UML as an Essential Tool for Implementing eCRM Systems

UML as an Essential Tool for Implementing eCRM Systems

Calin Gurau (GSCM – Montpellier Business School, France)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-014-1.ch196
OnDemand PDF Download:
$37.50

Abstract

Electronic commerce requires the redefinition of the firm’s relationships with partners, suppliers, and customers. The goal of effective customer relationship management (CRM) practice is to increase the firm’s customer equity, which is defined by the quality, quantity, and duration of customer relationships (Fjermestad & Romano, 2003). The explosive development of the online market and the rapid evolution of customer management applications have determined the companies to implement electronic customer relationship management (eCRM) systems, which are using advanced technology to enhance customer relationship management practices. The successful implementation of an eCRM system requires a specific combination of IT applications that support the classic domains of the CRM concept: marketing, sales, and service (Kennedy, 2006). Electronic marketing aims for acquiring new customers and moving existing customers to further purchases. Electronic sales try to simplify the buying process and to provide superior customer support. Electronic service has the task to provide electronic information and services for arising questions and problems or to convey customers to the right contact person in the organization. The eCRM system comprises a number of business processes, interlinked in a logical succession: • Market segmentation: The collection of historical data, complemented with information provided by third parties (such as marketing research agencies), is segmented on the basis of customer life-time value (CLV) criteria, using data mining applications. • Capturing the customer: The potential customer is attracted to the Web site of the firm through targeted promotional messages, diffused through various communication channels. • Customer information retrieval: The information retrieval process can be either implicit or explicit. When implicit, the information retrieval process registers the Web behaviour of customers, using specialized software applications, such as “cookies.” On the other hand, explicit information can be gathered through direct input of demographic data by the customer (using online registration forms or questionnaires). Often, these two categories of information are connected at database level. • Customer profile definition: The customer information collected is analyzed in relation with the target market segments identified through data mining, and a particular customer profile is defined. The profile can be enriched with additional data (e.g., external information from marketing information providers). This combination creates a holistic view of the customer, his needs, wants, interests and behaviour (Pan & Lee, 2003). • Personalization of firm-customer interaction: the customer profile is used to identify the best customer management campaign (CMC), which is applied to personalize the company-customer online interaction. • Resource management: The company-customer transaction require complex resource management operations, which are partially managed automatically, through specialized IT-applications, such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or Supply Chain Management (SCM), and partly through the direct involvement and coordination of operational managers.
Chapter Preview
Top

Introduction

Electronic commerce requires the redefinition of the firm’s relationships with partners, suppliers, and customers. The goal of effective customer relationship management (CRM) practice is to increase the firm’s customer equity, which is defined by the quality, quantity, and duration of customer relationships (Fjermestad & Romano, 2003). The explosive development of the online market and the rapid evolution of customer management applications have determined the companies to implement electronic customer relationship management (eCRM) systems, which are using advanced technology to enhance customer relationship management practices.

The successful implementation of an eCRM system requires a specific combination of IT applications that support the classic domains of the CRM concept: marketing, sales, and service (Kennedy, 2006). Electronic marketing aims for acquiring new customers and moving existing customers to further purchases. Electronic sales try to simplify the buying process and to provide superior customer support. Electronic service has the task to provide electronic information and services for arising questions and problems or to convey customers to the right contact person in the organization.

The eCRM system comprises a number of business processes, interlinked in a logical succession:

  • Market segmentation: The collection of historical data, complemented with information provided by third parties (such as marketing research agencies), is segmented on the basis of customer life-time value (CLV) criteria, using data mining applications.

  • Capturing the customer: The potential customer is attracted to the Web site of the firm through targeted promotional messages, diffused through various communication channels.

  • Customer information retrieval: The information retrieval process can be either implicit or explicit. When implicit, the information retrieval process registers the Web behaviour of customers, using specialized software applications, such as “cookies.” On the other hand, explicit information can be gathered through direct input of demographic data by the customer (using online registration forms or questionnaires). Often, these two categories of information are connected at database level.

  • Customer profile definition: The customer information collected is analyzed in relation with the target market segments identified through data mining, and a particular customer profile is defined. The profile can be enriched with additional data (e.g., external information from marketing information providers). This combination creates a holistic view of the customer, his needs, wants, interests and behaviour (Pan & Lee, 2003).

  • Personalization of firm-customer interaction: the customer profile is used to identify the best customer management campaign (CMC), which is applied to personalize the company-customer online interaction.

  • Resource management: The company-customer transaction require complex resource management operations, which are partially managed automatically, through specialized IT-applications, such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or Supply Chain Management (SCM), and partly through the direct involvement and coordination of operational managers.

Top

Background

The effective functioning of the eCRM system requires a gradual process of planning, design, and implementation, which can be greatly enhanced through business modeling. The selection of an appropriate business modeling language is essential for the successful implementation of the eCRM system, and consequently, for evaluating and improving its performance (Kotorov, 2002). The starting point for this selection is an analysis of the specific characteristics and requirements of the eCRM system (Chen & Chen, 2004; Opdahl & Henderson-Sellers, 2004):

Key Terms in this Chapter

Computer-Mediated Communication: Defined as the process whereby messages are electronically transmitted from senders to receivers in both asynchronous (e.g., e-mail, discussion forums, etc.) and synchronous (Internet relay chat, videoconferencing, etc.) setting.

Multinational Corporations: Means organizations consisting of a parent company in a home country that owns relatively-autonomous subsidiaries in various host countries.

Intercultural Communication Competencies: Consist of three main elements, which are: cultural awareness and knowledge (e.g., cognitive or thinking skills), cultural affective (e.g., emotions and feelings), and cultural adroitness (e.g., appropriate behaviors).

Culture: Can be thought of as shared patterns of ways of thinking, feeling, and reacting to various situations and actions.

Cultural Intelligence: Defined as “a person’s capability for successful adaptation to new cultural settings, that is, for unfamiliar settings attributable to cultural context” (Earley, Ang & Tan, 2006, p. 5)

Global Virtual Teams: Composed of a heterogeneous membership of people with diverse cultural backgrounds, belonging to different organizations. Team members normally are more dependent on information technology when communicating and collaborating.

Globally-Distributed Collaboration: Occur when people from different cultural backgrounds work together jointly using CMC, and they are geographically dispersed. They collaborate to achieve common ground, through a purposive relationship and when there is a desire to solve a problem.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset