The paper “ The Toyota System of Production - Focusing on Customer Relationship Management” is an inspiring variant of case study on marketing. Customer Relationship Management is a strategy used by businesses such as Toyota to manage outlay and solidify the bottom line through the generation of customer loyalty. When used effectively, CRM gathers and collects data from each facet of the organization as well as outside the organization where necessary, to provide a comprehensive up to date picture of every consumer. This information can then be used by employees while dealing with the clientele enabling them to deal successfully in such areas as sales, marketing and customer support.
They can also be assisted inexpedient decision making on such issues as cross-selling, upselling opportunities, target marketing strategies or competitive positioning (Editor, 2010). Customer Relationship Management has developed from an instrument once thought of as a kind of software into a concept centered on the customer that must pervade the whole company. A successful CRM initiative has three important elements. These elements are people, process and technology. The people portion comprises everyone in the company from the CEO to the last customer service representative.
The business processes are also an essential element that may have to be re-engineered to make the CRM initiative robust in terms of the provision of better customer service. This includes a selection of the right technology that will be the driving force behind the enhanced processes in order to generate optimum information for use by personnel yet be simple enough to run so that users are not intimidated. Should one of these pillars of CRM not be robust, the whole structure will fall (Editor, 2010). CRM involves getting to know what customers need and how they behave in order to strengthen the relationship between company and client.
Having this good relationship is fundamental to business success. This is done by using technology to gather information on sales, customers, the effectiveness of marketing strategies, market trends, and responsiveness. This leads to enhanced customer service, call-center efficiency, increased opportunities to cross-sell and upsell, better closing rates, enabling streamlining of processes in sales and marketing, better customer profiling and targeting, which naturally decreases costs and increases market share (Editor, 2010). Social media is an essential tool in modern communication and many companies around the world are coming to this realization.
‘ Toyota Friend’ is one such example in which owners of Toyota cars are treated like a friend by their cars. They do this in the same way that other such friend sites work, by posting information about their current state on the owner page of the Toyota Friend website, as well as other social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and their mobile phone (Singh, 2012).
Toyota signed with Salesforce. com which is a CRM provider to develop the customer only social media network online and on mobile with built-in telematics. This is taking customer relationship management to a whole new level. The use of Salesforce’ s Chatter Technology will enable Toyota to innovate their Japanese electric cars and plug-in hybrids that are to be debuted in 2012. The details of how ‘ Toyota Friend’ works are sketchy but it is known that the owners who register will have a connection to their cars, dealership and the mother company and will be able to access information as well as tips on maintenance through the network.
An example of how this works is if there is reduced battery power in a hybrid vehicle, Toyota Friend alerts the owner of this development through a text similar to those sent on Twitter. The community is accessible to members via smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices (Chiappinelli, 2011).