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Customer Relationship Management

Customer relationship management (CRM) is designed to optimize profitability and customer satisfaction by organizing around customer segments, fostering corporate behaviors and implementing processes that engender customer loyalty. It encompasses marketing, sales, customer service and support. When fully implemented, it allows companies to organize, automate and synchronize every facet of customer interactions.

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Customer Experience Tools and Trends

Our insights share how the right CX tools make customers’ lives richer and more fulfilling and strengthen a company’s economics by holding down costs and securing new revenue streams.

CRM tools help companies understand their customer groups and respond quickly, even instantly, to shifting customer desires. The technology helps collect and manage large amounts of customer data, so that companies can execute strategies based on that information.

CRM data helps firms solve specific problems throughout the chain of activities, from the initial customer segmentation to targeting specific segments to efforts to win customers back for more. Data also provides the basis for new insights into customers’ needs and behaviors, allowing firms to tailor products to targeted segments. Information gathered through CRM programs often generates solutions to problems outside a company’s marketing functions, such as supply chain management and new product development.

A CRM embedded into the overall customer experience strategy fosters a customer-centric organization in several ways. It delivers the right metrics and triggers to prioritize investments; helps managers rethink the customer value proposition and customer experience to the most valuable customers; and provides a precise framework to manage those interactions.

Customer Experience Tools and Trends: Customer relationship management


How companies use customer relationship management tools

  • Engage known customers and understand key metrics, such as customer churn, customer lifetime value, sales uplift and cross-selling.
  • Gather market research on customers, in real time if necessary.
  • Generate more reliable sales forecasts.
  • Coordinate information quickly between sales staff and customer support reps, increasing their effectiveness.
  • Enable the salesforce to see the financial impact of different product configurations before they set prices.
  • Accurately gauge the return on individual promotional programs and the effect of integrated marketing activities, and redirect spending accordingly.
  • Feed data on customer preferences and problems to product designers.
  • Increase sales by systematically identifying and managing sales leads.
  • Improve customer retention.
  • Design effective customer service programs.

Key considerations

  • Define pain points in the customer relationship cycle. These are problems that have a large effect on customer satisfaction and loyalty, where solutions would lead to superior financial rewards and competitive advantage. Many companies still struggle to merge online and offline data, creating blind spots and an incomplete picture of the customer.
  • Evaluate whether, and what kind of, CRM data can fix those pain points and add value. Calculate the value that such information would bring to the company.
  • Assess whether the benefits of CRM information outweigh the investment. Understand the predicted uplift from different campaign scenarios and enhanced targeting.
  • Design incentive programs to ensure that employees are encouraged to participate in the CRM program. Many companies have discovered that realigning the organization away from product groups and toward a customer-centered structure improves the success of CRM.
  • Measure CRM progress and impact. Monitor participation of key personnel in the CRM program. Install measurement systems to track the improvement in customer profitability with the use of CRM. Once the data is collected, share the information widely with employees to encourage further participation.
  • Focus on building CRM efficiency. Automation is critical to making the CRM system more efficient, so that the insights generated can be quickly transferred elsewhere in the organization to inform decisions.
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