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Customer Relationship Management Essay

Customer Relationship Management is a broadly recognized, widely-implemented strategy for managing and nurturing a company’s interactions with active consumers and prospective ones. It involves using technology to organize, automate, and synchronize business processes—principally sales activities, but also those for marketing, customer service and technical support. The overall goals are to find, attract, and win new clients, nurture and retain those the company already has, entice former clients back into the fold, and reduce the costs of marketing and client service.

Increasingly as a result of competition and in an effort to offer product differentiation, retail outlets are looking at creative and ingenious ways to reward and encourage loyalty. Discussion: Woodlands Mall is located in at 1201 Lake woodlands DR, of 45 Oak Ridge North freeway (Google Maps, 2010). Over the years it has achieved the acceptance as the premier shopping mall in the greater Houston metropolis where one in guaranteed to find anything that they need. From its many visitors who take the effort to whop and enjoy the facilities at Woodlands, it has created a database of over 1 Million customers.

On this Woodland has been able to have 250,000 of them in one of its active loyalty programs. These customers

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either have Woodland branded credit cards, Woodland Co branded credit cards or loyalty cards. What woodlands must now look to introduce is a debit loyalty card having the features of both a loyalty card and a bank debit card. Recent shopping surveys reveal that increasingly, shoppers are shying away from credit cards in favor of debit cards or old fashion check writing.

American households in a desire to organize their debt portfolio are making greater efforts to live within their means and woodlands debit ad loyalty card would be greatly aid in this. This will indeed be in response to a fast growing trend among shoppers visiting Woodlands mall since the beginning of 2010. From a survey done in 2009 from the holders of Woodlands loyalty cards, monthly budget for household consumption is generally constantly set, with the only variation being on purchase of goods considered as treats.

In the same survey, respondents who used check to pay for their purchases within Woodlands said they wanted to stay on top of their expenditure and did not want to have to pay the extra costs associated with using credit cards. To them the opportunity of having a mall debit card with loyalty card characteristics would be a welcome relief and enhance their safety since they would not have to carry their checkbooks every time they visited the mall.

Given the variety of services offered at the mall, respondents said that they visited the mall at least twice a week and each time visited at least two outlets. The Woodland mall card would be a private labeled card and operated card. Unlike a gift card, it will be acceptable in all outlets within the mall and those affiliated yet not within the mall, for example since there is a Macy outlet at Woodlands one will be able to use the card in any Macy’s store countrywide (Ferguson, 2006).

Additionally, it will be different and better than a gift card since when one extinguishes the money within the account, all they will need to do is draw and deposit a check for the new limit and this will be updated instantaneously instead of having to throw it away and buy a new one. To further make it the card more acceptable, instead of the normal 1 point for every dollar spent, the debit card will gain 2 points and on redemption, will have a 50% premium on it.

To add on to this, the debit card will entitle the holder to 10 percent discount of dining and entertainment and 15percent of shopping bills paid with the card. Holders will also be entitled to a 30 percent discount on use of the malls lounges and conference facilities subject to availability. It should be noted, this rewards will be in addition to what all other loyalty card holders get (Hlavinka & Gomez, 2007). The essence of making this card attractive is to reward Woodland clients who choose to be financially disciplined.

Additionally, given the shoppers will be using money that is already deposited with us, it is only prudent that the rewards be unique and more appealing that in the other loyalty programs. By implementing this strategy, it is expected the majority of those holding loyalty cards will switch to the debit card immediately. This will see total switch to the debit card by loyalty card holders in six months of introduction. It is projected that uptake of the debit card will achieve a steady 10 percent growth annually for the foreseeable future.

Conclusion: The only risk associated with this card is that a client’s check may not be honored due to insufficient funds in the account. This risk will be circumvented by employing funds availability checking before loading money into the card where Woodlands suspects possible fraud. Additionally, in cases where fraud is detected after the card has been updated and some of the money used, the remaining balance will be withdrawn immediately and the card holder surcharged for the amount used with the accompanying penalties.

This card will put Woodlands in a whole new level in customer relationship management (Vesel & Zabkar 2010). It will open a whole new avenue where interactions with users of Woodlands services will get to further enjoy the services on offer. This will be in addition to offering added opportunities to Woodlands to truly make its customer experience truly memorable. References: Ferguson, R (2006). Using Private Label credit Cards as a Loyalty Tool, Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 23, No. 7, pp. 374-378. Hlavinka, K & Gomez, L (2007).

The Total package: Loyalty Marketing in the World of Consumer Packaged Goods, Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 24, No. 1, pp. 48-56. Vesel, P & Zabkar, V (2010). Comprehension of Relationship Quality in the Retail Environment, Managing Service Quality, Vol. 20, No. 3, pp. 213-235. Google Maps (2010). Woodlands Mall, viewed on May 4, 2010, from http://maps. google. com/maps? f=d&source=s_d&saddr=The+Woodlands+Mall,+1201+Lake+Woodlands+Dr,+Suite+700,+The+Woodlands,+Texas+77380&daddr=&hl=en&geocode=&mra=ls&sll=30. 164356,-95. 455507

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