Columbia Sportswear Case Study

explanatory Essay
730 words
730 words

Marketers have recently realized the importance of thinking about their customers in terms of relationships rather than transactions. To build relationships, companies use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to encourage loyalty from their most valued customers. CRM refers to the practices, strategies, and technologies that companies use to organize and evaluate customer interactions and data. Companies gather data from customers using frequent shopper or shopper loyalty cards and store credit cards to understand their individual purchasing behaviors. In addition to strengthening business relationships, the overall goal of CRM is to increase customer retention while encouraging the growth of sales. To meet the customer’s needs, retailers …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that companies use customer relationship management (crm) to encourage loyalty from their most valued customers. the overall goal of crm is to increase customer retention while encouraging sales growth.
  • Explains that columbia must adapt to changes in technology, purchasing behaviors, and much more in order to effectively meet the always-changing needs of their customers.
  • Explains that columbia's customer contact center struggled to support the high volume of customer service calls prior to the holidays and cold weather. columbia responded by inducing a crm system through incontact cloud solutions.
  • Explains how crm systems organize customer data from multiple channels of communication, such as columbia’s website, customer service centers, social media pages, and direct mail.
  • Explains the ultimate goal of columbia's customer service department is to respond to a customer’s questions, comments, or concerns efficiently and effectively. effective crm emphasizes the importance of building business relationships with customers.

However, Columbia must adapt to changes in technology, purchasing behaviors, and much more in order to effectively meet the always-changing needs of their customers. In 2008, Columbia was forced to reposition four of its retail brands (Mountain Hardware, Sorel, Columbia, and Montrail) after a decrease in sales. Customers were displeased with the brands and described the products to be stale and out of date. To adjust to new customer preferences, Columbia developed a CRM strategy to reposition all four brands, use digital technology to differentiate products, and identify one target customer for each brand. New technology allowed Mountain Hardware’s products to be lighter and more comfortable. Montrail’s website provided simpler product descriptions and identified runners as the brand’s target customer. Sorel, known as a men’s utilitarian brand, was repositioned as a fashionable brand for women relying on communication through social media. From 2008 to 2011, Columbia filed for 157 product patents to abandon its reputation as a winter brand to become a year-round market. By 2011, Columbia’s revenue had increased by five billion dollars with nearly two million customers in the CRM …show more content…

The organized results provide the company with a detailed analysis on each customer’s private information, purchase history, buying preferences and concerns. Using this data, customers can be segmented into groups of buyers with different tastes and budgets. Columbia can then identify the most profitable, frequent, and unhappy customers and individually market to each group using promotions created specifically for them. Columbia can continue to serve new and long-term customers by practicing social engagement, knowledge management, and customer retention. CRM systems could analyze social engagement by encouraging communication through social media to identify key media influencers within that customer community. Columbia’s CRM systems may also provide customers with an online community that may be similar to a blog. On these webpages, customers may seek advice from each other, give feedback to the company, and share their own ideas for potential products and

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