CAREER

The Impact of Leadership on Organizational Performance

Leadership is an important function in small business. Leadership and management represent two completely different business concepts. Leadership is commonly defined as establishing a clear vision, communicating the vision with others and resolving the conflicts between various individuals who are responsible for completing the company's vision. Management is the organization and coordination of various economic resources in a business. Leadership can have a significant impact on an organization's performance.

Setting the Tone

Small business owners usually set the leadership tone for their organization. Owners accomplish this by developing a mission or set of values by which they operate their company. This creates a minimum level of acceptance for employee behavior. Business owners often create company policies or guidelines from the company's mission or values. Policies and guidelines also give business owners the ability to remove under-performing employees from the company.

Types

Three types of leadership are common in business: authoritarian, democratic and laissez-faire. Each type of leadership impacts organizational performance differently. Authoritarian leadership is commanding and sets clear expectations for employees in the organizational. Democratic leadership encourages feedback and input from managers or employees regarding organizational performance. Laissez-faire is a hands-off approach, where managers and employees work according to their own preference and schedule. This leadership style can lead to poor motivation and work practices.

Features

Successful organizational performance relies on the proper behavior from managers and employees. Leadership can be an evolutionary process in companies. Business owners who provide leadership can transform an employee from a worker completing tasks to a valuable team member. Leadership skills can help change an employee's mentality by instilling an ownership mindset. Employees who believe they have a direct owner-style relationship with the organization often find ways to improve their attitude and productivity.

Function

Leadership can help a business maintain singular focus on its operations. Larger business organizations can suffer from too many individuals attempting to make business decisions. Business owners can use leadership skills to get managers and employees on the same page and refocus on the original goal. Leadership skills can also help correct poor business practices or internal conflicts between employees.

Warning

Leadership can have a negative impact on organizational performance. Leaders who are overly dominant or become obsessed with achieving goals can overlook various details in the business organization. Managers and employees may also be less willing to help dominant or extremely critical leaders with accomplishing goals and objectives. Dominating leadership creates difficult business relationships. Other companies and business owners avoid dominant leaders who consistently request financial benefits.

Set Your Goals And Make Them happen...

Goals big and small can be the stepping-stones to a happier life and the way we set them can make a difference to achieving them. 

Clarionttech is helping many companies including multinationals reach accepted international Standard; We provide quality structure for companies and train ambitious individuals by teaching, inspiring and supporting them towards achieving their certifications in the various areas of professionalism and career-field. Here's how.

WHY DO IT?

Having goals for things we want to do and working towards them is an important part of being human. The path towards our goals may not always run smoothly or be easy, but having goals, whether big or small, is part of what makes life good. It gives us a sense of meaning and purpose, points us in the direction we want to go and gets us interested and engaged, all of which are good for our overall happiness.

Over 2000 years ago, Aristotle said: "Well begun is half done." And with regards to goals, he's right (as he seems to have been on a lot of things). Paying attention to how we set our goals makes us more like to achieve them and achieving them makes us feel good about ourselves and our lives.

WHERE TO START?

  1. Decide. Think of something you want to do or work towards. It doesn't matter what, as long as it's something you want to do - ideally something you're interested in or feel excited by. It should be something you want to do for its own sake, not for something or someone else. It can be a big thing or a small thing - sometimes it is easier to get going with something small. And it often helps if it's something that's just a little bit beyond what you currently can do - goals that stretch us can be motivating!
  2. Write it down. Carefully. Writing down our goals increases our chances of sticking with them. Write down how you will know you have reached your goals and when you'd like to have achieved it by. Ask yourself: what it will 'look' like and how will you feel when you've done it? How does it connect to who or what you value in your life? Describe your goal in specific terms and timescales e.g. 'I want to undergo a professional training and get certified in the Human Resource Management by the end of August' rather than 'I want to do some training.'  Write your goals in terms of what you want, not what you don't want. For example: 'I want to be able to wear my favourite jeans again', rather than 'I don't want to be over-weight anymore'.
  3. Tell someone. Telling someone we know about our goals also seems to increase the likelihood that we will stick to them.
  4. Break your goal down. This is especially important for big goals. Think about the smaller goals that are steps on the way to achieving your bigger aim. Sometimes our big goals are a bit vague, like 'I want to be healthier'. Breaking these down helps us be more specific. So a smaller goal might be 'go running regularly' or even 'to be able to run around the park in 20 minutes without stopping'. Write down your smaller goals and try to set some dates to do these by too. Having several smaller goals makes each of them a bit easier and gives us a feeling of success along the way, which also makes it more likely that we'll stay on track towards our bigger goal.
  5. Plan your first step. An ancient Chinese proverb says that the journey of 1000 miles starts with one step. Even if your goal isn't to walk 1000 miles, thinking about the first step on the way will really help to get you started. Even if you don't know where to start there's no excuse - your first step could be to research 'how to…' on the internet or think of people you could ask or to get a book on the subject from the library. Then think of your next step…and the next…
  6. Keep going. Working towards our goals can sometimes be difficult and frustrating - so we need to persevere. If a step you're doing isn't working, think of something else you could try that still moves you forward, even a tiny bit. If you're struggling, ask people you know for their ideas on what you could do. They may help you see a different way. Thinking about different ways of reaching our goals makes it more likely we'll be successful. If you're really struck - take a break and then re-read the goal you wrote down when you started. If you need to adjust your goal - that's ok too. Then have another think about a small next step…
  7. Celebrate. When you reach your goal take the time to enjoy it and thank those that helped you. Think about what you enjoyed and learned along the way. Now, what is your next goal or project going to be?

Do not hesitate to let us in the know of your intending goals, and accomplishment. Also, you can add getting that professional training and certification with us at Clarionttech Services Limited. 

CBT IS BACK IN NIGERIA

We have a good news. We are glad to inform you that Computer Based Option for the Project Management Professional (PMP) Exam is back in Nigeria.

The Testing centre will be available in Lagos Nigeria and Testing will commence from 31st July, 2017. Apply Online and be part of the Long waited CBT Option which will no longer require candidates travelling to Accra Ghana.

Clarionttech Services is an authorized training provider for Project Management Professional Certifications. Our primary goal is to ensure update information and Career News releases that will help take your Career to the next level.

As part of our Objective ,We take great pride in Quality training packed with necessary eligibility requirement to take and pass the exam in one sitting.

 

Eligibility Requirement for CBT
Register for your examination with the Project Management Institute (PMI) and received your Authorization to Test (ATT) letter prior to scheduling  testing appointment at a Prometric Testing Center. Clarrionttech Services registers candidates for the exam to ease them of the stress.

What to Bring to the Testing Center
Non-expired, government-issued, photo- and signature-bearing ID in order to test.
Note: If the primary ID presented does not bear a signature or photo, you must present one form of secondary ID containing a photo and/or signature whichever is missing from the primary ID.
Acceptable forms of primary ID are limited to:
• driver’s license
• passport
• military ID

What Time to arrive at the Testing Center
Plan to arrive 30 minutes before the scheduled appointment to allow time for check-in procedures.Candidates who are late in arriving will not be allowed to test and will incur a penalty fee for lost computer time in order to reestablish their eligibility.

Reschedule/Cancel Policy
If you need to reschedule or cancel your exam, you must call the registration center, or visit www.prometric.com/pmi click the “Get Started” corresponding to the appropriate exam and follow the directions on the site necessary to reschedule or cancel your exam. Rescheduling or canceling submissions thru the online Contact Us form available at www.prometric.com is not a valid method to request an appointment reschedule or cancellation.

You can reschedule or cancel your exam at any time, as long as you do so more than two full calendar days(EST) before your scheduled exam appointment. However, a $70 fee will be charged to you if you reschedule or cancel your exam within 30 days of the scheduled appointment. If you wait until you are within two calendar days of your exam appointment you will forfeit the entire exam fee.

Customer Relationship is not an Option

Customer Relationship Management is a comprehensive approach for creating, maintaining and expanding customer relationships.

Frederick Reichhold and Earl Sasser of the Harvard Business School shows, most customers are only profitable in the second year that they do business with you. That’s right. Initially, new customers cost you money—money spent on advertising and marketing and money spent learning what they want and teaching them how best to do business with you.

CRM does not belong just to sales and marketing. It is not the sole responsibility of the customer service group. Nor is it the brainchild of the information technology team. While any one of these areas may be the internal champion for CRM in your organization, in point of fact, CRM must be a way of doing business that touches all areas. When CRM is delegated to one area of an organization, such as IT, customer relationships will suffer. Likewise, when an area is left out of CRM planning, the organization puts at risk the very customer relationships it seeks to maintain.

Are you a manager whose area doesn’t deal with external customers? This part of the definition still applies. First, you and your team support and add value to the individuals in your organization who do come into direct contact with customers. Again and again, the research has proven that external customer satisfaction. faction is directly proportional to employee satisfaction.
That means that the quality of support given to internal customers predicts the quality of support that is given to external customers. Second, consider your internal customers as advocates for your department or area. For you and your team, CRM is about growing advocates and finding newways to add value.
 

Data Management: What You Need to Know and Why

Executives, managers and information workers have all come to respect the role that data management plays in the success of their organizations. But organizations don’t always do a good job of communicating and encouraging better ways of managing information. Even though they won’t always play a role in implementing or directly managing data quality, MDM (Master Data Management) or virtualization technologies, the business users of technology are increasingly responsible for setting goals and leading the adoption of end users in pursuit of revenue goals, better customer satisfaction and other metrics of success.

Thus, a fundamental understanding of core data management practices helps everyone see opportunities and play a role in the evolution of their organizations. Know the basics and you’ll be better equipped to overcome any given information-related project or challenge you’re contemplating (and there will always be plenty). More important, you will have an informed view with which to join the discussion about initiatives to match the goals and culture of your own organization. We are offering this second edition resource as a business oriented, working guide to core data management practices. In this episode, you will find easy to digest resources on the value and importance of data preparation, data governance, data integration, data quality, data federation, streaming data, and master data management. You can use the tabs and resources in these materials to grasp each of the terms above. Even if you know or think you know what they mean, see what’s new and learn what organizations in different industries are adopting. Use it as a reference, circulate and share it. You will quickly understand (and be able to explain to others) how data governance can help improve policies and workflows. You will see how data quality initiatives lead to more confident and better decision-making. You will know why master data management helps deliver consistent and aligned views of customers, products, partners and suppliers. Just as consumers have adopted their own tools and habits to better manage their lives, the technology-driven advances at work will lead to utility and better ways of getting things done. It is a journey more than a destination and one that requires participation and ownership across different levels of your organization. A basic holistic view of data management initiatives and practices will put you on a productive course and help to keep you there.

BREAKAWAY FOR A TAKEAWAY: Two Truths And A Lie.

READ FROM A MENTOR, JOHN MAXWELL.

PRINCIPLE

  1. I’m a nationally ranked golfer.
  2. I have five beautiful grandchildren.
  3. I play the piano.

Keep reading to find the answer…

I thought we’d play this little game so you could get to know me better. Do you have people in your life you see often, but you don’t really know well? I think there’s value in having meaningful connection with the people around you. You build trust when you know another person’s story and values.

This is exactly why I wanted to share the most important things I think you should know about me and why I do what I do. It’s why, for this Breakaway, I am going to share my passion, my purpose, and my heart behind my teaching. I trust that in sharing my heart, you and I will have deeper trust, and you’ll start to better know the leader inside of you.

There are really three crucial things you should know about me (all of these are 100% true. No lies here!): 

1. PURPOSE

My purpose, my reason for living, my biggest responsibility and the thing that makes me feel most significant is equipping others and helping them multiply true leadership. I really believe that few things will pay you bigger dividends in life than the time and trouble you take to understand people and build relationships.

That’s why I have an organization with over 12,000 certified coaches who teach my principles of leadership and personal growth. It’s why I write books and speak on stages around the world. It’s why I share my lessons in online classes and in private one-on-one mentoring sessions. People are my purpose.

2. PASSION

I define “passion” as the thing that makes you cry, dream, and sing. The things you cry about tell you what deeply affects your heart. What you dream about tells you where your hope lies. What you sing about tells you what brings you the greatest joy. For me, I can answer all three in one statement: Helping others develop themselves so they can multiply their growth for others. I love nothing more than to walk alongside people desiring growth and to help them go after it. It brings tears to my eyes to see them pass the torch to someone behind them to help others do the same. People are my passion. 

3. POTENTIAL

You should never follow a leader who doesn’t have a clear vision of where they’re headed, along with a keen awareness of what they’ve left in their wake. We all have areas in which we can grow. We all have potential to be better than we were yesterday.

In my life, my area for greatest potential growth is my reach. There’s tremendous potential for my teaching and coaching to impact people around the world who have yet to experience it. There are still millions of men and women who don’t know of their potential in this life and don’t know how to seize it. This potential is why I have a dream to impact one million people in the next year with my leadership and personal growth principles. People are my greatest potential.

THE TAKEAWAY

The truth is there is really only one thing you need to know about me as your mentor or about the leaders you trust and follow in your life: Leaders should know themselves and want to help others do the same. They are people who can set aside their agendas for the sake of the team, the family, or the community so those people can reach their greatest potential.

Entertainer Danny Thomas said it best: “All of us are born for a reason, but all of us don’t discover why. Success in life has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It’s what you do for others.”

NOW IT'S YOUR TURN

I think it would be valuable for you to think about your own answers to these questions:

  • What’s your passion?
  • What’s your purpose?
  • Where’s your greatest potential?

And most of all, are people in your picture? If you want to see real dividends, make sure people are at the heart of what pushes you forward.

I trust you know my heart better now, and even more so, I hope you begin to develop the truths in your story that ignite your passions, purpose, and future potential.

Stay tuned, at Clarionttech Services we will help you keep close tabs on your dreams and purposeful visions with our professional trainings and certifications.  We are going to teach you the number one quality you need to lead others… and it may not be what you think.

Entry Certificate in Business Analysis (ECBA) Level 1

Business Analysis is the practice of enabling change in an organizational context, by defining needs and recommending solutions that deliver value to stakeholders. The set of tasks and techniques that are used to perform business analysis are defined in A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge®(BABOK®Guide).

An ECBA™ (Entry Certificate in Business Analysis™) is level one in the business analysis certification framework from the International Institute of Business Analysis™ (IIBA®).This level provides individuals with a certificate that recognizes individuals entering the field of business analysis.

The ECBA™ certificate is targeted at:

  • Individuals entering the BA profession:
    • Students enrolled in BA academic programs
    • New graduates
  • Professionals transitioning careers
  • Functional managers who are not BAs but manage them

Eligibility Requirements

  • No previous BA work experience required
  • 21 hours of professional development in the last 4 years
  • Agreement with the ECBA™ Code of Conduct.

Exam

The ECBA exam is a live web delivered exam that requires a desktop or laptop, a working webcam, and microphone.

In order to be admitted to the exam, please ensure that your IIBA profile name matches your government identification.

  • The ECBA™ exam is 1 hour long and consists of 50 multiple choice questions. It is competency-based aligned to BABOK® Guide Version 3. Visit our BABOK® Guide webpage to acquire your copy or gain access to a FREE PDF version with an IIBA® membership.

To help you prepare for the exam review the following:

  • Exam Day Information
  • Certification Handbook
  • Exam Blueprint
  • Sample Questions
  • Guide to Competency-Based Certification

 

TRAINING MODULE HERE

Contact Certification Team

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email us at support@clariongr.com

 

BUSINESS 7 Human Resource Management Certifications for Your Career

While scrolling through human resource management job postings you may have noticed many of them list “PHR/SPHR certification required” in the job requirements. Are these certifications worth your time and resources to acquire?

According to a survey by Payscale.com, HR-certified professionals typically make substantially more than their non-certified counterparts. This pay difference is less noticeable in lower level positions, but becomes more apparent as you work your way up into HR management. In addition, a candidate with HR certifications is more likely to be hired than a candidate without them.

Here’s a breakdown of the top seven human resource management certifications administered by the HR Certification Institute and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Although previously partners, these two organizations now offer independent certification programs.

PHR®: Professional in Human Resources

FOCUS: This certification focuses on program implementation, tactics, and logistical orientation. HR professionals who receive this credential are typically accountable to another HR professional within the organization (such as the director of human resources) and have responsibilities focusing on the HR department rather than the organization as a whole.

POTENTIAL CAREER MOVES: PHR certification can open up new career opportunities, including benefits administrator, payroll manager, or HR coordinator.

CERTIFICATION: Certification requires a passing grade on a computer-based test (175 multiple-choice questions). The test takes approximately 3 hours and is valid for 3 years if passed. Recertification requires either documented professional development hours or a re-take of the exam. View eligibility requirements.

 

SPHR®: Senior Professional in Human Resources

FOCUS: This credential is for senior HR managers who have mastered strategic and policy-making aspects of HR. The focus is on big-picture planning and is geared toward those who have ultimate accountability in the HR department.

POTENTIAL CAREER MOVES: Potential positions with an SPHR certification may include HR director, HR consultant, or labor relations manager.

CERTIFICATION: Completion of a 175-question, multiple-choice exam is required for initial certification. Recertification requires demonstration of ongoing professional development hours or re-taking the SPHR exam.

 

SHRM-CP: SHRM Certified Professional

FOCUS: This certification is for HR professionals who implement policies and strategies, serve as point of reference for employees and stakeholders, deliver HR services, and perform operational HR functions.

It is similar to the HR Certification Institute’s PHR®: Professional in Human Resources certification.

POTENTIAL CAREER MOVES: Individuals with this certification bring best practices and enhanced global perspective to an organization. Job opportunities may include senior HR consultant, HR director, or HR manager.

CERTIFICATION: The SHRM-CP exam includes 130 questions, which are a combination of knowledge and situational judgment questions.  SHRM membership is not required for certifications. 

 SHRM-SCP: SHRM Senior Certified Professional

FOCUS: This certification focuses on developing strategies and leadership in HR. Topics explored include analysis, performance metrics, and developing ongoing organizational goals. It is similar to the HR Certification Institute’s SPHR®: Senior Professional in Human Resources certification.

POTENTIAL CAREER MOVES: Individuals with this certification fill job roles including vice president of HR, manager of talent acquisition, HR manager, or HR director.

CERTIFICATION: The SHRM-SCP exam includes 150 scored questions, both knowledge-based and situational judgment-based. SHRM membership is not required for certifications. 

 SPHRi®: Senior Professional in Human Resources — International

FOCUS: This global certification is designed to validate professional-level core HR knowledge and skills. Receiving this certification proves that an individual has mastered generally accepted HR principles in strategy, policy development, and service delivery.

POTENTIAL CAREER MOVES: Through demonstrated knowledge, this certification enhances the credibility of HR professionals and the organizations they serve, allowing opportunities to move into positions such as HR specialist, HR generalist, or HR global manager.

CERTIFICATION: Certification is completed through computer-based testing (105 scored questions). The test takes approximately 2.5 hours and is valid for 3 years if passed. Recertification requires either documented professional development hours or a re-take of the exam. View eligibility requirements.

 

PRHi®: Professional in Human Resources — International

FOCUS: Similar to the SPHRi, this certification is also a global, competency-based certification that validates professional-level core HR knowledge and skills. Unlike the SPHRi, however, this certification is more focused on operational principles and demonstrates that individuals with this certification have mastered generally accepted technical and operational HR principles.

POTENTIAL CAREER MOVES: PHRi certification career opportunities may include HR business partner, HR supervisor, or performance and talent analyst.

CERTIFICATION: Learners completing certification are required to pass a 170-question computer-based test. The test is roughly 3 hours and is valid for 3 years. Recertification is available by retaking the exam or demonstrating a minimum of 60 hours of professional development. View eligibility requirements.

 

GPHR®: Global Professional in Human Resources

FOCUS: This certification is focused on global HR initiatives. Learners explore cross-border HR responsibilities such as strategies of globalization, development of HR policies, and initiatives that support global organizational growth.

POTENTIAL CAREER MOVES: Career opportunities for individuals with GPHR certifications may include director of global talent acquisition, director of global HR, or global HR advisor.

CERTIFICATION ELIGIBILITY: Initial certification requires passing a 165 multiple-choice question computer-based test (valid for 3 years), which takes approximately 3 hours. Recertification is available by demonstrating a minimum of 60 recertification hours (15 must be in global HR) or a retake of the initial exam. 

CUSTOMERS LOYALTY AND THE USE OF C.R.M SOFTWARE.

Customer relationship management (C.R.M) is a term that refers to practices, strategies and technologies that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer life-cycle, with the goal of improving business relationships with customers, assisting in customer retention and driving sales growth. C.R.M systems are designed to compile information on customers across different channels -- or points of contact between the customer and the company -- which could include the company's website, telephone, live chat, direct mail, marketing materials and social media.

CUSTOMERS LOYALTY.

Customer loyalty can be your key to restoring customer confidence, which can keep your business afloat. With costumer confidence and customer loyalty, providing excellent customer service is no longer an added benefit. Customers who are not happy with the way they are treated are taking their businesses elsewhere. 

Giving your customers an exceptional experience will bring exceptional results: your customers become a marketing tool for your business. This programme is highly participative and allows participants learn the art of effective customer service. This training is tailored at teaching you how to give exceptional customer service. C.R.M systems can also give customer-facing staff detailed information on customers' personal information, purchase history, buying preferences and concerns.

C.R.M SOFTWARE.

CRM software consolidates customer information and documents into a single CRM database so business users can more easily access and manage it. The other main functions of this software include recording various customer interactions (over email, phone calls, social media or other channels, depending on system capabilities), automating various workflow processes such as tasks, calendars and alerts, and giving managers the ability to track performance and productivity based on information logged within the system.

Common features of C.R.M software include:

  • Marketing automation: C.R.M capabilities can automate repetitive tasks to enhance marketing efforts to customers at different points in the life-cycle. For example, as sales prospects come into the system, the system might automatically send them marketing materials, typically via email or social media, with the goal of turning a sales lead into a full-fledged customer.
  • Sales force automation: Also known as sales force management, is meant to prevent duplicate efforts between a salesperson and a customer. A C.R.M system can help achieve this by automatically tracking all contact and follow-ups between both sides.
  • Contact center automation: This include pre-recorded audio that assists in customer problem-solving and information dissemination, designed to reduce tedious aspects of a contact center agent's job. Various software tools that integrate with the agent's desktop tools can handle customer requests in order to cut down the time of calls and simplify customer service processes. 
  • Geo-location technology, or location-based services: Some C.R.M systems include technology that can create geographic marketing campaigns based on customers' physical locations, sometimes integrating with popular location-based GPS apps. Geo-location technology can also be used as a networking or contact management tool in order to find sales prospects based on location.

WHAT YOU STAND TO LEARN?

  • Free Installation and Training on EQMS Software
  • Key Skills for Quality Customer Service
  • Addressing Different Customer Behavioral Styles
  • Understanding Quality Service and Service Culture
  • Listening/Communication Skills

LEARN MORE HERE

THE C.R.M TECHNOLOGY MARKET AND CUSTOMERS LOYALTY.

The C.R.M technology market.

The four main vendors of C.R.M systems are Salesforce.com, Microsoft, SAP and Oracle. Other providers are popular among small- to mid-market businesses, but these four tend to be the choice of large corporations.

 With this approach the company purchases licenses up front instead of buying yearly subscriptions. The software resides on the company's own servers and the user assumes the cost of any upgrades and usually requires a prolonged installation process to fully integrate a company's data. Companies with complex CRM needs might benefit more from an on-premises deployment.

In line, Customer loyalty can be your key to restoring customer confidence, which can keep your business afloat. Giving your customers an exceptional experience will bring exceptional results: your customers become a marketing tool for your business. This programme is highly participative and allows participants learn the art of effective customer service. This training is tailored at teaching you how to give exceptional customer service.

Data security is a primary concern for companies using a cloud-based system since the company doesn't physically control the storage and maintenance of its data. If the cloud provider goes out of business or is acquired by another company, a company's data can be compromised or lost. Compatibility issues can also arise when data is initially migrated from a company's previous system to the cloud. Finally, cost may be a concern, since paying subscription fees for software can be more costly than on-premises-based models.

Open source CRM programs make source code available to the public, allowing companies to make alterations with no cost to the company employing it. Open source C.R.M systems also allow the addition and customization of data links to social media channels, assisting companies looking to improve social CRM practices. 

Adoption of any of these CRM deployment methods depends on a company's business needs, resources and goals, since each has different costs associated with it.

Trends

Traditionally, data intake practices for CRM systems have been the responsibility of sales and marketing departments as well as contact center agents. Sales and marketing teams procure leads and update the system with information throughout the customer lifecycle and contact centers gather data and revise customer history records through service call and technical support interactions.

The advent of social media and the proliferation of mobile devices has caused CRM providers to upgrade their offerings to include new features that cater to customers who use these technologies.

Social CRM refers to businesses engaging customers directly through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Social media presents an open forum for customers to share experiences with a brand, whether they're airing grievances or promoting products.

To add value to customer interactions on social media, businesses use various tools that monitor social conversations, from specific mentions of a brand to the frequency of keywords used, to determine their target audience and which platforms they use. Other tools are designed to analyze social media feedback and address customer queries and issues. Companies are interested in capturing sentiments such as a customer's likelihood of recommending their products and the customer's overall satisfaction in order to develop marketing and service strategies. Companies try to integrate social CRM data with other customer data obtained from sales or marketing departments in order to get a single view of the customer.

Another way in which social CRM is adding value for companies and customers is customer communities, where customers post reviews of products and can engage with other customers to troubleshoot issues or research products in real time. Customer communities can provide low-level customer service for certain kinds of problems and reduce the number of contact center calls. Customer communities can also benefit companies by providing new product ideas or feedback without requiring companies to enlist feedback groups.

Mobile CRM -- or the CRM applications built for smartphones and tablets -- is becoming a must-have for sales representatives and marketing professionals who want to access customer information and perform tasks when they are not physically in their offices. Mobile CRM apps take advantage of features that are unique to mobile devices, such as GPS and voice-recognition capabilities, in order to better serve customers by giving employees access to this information on the go.

C.R.M challenges

For all of the advancements in C.R.M technology, without the proper management, a C.R.M system can become little more than a glorified database where customer information is stored. Data sets need to be connected, distributed and organized so that users can easily access the information they need.

Companies also struggle to achieve a "single view of the customer," where many different data sets can be seamlessly accessed and organized in a single dashboard or interface to create one view of a customer’s account and relevant information. Challenges arise when customer data is siloed in several separate systems or when data is complicated by duplicate or outdated information that slows down and hampers the business process. These problems can lead to a decline in customer experience due to long wait times during phone calls, improper handling of technical support cases and other issues.

Social media, for example, has been touted as a more efficient channel by which customers can reach companies and get problems resolved or queries answered, rather than enduring the traditional method of waiting in a phone queue or awaiting an email response. In some cases, particularly in high-touch customer service scenarios , social platforms can fall short for customer service.

Companies also continue to struggle to identify real sales prospects with their data. These methods work best, however, when companies spend time cleaning up their existing data to eliminate duplicate and incomplete records before they supplement C.R.M data with external sources of information.

WHAT YOU STAND TO LEARN ?