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Green CRM: The Way to Grow

Retail organisations have realised that a big part of challenge is to change how they contact customers. Emerging trends in CRM are not only about consistent experience for customers across user touch points like web, social, mobile, search, affiliates etc. but also minimising environmental impact of technology related equipment like phasing out servers.   Green CRM may be termed as using new CRM technologies which enhance customer experience and at the same time lower energy consumption by using new channels, centralising technical components and optimal use of servers in lesser number of locations.

 

Green CRM may start with initiatives like striving for better data quality, robust segmentation engine and engaging customers in a continuous and meaningful dialogue to identify the right targeting strategy. This can prevent sending of millions of direct mailers to customers who have not asked for them or want them. Green CRM initiatives may also be realised by combining the power and flexibility of SaaS based offerings with mobile CRM. The linkage of mobile CRM to Green CRM is driven by usage of smartphones and tablets by mobile CRM users. Smartphones and tablets use much lesser power than a desk based PC and hence they have a lower carbon footprint. Use of smartphones and tablets over desktops or laptops for SaaS delivered CRM products saves energy and reduces cost and emissions since processing is done remotely hence air-conditioning and storage costs for servers are reduced. Virtualisation of CRM applications and database servers can help many virtual machines share a physical server. Infrastructure service offerings like Microsoft Windows Azure can help build public clouds which will enable organisations migrate bespoke CRM applications to very efficient infrastructure setup.


Mobile CRM apps allows an interface which employees prefer while enabling the field force to enter data at the time of data acquisition e.g. mobile field service applications helps  reduce voluminous paper work and forms. Virtual contact centre technology helps reducing CO2 emissions by employing remote agents. Customer service mobile apps can provide scheduling choices to the customer and hence they can receive a call back from service agents at a convenient time. This increases the service satisfaction ratings and drives usage.


Mobile CRM mobile apps can be beneficial to sales force as well since information related to contacts, prospects and opportunities is available on the move, users can key in data after the prospect call rather than at end of day in a PC centric CRM system. Companies like Unilever realise that for a consumer goods company, most of the impact on environment is governed by how consumers use their products. CRM technologies can help companies like Unilever facilitate a two way dialogue with customer and influence customer purchase pattern towards environmentally sustainable products. Many companies are also increasingly routing their marketing effort through environment friendly channels like kiosks and online instead of direct mail channels to increase the green footprint.


Different business areas have varying scope and potential for adopting green initiatives like changing power consumption patterns and exploring efficiencies of scale of cloud. Using the combination of process and technology changes, organisations can make a transition to Greener mode of CRM while reaping in business benefits and cost savings.

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