There are various phases that a business will consider when looking at business development and the consideration of a CRM-focused business strategy. An initial phase is creating a vision of a better future with a customer-centric strategy fully implemented and supported by CRM technology.
This phase establishes a shared vision of the future of performance-driven CRM in the organization among the organization’s senior stakeholders and starts the process of communicating that vision to those who will be impacted by the change.
This CRM vision should help your organization to understand the following:
- Which customers should we target?
- All customers do not have the same current and potential value.
- Not all customers value a complex relationship.
- What characteristics will help us segment our prospects and customer accounts for more effective metrics?
- How should we deal with rapidly increasing channel fragmentation and media complexity to communicate with our customers?
- Rapid changes in delivery channels and new social media are dramatically increasing the challenges facing both our business and the customer.
- How should we balance the quality of experience, cost-to-serve, and profitability of the customer?
- Maintaining highly personalized relationships with all customers is expensive and the 80:20 rule applies (80 percent of profits are derived from 20 percent of customers).
- Profitability depends on achieving a level of personalization that is both efficient and cost-effective.
- What is the appropriate level of CRM integration for our business?
- It will vary with the transactions and types of relationships that we will have with our clients.
- Integration across channels, media, front and back-office systems, functions, or business units is expensive.
- Integration with Microsoft Outlook or Google Gmail is a requirement along with integration with a business accounting system like QuickBooks.
- Justifiable integration should be the goal.
- What is customer “insight,” and how can our organization get and use it?
- Which information do we need, and where do we get it in order to continuously update the segments, perceptions, needs, deliver and access channels desired by our customers and our company’s channels to deliver?
- What should we do with unprofitable customers?
- Who are they, how should they be dealt with and, should they deal with them at all?
- How will we retain loyal profitable customers?
- How do they like to be contacted?
- What must interest them?
- Why do they buy?
- Who in our business has a good relationship with our customer's contacts?
- The CRM vision should contain a specific time horizon and an articulation of the following questions:
- Why do we need to change (strategic and market justification for the vision)?
- Whom will our customers be?
- How will we serve them?
- What will be the benefit for us and them?
- What will the future customer experience look and feel like from their perspective?
A CRM (customer relationship management) system focuses on three pillars that become the foundation for year after year, continued business success.
1. Get customers. Without people who want what you’re selling, you’re done. How do you attract people who need your product or service? How are you differentiating your products and services to educate and to beat the "no decision" competition? Without differentiated value for attracting new customers your business is subject to commodity pricing.
2. Grow customers. Nurture them. Become an expert at their care and feeding. The more you know about them, the more you can expand your relationship with them. Look for ways you can add to their success. This will develop yours.
3. Keep customers. The cost to gain a new customer is something like five times as much as to retain an existing one. When you invest in making your customers happy, their value to you grows. You’ll earn their loyalty, and that’s priceless. Loyal customers buy again and again. They buy additional products or services. They refer people in their network to you.
Need to Turn that Vision into Reality?
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Related articles of interest:
- Customer loyalty is the real challenge, not satisfaction
- Why do businesses need customer retention programs
- Selling is a Numbers game - is the important getting measured?
- How to nurture marketing brings the human element into sales
- Advanced business analytics - bring your CRM data to life