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To retain customers in an organization for a long period of time proves to be very important as through it, higher revenues remains in the organization which makes a business successful. It is because; these are the skills, knowledge and abilities of employees by which a firm runs. For the purpose of making people stay with the organization for a long duration, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) plays a significant role. With the help of this, customers can be managed by a company by establishing strong and trustworthy relations with them (Huber and O'Gorman, 2008). Customers are the people that are having different economic value to the company because of which it is necessary to retain them so as to earn higher profits from them.
Through building the value to the customer base, customer relationships can be managed in an effective manner. A successful CRM always establishes long term mutually valuable relationships in between consumer as well as the firm. It ultimately leads to higher satisfaction of customers which makes them trust on the business and stay with it for a long period of time. The present study is based on evaluating the impact of customer relationship management on customer retention. For this purpose, researcher has chosen a retail organization, that is, Waitrose which is one of the leading firms in UK in retail industry (Waitrose, 2014).
Rationale/Significance of the study
The rationale behind this research is that Waitrose is an online retailer and is using CRM for the purpose of attracting new customers. However, company is facing problem in retaining the customers with it for a long period of time as after some time they switch over to another brands instead of providing superior quality at fair prices. Waitrose is using CRM system as it is known with various advantages of it but has not yet realized that it can retain its customers also with the help of it (Butscher, 2002). So, with an order to make the organization realize impact of CRM on customer retention, this investigation is conducted. The current investigation proves to be highly significant for the academic purpose as it will provide complete guidance top those authors who will perform their research on the same topic. Further, it will be helpful for various organizations of the same industry too. In addition to this, various Ph. D scholars will also get the help through this investigation in carrying out their research (Zhang, 2008).
Aim: To evaluate the impact of customer relationship management on customer retention: A case study of Waitrose
- To identify the relationship between CRM and customer retention in Waitrose.
- To assess the positive impacts of Customer Relationship Management on customer retention in Waitrose.
- To assess the negative impacts of Customer Relationship Management on customer retention in Waitrose.
- To recommend the ways through which customers can be retained in Waitrose by using effective CRM system.
- How to identify the relationship in between CRM and customer retention in Waitrose?
- What are the positive impacts of Customer Relationship Management on customer retention in Waitrose?
- What are the negative impacts of Customer Relationship Management on customer retention in Waitrose?
- How to recommend the ways through which customers can be retained in Waitrose by using effective CRM system.
In the section of literature review, a complete knowledge about the literature is gathered along with taking viewpoints of various authors so that appropriate conclusion can be made. In this, the critical analysis is also being done so as to assess both positive as well as negative aspects of the topic. In accordance with the topic of present study, that is, to evaluate the impact of Customer Relationship Management on customer retention in Waitrose, views of different authors is taken into consideration.
According to Duru, customer relationship management is a concept by which company manages its interaction with its customers, clients and sales prospects. Several aspects are involved in it like technology that plays a significant role in organizing, automating and synchronizing business processes. Major benefits that CRM provides to a firm are that of enhanced productivity, increased profitability and income and the most important customer satisfaction. Through satisfaction of them, they can be retained in a long run. This is the reason, if Waitrose will use its CRM system in an effective manner, the customers will get satisfied and thus they will stay with the organization in a long run (Duru, 2006).
On the other hand, according to O'Connell, customer relationship management has its huge impact on retention of them as well as on their loyalty too. He says that, for the purpose of implementing CRM system in the firm, commitment and vision of management system is highly required. However, they need to structure their strategy in accordance with the policies of organization. These factors play a crucial role in increasing the loyalty of customers and providing benefit to the firm. Thus, it can be concluded that, in order to retain customers in a long run, to use CRM in an effectual manner is important for Waitrose (O'Connell, 2008).
Along with that, in accordance with Trasorras, customer relationship management helps an organization in reducing the cost of business and enhancing the performance of it through which is the result of customer loyalty that is gained from CRM. He says that when CRM is to be implemented in the firm, data has to be collected from internal as well as external sources like customer service and sales department and many others too. It helps in obtaining holistic view regarding requirement of each customer in a real time system that provides high level of satisfaction to the customers which induces them to stay with the firm only. With this way, Waitrose in solve its issue of retaining customers in a long run (Trasorras, 2008).
In the words of Villanueva and Hanssens, all the information which is collected through Customer Relationship Management helps in aiding employees to make fast and accurate decisions by which they can deal with the customers in an effective way. CRM system helps the most in understanding customer perception and providing treatment to them on an individual basis. Along with that various problems of the customers are also being solved through it. Thus it enhances loyalty and trust of customers on the firm to a very high level. So, it can be said that customer satisfaction and loyalty can be achieved through successful CRM implementation (Villanueva and Hanssens, 2007). With the help of this, different requirements of distinct customers are being assessed and policies are made accordingly. By this way, the employees used to provide their services in a superior quality that makes the customers satisfy and thus they can be retained in a long run.
As per the views of Chiu and et.al, customer satisfaction is a business philosophy which playsa crucial role in making a firm successful in a long run. Most common tool through which it can be gained is that of CRM system which is implemented in an effective manner, to get success in such a highly competitive world will be ensured. Customer relationship management does not only prove to be significant for customers only, however, it is effective for competitors too. Through it, the share of organization in the market place enhances with the help of integrating technology, procedures as well as people (Chiu and et.al., 2012). According to him, main purpose of customer relationship management is to maintain and increase the loyalty of people through making them satisfy with assessing their problems and solving on an instant basis. Ultimately, it leads to increase in the profits of firm which makes business successful. Thus, Waitrose can also gain success through implementing CRM system in an accurate way as through it, satisfied customers would not switch over on other firms.
According to Kamaruddin, Osman and Che Pei, customer relationship management involves various activities like service quality, commercial practices and loyalty programs like handling grievances of customers, satisfaction of people and bonus etc. All these programs prove to be highly successful in changing the perception of customers towards firm that makes them satisfied and thus leads to enhanced loyalty and economic performance of the organization. Online business also proves to be helpful in gaining higher profits and success through the use of internet which serves as a tool of CRM (Kamaruddin, Osman and Che Pei, 2012). As per his explanation, there is a strong relation in between customer relationship management and their retention on the firm as satisfaction and loyalty of them increases through it. In this way, Waitrose can gain the advantage of retaining customers in a long run.
Type of investigation
The present study is based on analyzing the critical factors that plays a vital role in making customer relationship management successful in Waitrose so as to retain customers in the long run which can be done through descriptive type of investigation. Major reason behind this is that with the help of this, researcher will be able to understand the views and beliefs of participants that are involved in the investigation and which are related with the customer relationship management in Waitrose. Along with that, it will also help in providing explanation of features and characters of that specific group of population which will be involved in the study by the investigator (Jackson, 2010). Apart from that, descriptive type of study would prove to be most successful in describing the situation and in the present research; the situation is to evaluate the impact of CRM on retaining customers in a long run.
Data collection method
In accordance with the present subject of study, researcher will gather the information through postal questionnaire which can be posted on an online basis to the intended participants for the purpose of performing research. The postal questionnaire would prove to be very effective in this study as it will help in gaining viewpoints of various participants along with plenty of relevant and reliable data on CRM and its impact on customer retention. In addition to this, it will also help in making the implementation of CRM system in Waitrose successful (Guha, 2009).
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In the present investigation, non probability sampling design will be used by the researcher under which he will use purposive sampling technique which will be implemented so as to select the sample. Reason behind this is that questionnaire would be sent to some of the members of staff of Waitrose in order to gain provide useful insight on various critical success factors of its customer relationship management system. These are the people who will provide reliable and accurate information regarding topic that will help in finding the solution of present issue of the research (Monsen and Horn, 2007).
It can be possible that there may be some issues which scholar will face at the time of gathering data regarding present topic of study. Firstly, at the time of collecting data regarding this topic, a lot of secondary data will be required by the researcher in which there be might be chances that some websites would not be accessed. At the time of visiting several sites, there are some websites which will not be accessed easily at they require some particular amount which makes it difficult for the researcher to access (Easterby-Smith, Thorpe and Jackson, 2008). Another issue faced by the investigator is that of being unable to approach some of the participants because of which scholar may have to manage talking to them on personal level so that their response can be taken.
One of the major ethical issues which investigator may have to face while performing his investigation is that of the people who are selected for the sample for providing relevant response to the researcher. It is because; there are always some chances that all respondents will not give the response as per required from them. This issue can be resolved by taking permission from all respondents regarding subject of the study and they has to be ensured that the information which they will provide would be kept completely confidential. Scholar will have to ensure the participants that the data given by them regarding subject will not be disclosed to any other third party and will be used by his purpose of investigation only (Hammersley and Traianou, 2012). In addition to this, he will also require to explain the reason behind asking questions to them so that they can answer with trust and satisfaction.
Data analysis plan
The data which is gathered through the researcher with the help of tool of postal questionnaire will be analyzed by using both the data analysis techniques, that is, qualitative and quantitative. In accordance with the qualitative analysis of information, tool of thematic analysis will be used by him in whom he would make various themes so as to reach at ultimate conclusion of the subject. Apart from that, in the quantitative technique of data analysis, various statistical techniques will be applied by the investigator with an aim to reach at final results (Bryman, 2008).
One of the major research limitations that are having highest chances to happen in this investigation of evaluating impacts of customer relationship management on customer retention in Waitrose is that of biasness. It may be possible that at the time when researcher will select the sample, the scholar will use his own judgment which may create biasness in selection. it can have its direct impact on the final results. Apart from that, there is none more limitation with which researcher may have to pass. It is the issue of limited time period for the completion of study (Hartman and Conklin, 2012). As the present study is completely theoretical and requires plenty of secondary information, it needs long time to collect and analyze the relevant data which leads in the delay of research. In order to accomplish the objectives of investigation within stipulated time period, some important information that can be included in the research has to be left out by the researcher due to time limitation. Because of this reason, it always has the chances that the appropriateness of results would get impacted (Monsen and Horn, 2007).
- Duru, C. E., 2006. The Impact of Leadership Roles in Relation to Customer Retention: An Analysis of the Relationship Between Insurance Agency Customers and Insurance Agency Management. ProQuest.
- Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R. and Jackson, P.R. 2008. Management research. London: SAGE Publications Ltd.
- Guha, M., 2009. Key Concepts in Social Research Methods. Reference Reviews.
- Hammersley, M. and Traianou, A., 2012. Ethics in Qualitative Research: Controversies and Contexts. SAGE.
- Hartman, N. S. and Conklin, T., 2012. A thematic analysis of a leadership speaker series. Journal of Management Development.