BMW’s Customer Relationship Management in the UK

Theoretical Aspect

The rationale underlying setting up and running a business is to create new customers and hold on to them. If such a business process is carried out successfully in a cost-effective manner, the business will generate proper turnovers and at the same time will continue to survive and flourish. However, if such a condition failed to be met the business suffers heavy losses and continued losses may result in the downfall of the venture. This standpoint of viewing business makes it primarily a client-driven process. In the post-industrialization era, the markets have started to exhibit a fiercely competitive trend in which just meeting the quality standards and quantity requirements of a product is not enough for the business to survive. In order to stay ahead of other competitors in a segment a good deal of innovation is needed. Upholding a sustainable competitive lead is the central focus of any business strategy and it depends on the success of Customer Relationship Management or CRM.

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CRM permits the preservation and development of the organization’s competitive situation in the market. Innovation is the chief force underlying competitive advantage, development and effectiveness. Firms that successfully realize the full payback from their machinery and innovations are competent enough to integrate their technological proficiency with corresponding expertise in various other sections of their business, such as providing efficient services to clients as well as its employees. (Nayyar, 2006, 44)

With more and more options becoming available to the customer differentiation becomes a key concept and acts as a driver of sustainability. Differentiation denotes the capacity to separate the product or service offered by the business from that of other players. It is the solution to the problem of creating and upholding a competitive advantage. This is the edge that a business has over its competitors in the same market segment. This comes from the capability of offering exclusive and unique benefits that no other competitor can provide to the customer. Servitization of products is a window of opportunity on which organizations look to capitalize on. By offering services as a product or post-sales services firms aim at adding value to products and gain a competitive edge.

“Managing the evidence” refers to the process of notifying customers that the service has been executed effectively. It is done in a delicate fashion like providing explanations of high-quality and poor service which is used as a basis of judgment. The rationale is that a client might not acknowledge the worth of the service if they lack a benchmark for evaluations. (Sun & Zhou, 2008, 90)

Customers often prefer a “personal touch”. Firms pay considerable attention to the human aspect and personalization of services. Employees are often allowed to tailor a service encounter to the individual needs of customers. This satisfies the customer to a greater degree and increases customer loyalty which in turn provides the business with a competitive edge.

A flourishing business organization and its management must be competent enough to cater to customer needs in addition to financial targets in a fiercely competitive global market. To build up customer confidence and accomplish business goals, the administrative team must not only craft an economically fruitful business strategy, but coerce the outcome by translating the strategy into an unambiguously defined operational priority and ensure that they adequately adhered to and met through enhanced communication and an efficient performance evaluation system. However, turning the customer relation objectives in a business strategy is into actual reality is an intricate undertaking. (Buttle & Burton, 2002, 227)

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Firms often adopt an approach in which customer relation objectives are prioritized based on operational needs and requirements. The first step is to explicitly define a business policy which clearly outlines the performance objectives of each sphere of the business. It is then the responsibility of the management of the firm to oversee the operations and ensure that the defined objectives are complied with. Converting these objectives into operational priorities involves careful result based evaluation of the business performance. Communications is an aspect which is inherently linked to this process. The role of each employee and every stakeholder must be explicitly communicated to them. Outlining and designating accountability for each sub-objective is also important in this context.

The management is responsible for communicating the operating plan strategy to the lower echelons of the firm and describing the intentions behind the targets. This must be clearly understood by all employees as well as other parties involved. Deliverables must be clearly outlined in such a communication and performance measurement machinery must be understood by all. A key administrative role is to define the way the goal is to be achieved. However, they should always assist in this process for the employees to easily realize the operational priorities. (Sun & Zhou, 2008, 90) In this context, the Customer Relationship Management of BMW in UK becomes very important because being a successful company it is able to set a benchmark for all other companies in the context of Customer Relationship Management. Thus the Customer Relationship Management of BMW in UK would be analyzed and evaluated to develop a benchmark based on the company policies.

Empirical Aspect

A research methodology is an important part for establishing how a research can be conducted. A research methodology is a plan as to how a study should be conducted. There is various research methodologies like qualitative and quantitative which are in use. In this section it would be discussed and disadvantages of using the before mentioned research methodologies and finally will justify the research methodology chosen for the proposed paper.

A quantitative research method may be defined as the process of collecting numeric data and using that data to show what those, observations reflect (Babbie, 1992). The one of the important factors of quantitative research methodology is data collection which is done through various processes such as interviews, questionnaire surveys, tests/measures, and observations (Easterby-Smith et al, 1991).

In the domain of mandatory fulfilment of requirements research methodology has been dominated by mixed strategy wherein case study approach has been extensively used (Benbasat et al, 1987). Qualitative research methods have been used extensively used in studying the study of adoption of the issue where mostly the scholars have provided their analysis of the situation as they have seen through their experience or through interviews or secondary research. Very little research has been done on the area of the issue of mandatory fulfilment of CPD requirements which will help in analyzing the situation objectively.

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Thus, it is logical to do a mix of qualitative and quantitative research. In the qualitative research section, it would follow the historic data of the issue and try to determine the areas where the result has been adopted and the existing results exist. In this part, there would be an extensive secondary research on the issue and try to ascertain the benefits and then do constructive interviews to ascertain the complete picture. The interviews will be based on organizations there would the focus of quantitative study.

From the qualitative research, there would be adequate information regarding the organization’s present adoption status of internet and the barriers to it. The quantitative research section will follow a questionnaire survey in the designated organization or sector. The survey will be directed to understand the profile of the respondents and the relation to the research question. The next section of the questionnaire will discuss the benefits that the sector has gained from the issue. The perceived benefits of the issue have to be captured through the questionnaire. Then the questionnaire will discuss the barriers which the sector faced in issue in the context of real life purposes.

The survey result will be evaluated through factor analysis of the data collected. Here it must be kept in mind that mandatory fulfilment of requirements can be enhanced not only due to organizational factors but also due to individual factors. This has to be kept in mind while working on the questionnaire. The questionnaire will also evaluate the adopter’s decision and the criteria for choosing the issue as an innovation.

Further in order to determine the performance growth with the issue has to be correlated to the degree of usage of issue to the operational, financial, and performance success of the sector. This can be done through the data on the issue and the perceived level of adoption to the financial performance over the years of adoption, number of patients treated, cost aspects, etc. can be correlated which will provide the level of acceptance of the issue and the success of using it. This can be validated through the study of the perceived benefits of the issue of the respondents with that of the financial and operational data. This process is important to be done in order to understand the performance benefit of the issue.

References

Babbie, E.. (1992) The practice of social research 6th ed. Belmont: CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company.

Bigelow, B & Arndt, M 2004, ‘Corporate political strategy: A framework for understanding nonprofit strategy’, Nonprofit Management and Leadership, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 29-43.

Buttle, F & Burton J 2002, ‘Does service failure influence customer loyalty?’, Journal of Consumer Behaviour, vol. 1, no. 3, pp 217-227.

Crittenden, W 2000, ‘A guide to journal articles on strategic management’, Nonprofit Management and Leadership, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 193-213.

Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R. & Lowe, A. (1991) Management Research: An Introduction. Sage Publications, London.

Ferlie, E 2007, ‘The creation and evolution of quasi markets in the public sector: A problem for strategic management’, Strategic Management Journal, vol. 13, no. S2, pp. 79-97.

Gainer, B & Padanyi, P 2007, ‘Applying the marketing concept to cultural organisations: an empirical study of the relationship between market orientation and performance’, International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 182-193.

Habib, MM 2003, ‘Strategy, structure, and performance of U.S. manufacturing and service MNCs: A comparative analysis’, Strategic Management Journal, vol. 12, no. 8, pp. 589-606.

Nayyar, PR 2002, ‘Stock market reactions to related diversification moves by service firms seeking benefits from information asymmetry and economies of scope’, Strategic Management Journal, vol. 14, no. 8, pp. 569-591.

Nayyar, PR 2006, ‘Stock market reactions to customer service changes’, Strategic Management Journal, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 39-53.

Ramírez, R 2005, ‘Value co-production: intellectual origins and implications for practice and research’, Strategic Management Journal, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 49-65.

Sun, B & Zhou, C 2008, ‘Customer relationship management’, Journal of Interactive Marketing, vol. 20, no. 3-4, pp. 82-96.

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