|dc.description.abstract||In order to develop a relationship with customers, a company must satisfy
customers' needs. This study aimed to determine whether the pharmaceutical
company's employees' are actually satisfying their customers' needs, and to
determine how the relationship can be improved. The main objectives of the
study were to determine how relationship management (RM) can aid the
relationship between selected customers and the pharmaceutical company,
determine how customer relationship management in the pharmaceutical
company can satisfy customer needs, and conduct an empirical investigation on
the usage of customer relationship management (CRM) in the pharmaceutical
Relationship management is a tool that most companies can use to enhance
their relationships with stakeholders. Relationship management enables
companies to create value for customers, increase profits and return on equity.
Customer relationship management concentrates on building relationships with
the company's most important stakeholder - the customer. The study explains
the reasons why companies should concentrate on customer relationship
management rather than just relationship management.
Customer relationship management has to be an integrated company effort and
be implemented throughout the entire company in order to be successful.
Customer relationship management enables companies to develop long-term
relationships with customers that will lead to increased profits and business
performance. Each employee in the company must be aware of the need and
importance of CRM. When implementing CRM, all parties need to be involved to
ensure acceptance of the CRM programme.
The empirical investigation of the study concentrated on the customer
relationship efforts of a pharmaceutical company based in Gauteng. Two sets of
questionnaires were handed out to achieve this objective. One set was handed
out to the customers (private, state and academic laboratories in the Gauteng
province), while the other set was handed out to the employees of the
pharmaceutical company that deal directly with the chosen customer group. The
two sets of questionnaires were compared to determine the different views of the
employees and customers of the pharmaceutical company and to determine
which aspects the pharmaceutical company needs to be improved upon to
enhance the relationship with customers.
Once an analysis of the questionnaires was performed, the following summary of
important conclusions and recommendations could be made:
The customers of the pharmaceutical company are satisfied with the CRM
efforts, but even a small percentage of customers that are dissatisfied can lead to
the pharmaceutical company losing customers and decreasing its profitability.
The relationship with customers can be improved by:
- Improving the service efficiency provided to customers by improving the
contact between customers and sales consultants, after-sales service, and
delivery of products. This can all be achieved by improving internal, as
well as external communication.
- Twenty six point three percent (26.3%) of customer respondents indicated
that the pharmaceutical company does not handle queries quickly. The
Internet and company website could be used to increase problem
- The availability of sales consultants was identified as a problem area.
Fifleen point four percent (15.4%) of customer respondents indicated that
the availability of sales consultants and frequency of contact was "poor". It
was recommended that sales consultants visit customers more frequently.
The recommendations will enable the pharmaceutical company to enhance and
manage its relationships with its customers.||