The recent trend seen in the Organizations across the world is that they are faced with changing times and the changing economies and business is forcing them to change themselves too. Organizations today have no option but to change and evolve. The change has to do with every aspect of business and not limited to any one aspect of its business. Those who are not able to see the trends and change themselves are perishing. Technology has been the single most important change agent. Technology has redefined all aspects of business. What we see today is the definitive shift of power from the Organization into the hands of the Customer.
Customers today know their position and the power they wield. Especially the medium of internet has brought the customers closer to the Organisation as well as to the other Customers. Information, discussions, feedbacks and opinions are now visible and available to one and all almost instantaneously. Social networking is a medium that the Organizations cannot afford to ignore. This is both a boon as well as a bane to the Organizations. Marketing Managers are learning to use this to manage their relationship with the customers at large. Customer redressal too is another important phenomenon that has contributed to the Customer becoming powerful in the market place.
The fact that the information and interaction happens on live basis and the customer reactions can be instantaneous puts a lot of pressure on the Organizations to be on their guard all the time. Any adverse opinion shared or feedback from a dis-satisfied customer can spearhead a word of mouth campaign that can harm the Organisation. Therefore the internet and social network is a double edged sword as far as the Organizations are concerned. When used effectively this medium can help the Organization build a relationship with the customer and strengthen that relationship. This medium helps the Organization to reach out individually to the customer which may not be possible otherwise.
The marketing departments are able to not only communicate and address the customer individually, with the help of technology and data mining techniques, they are able to understand the customerâ€™s needs and customize solutions as per the specific individual needs of the customer. CRM packages and technology become the enablers to make this happen. Banks, Airlines, Insurance as well as Services like Pizza hut, Macdonaldâ€™s are some of the businesses that have developed effective means to recognize and communicate with individual customers and thereby build an emotional connect with the customers.
Product Companies have begun to use social networking sites effectively as a platform to engage with customer on technical and product related discussions and build a community around its products and services. Building relationships in such situations is easier and more effective.
The dynamics in the market is changing, thanks to internet. Marketing Managers can no longer afford to use the traditional methods of engaging and selling to the customers. Marketing today demands a customer centric approach. Customer is no longer an entity without a face. Todayâ€™s customer is an informed and intelligent customer who can be reached, who is visible and can be heard and a relationship with him matters the most to the Organization.
Relationship Management holds the centre stage to designing Marketing as well as communication strategies of the organization. It is essential for every student to understand the dynamics of Relationship Marketing in the present context for this subject will be the key differentiator for the Organizations in the market place.