Week 5: Monitoring Site Current Events

The CRM Program

In today’s world of fast-growing e-commerce, where the vendors and customers rarely meet, the importance of CRM increases even more and more. The CRM program is all about creating and retaining business relationships with current and potential customers. Companies use different strategies, practices, and technologies to record and manage relationships in order to boost sales. A company without a CRM program is unlikely to succeed in its business. Having that understanding, Arsenal FC deploys a number of strategies through different touch-points to implement its CRM program as analyzed below.

It should firstly be understood that, building or achieving a successful CRM program is not an overnight thing; rather it is a process in which the company has to be ready to invest its time, efforts, and commitments to achieve the goal. Arsenal FC leverages its websites to incorporate the CRM program as part of its business strategy. For example, in 2013 Arsenal introduced its new CRM system as part of its marketing strategy which included joining the “Tesco Club-card” of the English Premier League’s fan membership. Among other things, the scheme aimed at reducing annual membership fee from $50.95 to $ 40.14 as a means to reduce entry barriers to the membership.

marc-van-leest-fc-ajax-cmc-sport-en-nieuwe-media-10-638

Arsenal’s CRM program can be categorized into three phases as follows; during the pre-purchase phase the Club asks prospects to sign up for different accounts and subscribe various memberships as well as into social network accounts. At this point, the likelihood of turning the prospects into customers is very high since they have already shown an interest in buying the products or accessing services. Hence, here gathering of prospect’s contacts (data) can either be through their IP address, use of cookies or when they sign up into accounts or filling membership forms for further communication.

Another phase where the Club can have a touch-point with the customer is called “purchase phase.” Here, what the Club does through its websites, is sending emails or SMS thanking them for shopping and ask them to write reviews or give feedback about their user experience. Usually, this is the beginning of forming a bond between the Club and the customer through subsequent communications either via emails, phone calls or SMS.

Next, is the post-purchase phase that the Club uses to strengthen its business relationships with the customers, by maximizing their customer experience and customer value. From here, the Club focuses on gaining customer loyalty by making sure it meets customers’ needs and satisfy them. For example, Arsenal usually engages its customers by sending emails to the newsletter subscribers, asks fans to participate in interviews via its social network pages, as well as updating them on news and events. Hence, by doing all that Arsenal can gather crucial data and information that helps to update its database and to understand exactly its customers’ needs and wants.

Customer Service Policies

Arguably, Arsenal FC is amongst the soccer clubs with the best customer service both online and offline. For example, from 2005 all the Club’s frontline staffs had to receive at least one-day customer service training per season. All Arsenal’s websites have a support desk on their pages, which is specifically for solving customers queries, complaints, and providing additional help.Arsenal supporters can easily reach different departments of the Club with any queries, complaints, or compliments. Contacts information is explicitly listed in the contact section of all its dedicated websites, in the brochures which are mailed to supporters seasonally as well as in the online Arsenal Charter. In addition, all the Club’s websites have a link to privacy policy at the bottom as well as an explicitly message on top of the page asking the user’s permission if he allows cookies to be sent to his site. On top of that, the Club’s tendency of replying emails, comments or queries on a timely manner is another proof that to Arsenal customers come first.

Moreover, in 2006 Arsenal introduced a new software which enables the Club to log complaints in terms of type, response time, and resolution time. Also, the Club has a customer point of contact at the stadium which deals with all kinds of complaints and queries. In the effort of seeking more feedback from its customers online, the Club conducts the Q & A feature in the match-day program. Also, an increasingly importance of the social network forums has made Arsenal expand its customer service to its various social media sites with a close look and keen monitoring.

Web Site Navigation

website-navigation

The good design and layout of Arsenal websites enable users to have their way around easily and locate information quickly. For example, its main website, www.arsenal.com, provides the user with multiple navigation aids with a clear above the fold, which contains search box, sign up / log in box, various headings, as well as latest news and updates. The user can either click the headings to access more information by following subheadings and links or can scroll down by following an explicit arrow pointing downwards. The websites also use breadcrumbs to enable the user locating information shortly through colored links which take them to the landing pages. It is very paramount for every company to have smooth navigation as it brings best user experience which in turn creates traffic, conversion, and increases sales.

Customer-facing business process

 Arsenal FC leverages its various websites to fully engage customers in all of its business aspects. Through its websites, customers can get any product or service from ticketing to sharing their views. Since the Club decided to evolve into a modern sports as well as a media company, it therefore optimizes its digital strategy to reach its customers as close as possible.

CRM Article

The following link, http://www.forbes.com/sites/aileron/2013/05/01/why-your-small-business-needs-crm/, leads to an article titled “Why Your Small Business Needs CRM.” Even though the article mentions small businesses, the illustrated principles about CRM apply to big companies too (such as Arsenal FC), that is why I have chosen it. The article explains the significance and power of the CRM system when it is fully utilized. It provides that, recent researches shows that companies can increase sales by 29% if they leverage the CRM system in their business strategy. The article goes further to explaining the best five CRM principles that every company should apply to succeed in business. Among the five principles, two principles of “make it simple” and “train them over and over again” greatly reflect Arsenal’s CRM system. As the principles insists on implementing a simple CRM system that every employee can easily understand as well as training them as many times as possible to be competent. The principles can be well seen in Arsenal’s CRM system when the Club introduced the program of training all of the frontline staffs at least once per season; as well as by exhausting all the possible touch-points both online and offline for customers to reach the Club.

Thank you for being a committed follower of my blog posts for the past five weeks. Until next time.

Your blogger,

Arsetonny.

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