strategy of CRM

Customer relationship management (CRM for short) is all about treating different customers differently.

To have any chance of being able to understand those differences and then have a system that backs up your house standards and makes it easy for staff to do their best for customers requires a commitment to service and thinking about what matters to each customer.

When a customer calls it is usually a “moment of truth” for them and a test for you and your team. Effective CRM practice requires effective CRM thinking.

This category is more about the thinking and methodologies around CRM regardless of the application that is actually used. So in this context strategy is more of a description and a mind map of the “territory” so that businesses have a starting point.

Some examples would be:

  • Classical CRM is about moving from unstructured activities and ad hoc private towards public and shared spaces. Centralising all data in one location might be the key objective.
  • Unstructured information is transformed by mapping & applying templates and other structured system views to support all sales, services and marketing activities.
  • Each key process is modeled as an activity and managers try to standardise workflows for operations (to capture content.) Ultimately this results in large scale “to do” lists that are sorted by role and person. When you log in to the CRM – it already knows what activities have been scheduled for you based on past promises and commitments made to customers, colleauges and suppliers. So the strategic objective is to make work easier by making it easier to sort work by types and priorities.
  • A CRM is primarily relationship (people) based as opposed to transaction centred – although ultimately a transaction is usually the objective. So a CRM would be often used for new business development and help find out whether the people you are talking with are interested in your products and services.

This is not a comprehensive list but it does mention some of the key elements common to all CRM systems. Exactly how this plays out depends on how well the system (application) is used and how well setup that system is.

If a CRM is designed to support a process then it needs to be a kind of living, working document that can be tweaked and tuned on the fly – preferably by your on site team.