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The IUP Journal of Supply Chain Management :
Leveraging Customer Relationship Management (CRM) in Corporate Hospital Supply Chain
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Personal contact and relationships are very important in healthcare environment. Customer relationship is important to service organizations in the context of globalization and technological innovations to survive in the competitive environment. Intangibility demands greater trust and reliability as the customerís expectations are rising with time. Success of hospital services depends on the kind of quality service delivered to the prospect or client. The objective is to maximize the profitability of individual customer relationships whilst minimizing the cost of managing these relationships. Patients expect the healthcare service provider to understand what they are and what they need. A satisfied customer is the greatest brand ambassador and a loyal customer is a value addition. World-class hospital services focus on delighting customers by constantly exceeding their expectations in terms of quality, service, value and safety. This paper reviews the significance of the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) practices of hospital services and suggests models to enhance the relationship based on the leanings.

 
 
 

“As customers become more interactive it becomes more difficult to differentiate your product or service. Instead, your competitive success hinges increasingly on using customer level information and interaction to create long-term, profitable, One to One customer relationships” (Peppers and Rogers, 1993).

Though we have understood Customer Relationship Management (CRM) relevance only today, way back in 1954, the father of management Peter Drucker, in his book, The Practice of Management, said, “The only correct definition of business purpose is: To create a satisfied customer”.

Currently, the healthcare industry is a 100,000 cr industry growing annually at a rate of about 13%. There are significant investments made for establishing corporate hospitals in major cities in India. In near future, India is going to be healthcare destination of the world, as it is well supported by factors like availability of skilled manpower, adopting latest technology and cost advantage. Using this advantage, the hospitals are in a position to offer a variety of general as well as specialist services, which are available at competitive prices. As a matter of fact, India is attracting patients from underdeveloped, developing and developed countries for specialized treatment.

A hospital is no more a nonprofit organization in the present day context. In order to survive in the highly competitive market, hospitals have to market themselves very aggressively. The time has come for the hospitals to think in the long-term and create relationship by providing good service for In-Patients (IP), post-discharge service and internal customer relations, which would go beyond the business organizations. The key to sustainable competitive advantage in today’s market is that organizations must know who their customers are, which customer segment contributes most directly to their profits and what will keep their customers loyal and happy over time.

 
 
 

Supply Chain Management Journal, Retail Analytics Using SAS, Analytical Processes, Retail Industry, Statistical Techniques, Product Inventory, Customer Satisfaction, Market Segmentation, Marketing Programs, Marketing Mix Models, Econometric Models, Inventory Management System, Marketing Campaigns, SAS Data Mining Software.