Hanke, M. (2015). Airline ECommerce: Log On. Take Off. Routledge.
McCallion J. (2013). Saleforce unveils company communities. Retriewed September 18, 2016 from http://www.cloudpro.co.uk/saas/5645/salesforce-unveils-company-communities
Salesforce. (n.d.). Virgin America. Retriewed September 18, 2016 from http://www.salesforce.com/customers/stories/virgin-america.jsp