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Customer relationship management (CRM) is a notion that refers to the framework of technologies, strategies, and practices businesses employ for managing and analyzing interactions with customers. The key goal of CRM implementation is improving relationships with clients, driving the growth of the business, and facilitating retention. Companies use CRM systems to collect information about customers across a variety of channels – emails, telephone calls, social media, market survey, etc. This report will focus on the implementation of CRM system in Fly Emirates, one of the largest aviation corporations in the world.
Established in 1985, Fly Emirates is currently operating one of the biggest fleets that includes Boeings 777s and Airbuses A380s. The company positions itself as customer-oriented, so its target strategy is providing luxurious, safe, and comfortable flying experiences to its customers (About Emirates, n.d.). Serving clients worldwide, Fly Emirates offers transportation services, in-flight entertainment and air catering, luxurious first class lounges in airports, as well as other accommodations. Therefore, the key business strategy of the company is to establish itself as a reliable air transportation service provider that offers its clients unique and luxurious travel experiences. Immaculate communication and customer retention are of the highest importance for the company, so the management makes sure to invest time, efforts, and funds into developing efficient Customer relationship management systems that will help gather more information about loyal and potential customers and facilitate the decision-making process in the company.
CRM Implementation: Advantages and Limitations
The key elements of CRM with regards to Fly Emirates airlines include marketing automation, customer service, and the automation of the sales force. CRM systems used by the company are characterized by central databases that store key information about customers, client data analysis tools and customer self-service, as well as the identification of prospective customers and up-to-date reporting.
As implemented by Fly Emirates, Customer relationship management systems provide a range of benefits varying from assessing customer requirements to the ability to create a unified service platform that will specifically target the needs of the company’s clients. One of the key advantages of CRM systems used in Fly Emirates is the increase in yearly revenue and the number of loyal customers. By keeping track of current customer profiles that have already received air transport services provided by the company, the CRM team could come up with innovative strategies for determining the target demographic for widening the customer base. For example, by looking at female customers, the company may see that the majority of them travel without children. Therefore, there is a need to target a demographic of women (and families) with children by providing young flyer accommodations such as travel-themed good bags, entertainment services (video, audio, and visual material), infant care kits, etc. (Traveling with children, n.d.). This allowed the company to attract a new segment of customers with children, who usually worry about taking an infant or an adolescent on flights.
The second advantage of CRM implementation in Fly Emirates is the simplified marketing and sales. For example, putting extensive information about the company on social media, blogs, and websites significantly increases the convenience of selling and promoting air travel services. Furthermore, potential clients can contact the company directly via the Internet, so there is no need for the marketing department to come up with new ways of attracting clients. Apart from this, the Internet significantly speeds up the process of closing deals since less time is needed for the company’s representative to respond to customers’ inquiries. Centralized databases also allow workers to synchronize collective customer data, which also significantly improves the process of marketing and sales. While every department in the company has separate sets of objectives, Customer relationship management facilitates interactions among employees and makes sure that everyone is working towards establishing better connections with clients.
When it comes to the disadvantages of CRM implemented by Fly Emirates, it is important to mention staff resistance and the steep learning curve as the main limitations to successful implementation. While Fly Emirates was the first company in the Middle East that integrated a CRM software (KIS application) into its business processes, it took some time for employees to get adjusted and familiarized with the innovations. While the KIS application allowed the staff to quickly access necessary information, the learning curve influenced the performance of the Customer relationship team for some time (Brookins, n.d.). Moreover, some workers may not see the instant benefits of CRM systems and can sometimes use the traditional methods of customer management, which goes across the company’s intention to work efficiently and attract more customers.
Knowledge Driven Inflight Service
As already mentioned, Fly Emirates uses Knowledge Driven Inflight Service (KIS) software, which allows employees access information about the flight crew, record data about clients to give offer them discounts and bonuses in the future, and provide customers with unique air travel experiences. The loyalty program included in the KIS Customer relationship management software offers mile loyalty (miles traveled in exchange for bonuses), as well as distinguishes customers into two types of membership (Business Rewards and Emirates Skywards).
Efficient implementation of CRM systems in Fly Emirates goes along with the company’s business model. By establishing trusting relationships with customers through Skywards and Business Rewards, the company manages to include all client segments (first, business, economy class, and individual businesses) into the process of tight cooperation, feedback, and knowledge sharing. To successfully implement its business model, Fly Emirates uses a five-tier strategy, which includes the key components of the business operations. The strategy framework includes differentiation, quality control, extensive training, resort, hotel, and tourism, as well as the development of International Airline IT. Each component of the strategy is designed to target the needs of specific customer segments, and, in conjunction with effective CRM systems application, guides Fly Emirates to become the most progressive and the most client-oriented airline company in the world.
The application of Customer relationship management systems allows businesses to be more efficient in their interaction with clients, as the example of Fly Emirates has shown. CRM systems integrated into the business process say a lot about the company’s intentions and goals, as well as the attitudes towards customers. With the use of CRM systems, Fly Emirates analyzes customer data and targets new groups and demographics, like, for example, families with children. The application of the Knowledge Driven Inflight Service allowed Fly Emirates to develop trusting relationships with clients as well as made the life of the staff much easier. The key advantage of CRM systems is the revenue increase and the simplified process of sales. On the other end of the spectrum, the staff in the company may resist the implementation of CRM systems due to a steep learning curve.
About Emirates. (n.d.). Web.
Brookins, M. (n.d.). What are the advantages & disadvantages of CRM? Web.
Traveling with children. (n.d.). Web.