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How to use a Reference Business Partner in your Interaction Center B2C Scenarios

How to use a Reference Business Partner in your Interaction Center B2C Scenarios

If you want to run a business to consumer (B2C) scenario one of the challenges is the efficient maintenance of huge numbers of consumer master data in the SAP CRM system. In many cases the first contact of new consumers to your organization is the interaction center. For example new customers might dial your sales hotline – or end consumers who have purchased your products indirectly through retailers might call your help-desk with product related questions.

In both cases it is important to be able to create the new business partner master quickly – and then immediately switch to a sales order capturing or providing the requested service. The sales or service transactions typically require business partner master data including the sales area segment. This part of the master data provides parameters like payment terms, pricing indicators, and shipping conditions. On the other hand in a B2C environment these parameters are typically not customer specific. They are rather part of your general terms and conditions and thus valid for all your B2C customers – at least for all consumers of one LOB (line of business) or in one region or country.

So maintaining these data manually and individually for each new consumer does not make sense in most cases. An option to avoid this is to use the concept of a “reference business partner for consumers”. The setup involves two steps:

First you need maintain one reference business partner master of partner category “Person” and partner role “CRM006 Consumer”. For this business partner you set up sales area data including the shipping, pricing and payment conditions accordingly. You can create various sales area data sets for this one reference business partner – each sales area would represent the general terms and conditions of one of your LOBs or regions or countries. The maintenance of this business partner is done in the normal transaction or workcenter for business partner maintenance.

In a second step you assign this reference business partner including the sales area data to the following IMG activity: IMG >>> Customer Relationship Management >>> Master data >>> Business Partner >>> Basic Settings >>> Maintain Reference Business Partner for Consumers.

When your agents now create new consumers – they just need to enter name and address and save – your general terms and conditions represented by the sales area data of the reference business partner are automatically linked to the new consumer. So when the agents create a sales order in the next step – all the required attributes are already available.

But how about the different general terms and conditions covered by the different sales area sets? How does the sales order determine the sales area that is valid for the current caller? This can be handled automatically based on the organizational data determination of the CRM transactions. For example the organizational data determination rule could be set up to find the appropriate sales organization based on the country or other address attributes of the consumer. LOBs like sales and service can be distinguished for example by assigning different organizational data determination rules to the different transaction types for sales and service.

Let’s complicate this a bit and say that in some cases some of your “gold” consumers might have the privilege to negotiate their individual conditions. In this case the agent can access the sales area data of the consumer by navigating to the account overview page and selecting the sales area data. Here the agent can switch from referencing the standard data to the maintenance of individual data. So this use case can also be covered.

Summarizing the above – the reference business partner for consumers concept provides a flexible and efficient way to register new consumers in the CRM interaction center.

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