Customer Relationship Management

Use of CRM Strategy in Agriculture Industry

Today, due to the impact of the crisis, agricultural organizations are faced with the question of how to increase sales. One dimension is the competitive environment in which companies are forced to descend due to competitive prices and add new services to retain their customers. But sometimes that is not enough to keep the customer because customers become more demanding and it is harder to satisfy them. A lot of the attention is focused on CRM strategy as a management process to increase the performance of agricultural organizations. Attention should also be paid to how the CRM programs are implemented and how they are managed, and what impact they have on the performance of agricultural organizations.

There are six activities that should include CRM program for agricultural businesses:

  • CRM goals – some of the most important goals of the agricultural enterprises that directly affect the performance of these organizations are maintaining long term relationships with customers, customer retention, gaining the reputation of fairness with customers, providing value to customers, increasing customer loyalty, achieving mutual trust with customers, increasing customer satisfaction with products and services;
  • Types of available customer information – ability that is of key essence for the success of agricultural organizations is to collect information about prices and customer lifecycle. Most of the operational units of agricultural organizations do not collect nor have access to information about the price of services.
  • Use of customer data for management decision-making – the success of CRM in agricultural organizations depends on the extent of how much their operational units use customer information. Assessment of marketing strategies for products and services and customer segmentation based on the value that each customer has for the organization is the key to success in an agricultural organization;
  • Market approach – when approaching the market, agricultural organizations need to use strategies such as: superior quality, superior service, product differentiation, innovation, customized offer of products and services, as well as lower prices;
  • Tactics that are used in order to develop and maintain the customer relationship – one advantage that agricultural organizations have compared to the other business models is that they can gain complete trust of their targeted group;
  • Assessment of the technological infrastructure that is currently used – CRM solutions are designed to provide knowledge that is necessary for the development and implementation of “smart” strategy to maximize customer profit, and thus provide the competitive advantage of organizations. Analysis of CRM technology can help organizations to understand the customer and it is not necessary to react again when a problem occurs, but proactively find hidden opportunities to meet the increasing demands of customers.

Benefits of the successfully implemented CRM for agricultural organizations are numerous:

  • sales increase;
  • profitability increase;
  • improved placement of products;
  • increased satisfaction of employees;
  • reduced costs;
  • increased retention of the existing customer base during the time of economic uncertainty;
  • increased chance for attracting new customers.

Since CRM is often defined as a strategy, it can be concluded that CRM has to contain a series of activities that will offer agricultural organizations the opportunity to obtain or maintain the advantage over their competitors. Agricultural organizations have to create a knowledge base about customers so that their products and services could better meet current needs and wishes of the customers. In addition to the current, agricultural organizations should take into account the potential and unemphasized needs and desires in order to obtain information about them and thus could be used to adapt its offer in order to provide customer satisfaction.

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