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Personalisation, integration with call centers, customer recognition, customer intelligence, coupled with digital signage and mobile POS applications will help create a unique shopping experience for customers that will repeatedly bring them to the store.

In addition to managing relationships with customers, it is essential to create robust relationships with staff and partners. The xRM framework piggybacks on the CRM application and, at the same time, helps organisations manage relationships with their staff and partners. The application can be used to track staff across locations, capture details of interactions with them, address their concerns and also understand the status of staff at any point of time. Similarly the details of partners like suppliers can be tracked and satisfaction monitored using the xRM framework.

As a next step, retailers can also explore the option of using social media to support growth strategies. Social media can be used to keep in touch with customers, understand what they think and use this as a test ground to obtain feedback on any new product or scheme being launched.

It is important to be remembered that IT has to be supported by planning, aligned with organisational goals and priorities. The chief information officer needs to build a robust IT strategy and portfolio to support this goal and monitor it constantly. Retailers need to create a roadmap that will fill need/operational gaps and project the organisation’s IT Strategy, spend and support framework for the next three to five years.



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