Comparison of Management Practices: Customer Relationship Management (Crm), Time Based Strategic Management, and Conflict Management (Cm)

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There are many different types of management practices out in the professional world for a manager to choose from. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, as well as strengths and weaknesses. Certain employment situations allow for the manager to select their managerial style based on a number of factors, including personality, duty requirements, and expected interaction with staff, while others have a preset guideline for managers to follow. The management style is shaped by a lot of factors, including forces in the manager, forces in the subordinates, and forces in the situation. For the purpose of this paper, the following three strategies will be researched and discussed: Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Time based Strategic Management, and Conflict Management (CM).

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Customer relationship management is a set of methods that provides a solid, integrated, and cohesive approach to customers across the entire business to ensure that each customer receives the highest level of service. With CRM, the customer is seen as the heart and reason for the services and each level of the business is worked to ensure that the customers are made happy and satisfied. Under the concept of CRM, customers are not equal and, thus, it is unreasonable for the company to provide the same incentive offers to all customers.

This approach, however, does at times bring up the question that should a business focus only on those clients who will be beneficial to their company. Customer satisfaction is considered by healthcare providers as a key component of strategy and a significant determinant of long term viability and success under competitive situation. Moreover, maintaining and expanding customer loyalty is significant for any service company’s long-term success.

Some companies handle this situation by offering services to all customers, and then a selected set of special other services to preferred or more specific, beneficial clients. There are three main conditions needed for a business setting to observe and leverage the best results of this: (1) a reasonable amount of network externalities, (2) the ability to individually target marketing actions, and (3) observation of the customers’ social network. Polls, surveys, monitoring of social media and other client/patient observations are often conducted. Healthcare workers are able to interview patients both during and after treatment, and on follow up visits to ensure that any complaints or dissatisfaction is cleared up. Additionally, questionnaires can be distributed out along with billing statements to further gage customer satisfaction.

Customer relationship management applications facilitate organizational learning about customers by enabling firms to analyze purchase behavior across transactions through different channels and customer touchpoints. In the health industry, this can be accomplished in a number of ways. A hospital can track the number of services its patients use the most, then focus on improving services in that area so that patient satisfaction is high. The management can conduct surveys of the patients about their experience in that department to see in which ways the services can be improved.

The CRM Health Care Services include strategic planning, communication services, consulting services, CRM for physicians, Campaign management, Database creation, segmentation, and communications strategies, and its diverse functionality enables employers, customers and employees to access common information. In order to fully access this data received from the databases, many hospitals have large data warehouses containing customer demographic and transactions information. This customer demographic and transactions information can help ensure which clients to focus on, and to determine potential new clients.

One downside of CRM comes into effect in the hospital setting, especially in bigger cities. With the sheer volume of patients seen at such facilities annually, hospital staff can become overwhelmed with the number of cases to investigate in regards to satisfaction and approval. The only effective way to handle such volume is with information technology devoted to call centers and health information exchanges (HIEs) that share clinical data across the health care continuum—hospitals, physicians, clinics, labs, etc.. This does, however, cause the facility to rely greatly on outside participants.

Strategic Time Management (STM) is the concept of managing both your time and your employee's time so that the most productivity is achieved within a day. This is achieved by utilizing what is known as a "balanced scorecard." The balanced scorecard traditionally includes both objective and subjective measures divided into four major areas: (1) financial perspective – profitability measures, (2) customer perspective – articulate the customer and market, (3) internal business process – operation and innovation cycles, and (4) learning process and growth perspective – employee related measures and organizational procedures. The balanced scorecard is designed to ensure that the objectives defined by the STM are followed and fulfilled.

Strategic Time Management is about peacekeeping while steering the organization toward the future. One of the more underestimated areas of STM is that of planning for the growth of the company or facility as the changes the STM was employed to do begin to take place. Far too often, managers become pleased seeing the current increase in employee productivity as well as the better utilization of resources and time management by company employees and become short sighted. They do not make plans on how to maintain this for the long term. Part of this is due to the current way health care systems are designed.

Our system of uncoordinated, sequential visits to multiple providers, physicians, departments, and specialties works against value. Not only does this system cause the patient to lose time and money traveling between office to office, seeing these different physicians and obtaining the various forms of treatment, but also each department manager has the added task of ensuring that information about each patient is received from the other departments, as well as ensuring each of the employees in their department not only properly process the information obtained, but also continue to maintain the day to day operations and information processing of their own department.

Managers practicing strategic management face a twofold challenge: the organizational complexity of hospitals and learning how to transform intentions into actions and meaningful outcomes with effectiveness and legitimacy while remaining committed to the organization’s core values and beliefs. Most hospitals wish to offer high quality care, with the most caring of staff, and to exceed the expectations of the patients who use their services. This, however, can be difficult to do when budget or time restraints come into the picture. Additionally, in many low-income areas, a low budget for a clinic alone can delay the time set for a project or program, as those wishing to enact it have to wait for the budget to clear.

Furthermore, themes like the role of agency, institutional strategy, ambiguous goals, creativity, micro strategies and strategic dissonance have a considerable influence on strategic management processes. Other aspects include politics, conflicts and power, complexity and the degree of coupling, sense making and sense giving, and micro activities. With so many variables that can affect the power and influence, the effectiveness of the strategic manager is always in jeopardy. A delicate balance of navigating through the inter-fighting too often found between staff members, the office politics of people lobbying for better positions, and a number of other daily division activities must be conducted.

Conflict is something that occurs in everyday life, for all walks of life, and for any reason. Conflict, especially between staff members in a healthcare setting, is most dangerous to both staff and patient, expensive and time consuming. It is therefore of the absolute importance to ensure that a conflict manager (CM) is properly trained and in place at each facility. By doing so, a number of other types of managers can more effectively perform their own duties.

Nearly every health care administrator and almost all hospital staff can recall delays or inadequacies in patient care caused by a provider refusing to consult the ‘on call’ physician or group for a problem outside of their area of expertise because of some unresolved past conflict. This of course can result in increased trauma for the patient or even put them into a life-threatening situation. The increase of malpractice suits as well can come from a patient who has had to endure additional pain or trauma from the lapse or delay in care, or even the distraction of healthcare staff who are too busy engaged in interpersonal conflicts with each other rather than focusing on taking care of the patient.

This issue of staff conflict does not affect just direct hands on patient care. Clinical records, data entry and even administration of medications can be affected should the staff not be fully focused upon their job. Conflict with fellow coworkers is also often transmitted out in the way a staff member addresses a patient, or delivers their treatment. It also carries home for the healthcare professional, adding even more stress.

Most organizations manage conflict through formal procedures - disciplinaries, grievances, employment tribunals and the like - which are, of course, prime human resources (HR) responsibilities. This is actually a very flawed system. By the time most people file a complaint with HR, the situation has been elevated to a point that constructive communication between the parties involved in the conflict is shut down to the point that most often one or both feel they have to leave the place of employment. HR staff also tends to see conflict management not as the strategic issue it is, but more of a debate situation. It is therefore of the utmost importance that conflict management have the proper training.

Just how valuable conflict resolution skills are is evident from US research that suggests employees spend an average of 2.7 hours a week in conflict at work - which equates to around 7 per cent of payroll and billions of dollars in ‘lost’ time. This amount of loss both time wise and money wise can have serious, detrimental effects on every other department in a healthcare facility. Staff callouts, time wasted by having management having to pause to resolve arguments and conflict rather than ensuring new or other projects are being implemented. This loss of both time and money also costs a healthcare facility vital funding if they are seen as they are incapable of handling their personal disputes as well as being cost inefficient and unprofessional.

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