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decision advantage  
 

Decision Advantage
(continued)

DSS enables effective customer relationship management
Powerful market forces are driving organizations all over the world—including the competition—to implement Decision Support Systems of their own. Customers have become more savvy about service and the organizations they do business with. In a highly competitive environment, it is all too easy for people to shop around for the best product or service or the company best suited to their needs. Careful management of customer relationships is more important than ever, especially as companies find it easier and more cost effective to grow the value of current customers than to recruit new ones.

At the same time, organizations are globalizing and consolidating, and building alliances across geographic lines. A firm that had 200,000 customers may merge with another company and suddenly have 2 million. How can this new, much larger business manage all of these new customer relationships and increase customer loyalty?

Mass marketing, which has alienated most customers, is not a viable means of building loyalty. Marketing today requires increasingly sophisticated techniques, using an organization's complete knowledge about each customer to segment and target those buyers most likely to purchase a product that fits an identified need. Moreover, relationship management needs to support rapid product cycles. In many industries, new products are being introduced every month, no longer every quarter or year.

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Relationship marketing: enabling a marketing lifecycle and increased customer value
*  Analyzing customer behavior before developing and introducing new products, to help ensure market success.
*  Targeting customers with one or two sales offers that will be compelling to them, rather than many offers of marginal interest. For example, if an individual has high repair bills, they could be a good prospect for direct mail about an inexpensive-to-maintain replacement product.
*  Cross-selling based on product affinities. Once you have identified a particular customer segment that buys certain products together, there is huge potential for exploiting this through targeted marketing.
*  Using database marketing to defend your current markets and discourage competitive entry into your market.


Customer management: turning call centers into profit centers
*  Creating integrated call centers using near real-time DSS. With on-line support, your call center can not only provide world-class customer service but become a revenue-generating profit center.
*  Improving customer retention by measuring churn to predict and pre-empt customer loss.
*  Cross-selling more effectively—for example, marketing products to the family members of customers by looking at consolidated views of the household unit.
*  Building loyalty by identifying which customers are profitable and giving them targeted discounts, bonus points toward future purchases, and service tailored to their needs.


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