Any business that poses growth as one of its goals must take serious steps towards ensuring customer satisfaction. Once customers are satisfied, they will keep returning for the organization’s good or services and can even bring their colleagues. Due to the emergence of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) practice, businesses are not only in a position to retain the existing customers, but also identify, track and win the potential customers. The term CRM denotes practices, tactics, and technologies that business organizations implement to monitor and analyze its interactions with the customers throughout the client's lifecycle. The primary intention of a CRM system is to compile information about the customers of the business, to enable better service delivery and ultimately retain the clients. However, the CRM can be tedious, especially to the collectors of the information who are mostly the sales representatives. Therefore, different steps should be taken to ensure that the utilization of this system is not counterproductive. Hence, this paper discusses the strategies of dealing with the challenges of CRM data entry, as well as with the ways a CRM system can reduce the significant differences that exist in various countries.
One of the factors that may hinder the effective implementation of a CRM system is resistance by the staff of the organization. The staff resistance may arise from the challenges associated with the burden of data entry. One of the ways of reducing such burden is by making the system as simple as possible, as well as user-friendly. A system that is difficult to comprehend may be challenging to the sales representatives. While implementing the system, the owners of the business should remember that the sales person’s primary role is to convince the customer to purchase the product. The collection of information should come as a secondary role. Thus, a system that is meant to assist in performing a secondary role should not be complex to the extent that it interferes with the primary one. Therefore, the system should not be a major source of distraction. Ernst, Hoyer, Krafft, & Krieger (2011) highlight another aspect that will reduce the data entry burden, which is the limitation of data items that are needed by the system. The implementers of the system should identify the relevant client details and omit things that might be unnecessary. Such activity contributes to the simplicity of the system and reduces the amount of efforts that the sales agent needs to make to capture the details of the client during their conversations. Only the salient information should be captured by the system as there is no need to gather information that may not eventually be used by the organization.
Another strategy to ease the burden on the employees is the elimination of duplicate data. Given that L’Oreal is an international company and has numerous business units, there is a likelihood that each unit will capture the data of one client in their subsystem (Mishra & Mishra, 2009). It may be problematic to the employees as there might be some missing information about a specific client in one department, which creates the need for cross-referencing. Instead, the organization should develop one system that serves all departments, and it will prevent the sales agents from looking for scattered data. Lastly, the organization should not force the sales representatives to collect all the data at once. They should allow them to collect information gradually instead. In such way, the pressure on the employees in regard to gathering data will not be too high and will not interfere with their work.
L’Oreal operates in many countries, and it implies that there is so much diversity among its clients. It also means that the organization has a diverse workforce and, thus, a major challenge exists in managing this diversity. One of the ways in which CRM can assist in managing workers across borders is that it allows the creation of a common database, which serves multiple departments in different countries. A single source of data for the organizations’ clients is not only cost-friendly to the firm but also convenient for members working in different regions or selling different brands but want to access some information about a specific client. Another benefit of CRM is that it allows for product customization. It helps the organization to treat different markets as segments and make products that are suitable for them based on the general preferences (CRM Innovation Editors, 2014). For instance, if many clients in Africa, who are in the system, prefer beauty creams that are doused with bleaching agents, the sales representatives working in the area are better-placed to severe present and potential clients living in that region in regard to their preference. Thus, CRM allows for the customization of products in accordance with the regional specifics. Lastly, CRM enhances employee interaction with the system. They are enabled to share the best practices that they can apply to their respective zones.
If properly applied by an organization, a CRM system can help in achievement of growth goals. As the name suggests, it focuses on strengthening the relationship between the client and the organization with a view of exceeding the expectations of the customer so that he or she can be loyal to the company. Nevertheless, it has to be done in such a way that it does not become a burden to sales agents who act as main implementers. The current paper discussed several methods of dealing with the challenge of data entry by the sales agent, as well as the manner in which a CRM system can be used to reduce significant differences among employees in different countries.