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Customer Relationship Management

 
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PostPosted: Dec Sun 17, 2006 2:45 pm    Post subject: Customer Relationship Management Reply with quote

Customer Relationship Management

The Top 10 Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Strategies

Critical to the success of any business are the relationships that are created and maintained between the customer and your business. In this case, while many of these strategies apply to internal customers as well, the focus of this document is on external CRM.

1. Remember your customers!
Nothing works better for customer relations in your company than to have the complete history of the customer's transactions at hand when employees at touchpoints interface with customers. Calling a customer by name or knowing their previous history of difficulties can lead to higher levels of customer satisfaction when employees are developed and enabled with customer knowledge.

2. Segment your customers.
Decide what customers are consuming and what products and services are best attributed to those levels of customers. A customer who has made one purchase is not as valuable as one who has made repeated purchases and has opportunities to continue this pattern. Each can be treated more appropriately if you know where they fit in the scheme of things.

3. Set up strategies for each segment.
By identifying specific strategies for each level of customer interaction, you can identify opportunities and tactics that create higher levels of satisfaction. This in effect can lead to valuable, progressive and repeated consumption by the customer of more complex services and increased volumes of products and services over time.

4. Keep customers in the pipeline!
There are customers who are not your customers, customers who have been your customers, customers who are a current customer and each of these represents an opportunity to the business. Most business pays attention to current customers without concerns for getting customers in the pipeline. While this flies in the face of short-term results and the instant gratification created through commission-based customer acquisition strategies, research has indicated it sometimes takes from 6-12 contacts to move a customer to a purchase decision...so what strategies are you using to move customers through your product and service pipeline...either into or through?

5. Analyze customer transactions.
It is beginning to be much more important to analyze transactions as in data warehousing and knowledge management strategies leading to the creation of additional marketing strategies. A good example of this would be the insurance industry. By watching what and how people buy insurance, companies can offer products at particular times in the customer lifecycle that have high probabilities of acceptance and closure. Identifying these opportunities leads to greater profits.

6. Direct ALL information about customers to the customer interface.
To the extent that the employee dealing with the customer "knows" the customer, the chances of satisfaction being a result of each individual experience increases. Of course, employees have to be trained to utilize the information and be empowered to solve customer problems. Ritz Carlton has some excellent strategies to "know" the customer and solve customer issues at the front-line.

7. LEARN to show up at the right time.
Suggesting the right product/service at the wrong time is selling. Suggesting the right product/service at the right time is welcomed! If you send me an unsolicited email message about sending my mother flowers on Mother's Day--the week of Mother's Day -- I appreciate your helping me remember Mother's Day. If you send me spam trying to hock your latest computer upgrade, it might be intrusive and annoying--especially if we have no relationship!

8. Collect information at every touch point.
Before you can provide information, you have to collect it strategically, not haphazardly. Knowledge comes from insights gained through selectively gathered and analyzed customer data.

9. Embrace digital technology.
While most of the CRM issues rely on knowledge gained through collection and analysis of customer data on transactions, the means to accomplish these tasks are usually gained through effective use of relational databases connected to event processors and transaction recorders.

10. Be customer driven.
Understand that it can be easy to become mesmerized by the data and the analysis of transaction information. Checking back with the customer to validate knowledge gained will always be essential to long term successful CRM Strategies.

Submitted by Mike R. Jayt crm10@leadwise.com, 1997, 98, 99, by Coach U, all rights reserved.
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