The identification of needs and behaviour helps an enterprise to develop appropriate strategies that would strengthen relationships with customers. Customer Relationship Management is important because it helps businesses to survive in the market. Today's market condition requires businesses to fulfil customer needs' and not what the business thinks satisfies their needs. Thus, customer relationship management enables a firm to optimize profits through a customer focused strategy and environment (White Papers).
However, establishing long lasting relationships with customers is not easy and requires meticulous planning, as a lot of finance is involved. Customer Relationship Management is approached in several ways, but we will consider three of the most common: Operational, Analytical, and Collaborative (Alexandrou, Marios).
Operational Customer Relationship Management is when front office processes which are directly linked to customers are changed in a way that facilitates relationship. For instance, sales staffs which are directly involved with the customer would be given proper sales training to handle sales. Training would focus on issues such as how to protect and further the enterprise's image, and how to best handle and resolve customer enquiries and questions. On the other hand, analytical customer relationship management approach is the back office work, which is associated with analyzing data and creating marketing strategies accordingly. For example, month to month changes in sales data would be analyzed to prepare an appropriate market strategy, which would both be economical and reach the intended audience. Finally, collaborative approach combines the operational and analytical approach. It is a way that facilitates interactions with customers through all channels (personal, letter, fax, phone, web, email) and supports co-ordination of employees teams and channels. It is a solution that brings people, processes and data together so companies can better serve and retain their customers.
Step 1: Create a Customer-Centric Strategy
In today's shifting and unpredictable business climate, corporations need to constantly adapt to different situations and make customers happy. On paper, most companies satisfy their customers, but in reality very few companies are doing what customers like. According to infoquestcrm.co.uk, customer satisfaction surveys get a 70-75% average rating (Infoquest). The customers giving an average rating are most likely to check out on competition in the market before coming back to buy a product. Therefore, a company needs to satisfy the customer totally. "Studies have shown that a totally satisfied customer is as much as ten times more likely to buy again than a customer who is merely 'somewhat satisfied'"(Infoquest). Hence, a totally satisfied customer would be loyal and come back without an eye to check for competition in the market. A business whether small or large, needs to build a customer-centric strategy in order to survive and dig in the big rewards. There are six key things to consider and possibly change in order to prepare a customer-centric strategy (Susan and Derek Nash):
1. Define the meaning of the word customer-centric, and identify the mission and vision of the enterprise.
2. Provide Customer Service.
3. Motivating and empowering the workforce.
4. Establishing efficient processes.
5. Follow the Japanese way of 'continuous improvement'.
6. Making managers