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Critical Thinking Case Study: Implementing A Customer Relationship Management Tool At Image Stream

1975 words - 8 pages

Critical Thinking Case Study:Implementing a Customer Relationship Management Tool at ImageStreamImageStream Internet Solutions, Inc. is a privately held company in its 9th year of operation. ImageStream engineers, manufactures, and distributes Linux-based routing products for network and Internet applications. ImageStream products are used by Internet service providers (ISPs), governments, schools, and businesses in more than 75 countries around the world.The Importance of Customer Relationship ManagementFrederick Reichheld and Thomas Teal, in their book "The Loyalty Effect" (1996) estimate that acquiring a new customer can cost six times as much as retaining an existing customer. Companies that build and maintain a reputation for world class service enjoy customer bases with higher degrees of loyalty and substantial repeat business. To maintain dependable, profitable clientele, companies must "go beyond customer satisfaction and take steps to ensure greater loyalty" (Griffin, 1997).ImageStream understands the importance of customer loyalty and retention strategies in the highly competitive Internet infrastructure market. The company must limit growth in customer acquisition costs and leverage its existing installation base. With the company growing at a dramatic rate, ImageStream faces challenges in building and maintaining relationships with customers. ImageStream customers will continue to require simple ways to contact the company for sales, warranty and technical support. The company must also keep in touch with changing customer demands and respond quickly with product or service offerings that meet customer needs.In the face of dramatic growth, ImageStream needs to maintain the positive customer relationships it has cultivated as a smaller company, and implement tools that provide customers, representatives and distributors tools needed to enhance that relationship. With that goal in mind, this case study will discuss the implementation of ImageStream's CRM toolset.Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a business strategy to select and manage customers to optimize long term value (Reichheld and Teal, 1996). An effective CRM strategy requires a solutions-focused philosophy and a corporate culture that supports effective marketing, sales, and service processes. Within this process, the flow of information keys success. Primary customer contracts must relay product lifecycles, development roadmaps and overall company objectives to customers. Providing access to this key information drives repeat business, because it decreases price sensitivity and focuses company efforts on its key stakeholder: its customers. Using CRM strategies to increasing customer retention by just five percent can increase the value of average customers by 25%-100% (Reichheld and Teal, 1996).Framing the Problem: Task and ConditionsIn order to outline a solution, ImageStream needs to outline a clearly defined task. The company faces a number of challenges that it...

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