These all changed, however with the growing chains and building malls and the continuous promotion of self-service. With these changes, more and more retailers have lost their contact with their customers. As a result, they are also simply losing the loyalty that the customers once entrusted upon them. Hence, more and more retailers are now trying to regain the loyalty they lost as they begin to value of their customers through programs incorporated within the idea of customer relationship management.
The inability of one business in the retail industry to stand out in the midst of a competition is one of the biggest problems in this particular industry. This then worsened due to the increasing amount of customer information that the internet is providing. As a result, the establishment of a good relationship between a business and its customers becomes very important. But the consolidation in this particular industry began to challenge these relationships.
Nonetheless, the advancements made in information technology played a very important role in increasing customer information together with the facilitation of the data gathering and interaction aimed towards customers. Simply put, retailers are now having a hard time in generating higher revenues in a highly competitive market. Due to the aforementioned problems haunting the retail industry, more time and money are now being allocated for the advancement of strategies related with customer relationship management.
Through CRM, a business model that is relationship-based and customer-centred is developed as the organization begins to understand the preferences of its customers. Loyalty schemes aim to foster customer relationship by awarding discounts or prizes to people for continued patronage. In most programs, customers accumulate points (or their equivalent) which are then redeemed for cash, discount or prizes.
The advantages of frequent shopper programs for retailers are the loyalty (customers amass points only by shopping at a specific firm or firms), the increased shopping and the competitive edge for a retailer similar to others (Berman and Evans, 2004). Loyalty schemes and other programs incorporated into customer relationship management programs are said to play a very important role in ensuring the increase in profits and revenues of a certain company.
This study looked into customer relationship management from the perspective of the customers. Apparently, a large number of the respondents of this study recognize the importance of such to their preference of a supermarket over the others. In the same manner, there were also those who recognize that these programs have a significant effect upon their loyalty to a certain business belonging to the said industry. However, CRM programs are not the only reasons behind the preference of a person.
Other factors such as accessibility, cheaper prices, availability of products and media and social influence also play very important roles. Citing the importance of customer relationship management, the researcher recommends the adoption of these programs and strategies so as to ensure the establishment of customer loyalty which then becomes very important in the generation of profits. According to the perspectives adopted by the businesses, customer relationship management is very important and at the same time, effective in ensuring the loyalty of customers.
However, customers believe that customer relationship management programs are not efficient for there are other factors which significantly increase the loyalty of one customer to a certain business belonging to the retail industry. The researcher recommends an extensive and comprehensive research that would look into the factors affecting customer satisfaction and customer loyalty more deeply. In doing so, future researchers must be able to look at the factors why a certain group of individuals are satisfied differently from another.
It would also be best if the researcher could actually hear out the complaints and suggestions of those who have been dissatisfied with the services of the different businesses belonging to the retail industry of the UK. The researcher recommends future scholars who would like to pursue this study to look into the actions of businesses in order to correct the misconceptions of the customers with regard to loyalty schemes and other frequent shoppers programs. In the same manner, future researchers should look into the negative effects of customer relationship management and how this negatively affects business and customer relationships
Finally, the researcher also suggests a comparative study of the different programs and find out which among these examples are the most effective.
About Retail Loyalty. (2008). Retrieved May 7, 2008 from http://retailindustry. about. com/od/loyaltycrm/l/blloyalty. htm Baker, M. J. (1998) Macmillan Dictionary of Marketing and Advertising (3rd Ed. ), Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan BNET Business Dictionary. (2007) Customer Service. Retrieved May 8, 2008from https://www.thebalance.com/retail-industry-4073977