Magazine article CRM Magazine

Putting the Relationship Back in CRM

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Putting the Relationship Back in CRM

Article excerpt

THE PROMISE OF STABLE, PROFITABLE, LOYAL CUSTOMERS is appealing for every organization. Strong customer relationships are the foundation of sustainable revenue and profits, but many firms have not aligned their investment and resource priorities with the goal of deepening and improving those relationships. Fortunately, every organization can become a leader in customer relationship maximization. It begins with understanding the five key process elements to creating a delivery center environment driven to maximize customer relationship value.

CUSTOMERS, NOT PROSPECTS: UNDERSTANDING THE CUSTOMER FOR LIFE

Most organizations expend tremendous effort in understanding prospects. However, once a prospect becomes a customer, the focus often turns back to attracting more customers--instead of taking the time to develop processes and systems that understand customers for life. Continuing to invest in customer understanding sends the message that the organization is interested in developing a relationship with each customer.

CONVERSATIONS THAT WORK: CREATING COMPELLING DIALOGUE

If your customers only hear scripted up-selling and cross-selling offers or weary problem resolution efforts, the relationship becomes nothing more than a series of requests and transactions. If your customers hear better ideas, valuable information, and offers that enhance their lives when they interact with your organization, the relationship becomes much deeper--and more permanent. Involving customers in compelling conversations makes them feel valued in every phase of the interaction.

SELLING WHEN THE SUN IS OUT: CONTEXT-SENSITIVE INTERACTION

Good customer management professionals know to sell when customers are happy and work to build satisfaction and trust when they are not. Customer management specialists who are equipped with the proper training can steer every interaction to the best possible outcome, whether that is a new sale, a cross-sale of a complementary product, or simply retention of the account in a 'save' role. Overall, customer satisfaction and sales conversion rates improve--as does delivery center efficiency.

LONGITUDINAL LISTENING: IDENTIFYING ISSUES BEFORE THEY BECOME ISSUES

Listening is an important part of every customer interaction--but all too often, customer management specialists are trained to listen only to the customer's issue today. …

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