Customer Integration: Definition & Overview

Instructor: Jennifer Francis

Jennifer has a Masters Degree in Business Administration and pursuing a Doctoral degree. She has 14 years of experience as a classroom teacher, and several years in both retail and manufacturing.

This lesson discusses customer integration as a method of reducing human resource costs, and simplifying the distribution process for both the business and the customer.

What Is Customer Integration?

Customer integration is the component of customer relationship management which puts technology in place that allows customers to process their own transactions and to have direct contact with the organization. This means that the need for middlemen is reduced. It is a way for the organization to do business with substantial savings on human resources.

Goals of Customer Integration

Effective customer integration will achieve the following goals:

  • An improvement in communication with customer
  • Customer retention and loyalty
  • More improved and targeted marketing
  • Enhanced tracking of customers and prospective customers
  • It increases the business's focus

How Do Businesses Benefit from Customer Integration?

The last time I needed a pair of sneakers, instead of going to the local mall, I went online to the manufacturer's website and made my purchase there. By selling the shoes directly to me the consumer, the shoe company was able to reduce distribution costs. When companies are practicing customer integration, it communicates a customer-centric mindset. It lets the customers know that they are at the center of the organization's activities. This customer-centric attitude can assist the organization with obtaining and maintaining a positive image in the marketplace.

It's All About the Customer

As part of the customer integration process, organizations collect and store data on their customers. They keep customers' contact information, buying patterns, product and/or service preferences, and income details if available. They do this as a way of knowing the customer so that they can anticipate and provide for their changing needs.

Who Uses Customer Information?

Within the organization, everyone who needs the customers' information has access to it through an intranet or through database programs, such as Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, and NetSuite. So in addition to salespeople, finance, marketing, and human resources associates and executives can access the information if needed. By integrating customer data in this way, the organization can meet every need of the customer.

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