Customer Relationship Management for blackberry

Factors that have favored the development of strong strategy to manage customer relationships include shorter product life cycles and the realization of a link between customer retention and financial performance (Osarenkhoe & Bennani, 2007). Core requirements for an effective CRM strategy involve emphasizing quality, measuring customer satisfaction with effective management of customer service, and investing in human resource to provide the entity with a workforce that understands the entity’s objectives and how to meet set standards (Osarenkhoe & Bennani, 2007). Other aspects include maintaining dialogue with customers to enhance the entity’s ability to meet needs of individual consumers, setting realistic targets upon which the entity evaluates performance and creating interfaces that foster development of strong relationships (Osarenkhoe & Bennani, 2007). Accordingly, effective CRM approaches derive from a planned communication strategy that supports the establishment and enhancement of customer relationships (Gronroos, 2004).

RIM engages in various activities aimed at managing its customer relations. For instance, the entity offers support forums in its websites organized into different user groups that allow customers to access the aspects relevant to the problems they face more easily. The support forums include those aimed at business customers (e.g. Blackberry enterprise server and Blackberry training and certification support groups), and General support forums that offer solutions applicable even to the non-business customers. In terms of maintaining dialogue with its customers RIM has performed unfavorably even in recent times. For instance, during the October service outage, the entity failed to provide timely communications explaining to customers the cause for such outage and steps the entity was undertaking to restore the service, with the apology coming only after the third day of service disruptions (Arthur, 2011).

Another failure in Blackberry CRM management approach has been with respect to delineating customer trends that help it enhance services that offer value to the customer. Such failure to recognize changing market trends has for instance led to Blackberry’s loss of market share to competitors such as Apple who have developed a consumer-centric marketing approach (Chris, 2011). Such failure to identify the market trends on a timely basis have also resulted to RIM launching products such as the playbook belatedly, thus giving the competitors’ products (e.g. iPads) a competitive advantage (Dvorak, Vranica & Ante, 2009; Chris, 2011).

Although RIM has generated favorable social media engagements in markets such as Indonesia thus resulting in a strong brand recognition in such markets, the entity’s brand engagement on the global platform falls behind those of competitor firms such as Google and Apple (Interbrand, 2011). The relatively lower engagement of the Blackberry device in the social media limits the extent to which the entity can use such channels to enhance the effect of its CRM activities. In respect to CRM, social media would be advantageous in providing a means for the organization to communicate with the customers about aspects such as promotional offerings and product launches (Mangold & Faulds, 2009). For customers, such social media channels offer the opportunity for them to provide feedback about the entity’s products thus enabling the entity to introduce features that meet the changing customer preferences (Mangold & Faulds, 2009).

The CRM approaches for RIM bear various implications for the entities marketing communications. Firstly, the entity needs to enhance dialogue with its customers to enable it recognize changing consumer preferences that allow it to introduce applications and devices that support such changing needs. This can be achieved by increasing its social media presence and engagement through promotional strategies that reward users who engage the brand in such channels. Secondly, the entity needs to establish systems that ensure it provides timely responses to customer concerns. Such systems would assure customers of continued support in times of crisis thus avoiding loss of trust in the entity’s ability to deliver on its brand promises such as security and reliability.

Go to part seven.

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