Responses from Sensix
- Article ID:
Customer Relationship Management
In the May/June 2010 issue of WAN-IFRA Magazine, we feature an article on Customer Relationship Management (CRM) on pages 22-25. As there are numerous suppliers in this area and we have limited space in print, we could only publish a small portion of what they told us about their soltions. Here, we are publishing expanded interviews with the vendors for readers to get a fuller picutre of what they told us.
Answering for Sensix is Julia von Kuester, Account Manager.
WAN-IFRA: Why is CRM important for news publishers?
Julia von Kuester: The economic situation, the over-fragmentation of individual media, the "problem case internet" and the continuously changing customer wishes do not only make the growth of the media industry more difficult, but also endanger the profitability of many traditional publishers and media houses.
CRM can be one of the ways of counteracting these problems.
Operationally this means that CRM covers the following typical processes:
- The administration of customers and interests
- Visit planning
- Complaint management
- Advertising administration
- Administration of special publications
- Making offers
- Target group marketing
- Integration of media data
WAN-IFRA: What are the main questions that publishers have when they come to Sensix for a CRM solution?
Von Kuester: Some typical questions we get are:
- What are the advantages and benefits?
- How can CRM be used properly?
- What will change?
- What does a CRM strategy look like?
- How can i get a proper transparency of my customers?
- What other houses use CRM to what effect?
- How is central data management achieved?
- How can CRM technically integrate into the existing IT infrastructure?
- How can I convince management that CRM is a "must"?
WAN-IFRA: How does the process typically develop from the time a news customer comes to you for a CRM solution until they implement the solution - what are the steps involved here?
Von Kuester: Methods include:
SPM (Sensix Project Management) is the method developed by Sensix for the successful introduction of CRM initiatives.
SPM has equally proven itself in the various industries and essentially follows four goals:
- Pragmatic and efficient project approach thanks to tested planning documents and project documents
- Promoting acceptance through early involvement of the users (prototype, pilot) with planning, implementation and testing
- Process and implemention quality through regular QA checks, name conventions, project reviews and customer feedback after each project
- Sustainability through special RunCRM support contracts for the continuous support in the ongoing operation.
In the planning and conception phase the analysis and documentation of the processes of our customers is done. In doing so, the demands of the individual departments (Sales, Marketing, Customer Service etc.) are analyzed, dependencies between processes are identified and the IT landscape is examined. The results are systematically allocated to the fitting CRM software and conceptionally documented in form of a specification.
During the implementionit is important to implement the processes technologically, test it together with the customer and finish it off. Depending on the size of the project, different test scenarios (function, integration, performance) are bound in a so-called Testing Phase.
The pilot operation follows the primary goal of promoting the user acceptance. From an agreed degree of completion, parts of the CRM system are made accessible for a limited user group in order to gather experience with the use of the new software. The feedback from the pilot operation is integrated into the implementation in a type of feedback loop.
After the overall completion of the implementation work, the training sessions of the end user take place and usually shortly thereafter the implementation ("going live") of the CRM system. Thus the trust of the users is secured, who are furnished with the necessary user knowledge in order to be able to successfully implement the CRM system in the daily business.
With international projects, in practice the implementation is often done in the scope of a stagewise rollout plan.
Directly after going live, in the scope of the productive support the Sensix experts take care to clarify any problems of the customers in the usage and operation of the new software.
Afterwards the transition into the ongoing support is executed by the Sensix Operations Management. Here, in addition to standardized maintenance services, diverse models of support can be concluded in the scope of our RunCRM services.
WAN-IFRA: What developments are you working on for the near future in this area? For example, what are you planning to highlight for CRM solutions at IFRA Expo this October?
Von Kuester: We are working on a couple of areas that are interesting for media companies. Highlights include analytical CRM (i.e. the analysis of what is operationally done to develop new strategies), fast implementation based on "best of breed," business consulting in the area of media.
Interview by Brian Veseling, senior editor for Publishing, Editorial and General Management and WAN-IFRA Magazine.