The recruitment of a customer is one thing; the retention of that same customer is another. To regain a customer lost through poor service, product, or account management is, yet, another thing. In general terms, how we treat a customer is very much tied to how profitable that customer is for us in the long term. Insofar as this concerns the connectivity between vendors and their clients, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is the strategic business and manufacturing practice today that can make or break the loyalty of a customer.
Most CRM in modern manufacturing businesses, large and small, is handled by dedicated software applications, or is a part of larger enterprise resource planning software systems (ERP). When a company does decide that it wants to implement a CRM strategy, it usually takes its direction based upon a conceptual need in customer relations—either general relationship operational management or production/sales force automation.
In either case, there are several specific approaches to CRM that are specific to the type of customer served and their needs as customers. Here are two of the dozens of approaches to CRM in manufacturing: (more…)