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Apple Inc. is the world largest electronic industry in sale volumes and production, the success of the company has been attributed to its effective customer management; the company adopts a customer relationship management (CRM) approach to attract and maintain customers (Kincaid 23).
CRM is a management strategy where a company creates healthy relationship with the suppliers, customers and the public; at Apple Inc, customer is the most important stakeholder and all processes are aimed at increasing customers’ welfare.
Connections created with customers, suppliers and public
Apple Inc aims produces customer focused goods; the products are aimed at increasing the welfare of the customer. To attain this noble task, the company is involved in continuous study and research for its products. Of late, the company innovativeness of ipods and Iphones has proved the concern and the value the company has on research with the aim of improving customer feelings and experience.
The suppliers are not left behind in operating strategies of the company; the company aims to develop strong supplier relations; it does so through paying the customer on time and keeping the contracts as signed. The price that the company buys commodities from the customers is fair.
When it comes to the public, the company has some corporate social responsibilities that aim at improving the welfare of the communities around; it also conducts its business in an ethical manner in the efforts to maintain good relations with the public.
Types of primary research conducted
To know the needs of customers and the public, the company conducts numerous research and investigations that aims at knowing what the consumers really expect from the company. The kind of research includes:
- Customer after sales interviews
- Sending questionnaires to customers
- The use of social network sites where the company encourages people (customers, the public and suppliers) to offer their responses and
- When a buyer is getting commodities from the company, there is a coupon that he/she is supposed to fill that gauges the effectiveness of the company
The entire above are sources of information that the company uses to upgrade its services and products (Kristin and Kerr 78).
Ways that small businesses can conduct market research
There is no shortcut to an effective marketing strategy other than having the company conduct a market research; small business have the challenge of finances and the expertise of conducting market research, however the following are manageable ways of conducting the research:
- The traders can use published market research
- Can hire the services of professional market analysts
- Can conduct a simple walking around market research and
- Can use internet and other social networks to collect data
The failure of CRM is seen as a technological aspect
Some organizations have miss-interpolated the meaning and the approach of CRM strategies, they think that it is all about the use of computers to create healthy customer, supplier and public relations.
This belief is wrong, CRM means improving all areas of a business to enhance good customer service. It involves processes and products of a company; technology is one part of the processes that plays a crucial part in enhancing CRM strategy implementation.
The notion that CRM is all about the use of technology in a business is wrong; the approach only looks into the strategy from a micro angle whereas the real situation should be seen from a macro perspective (O’Leary 12-23).
Kincaid, Judith. Customer relationship management: getting it right. London: Prentice Hall PTR, 2003.
Kristin Anderson, Carol Kerr. Customer relationship management. New York: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2002.
O’Leary, Edmund. Enterprise resource planning systems: systems, life cycle, electronic commerce, and risk. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.