Everybody knows how to get more out of your customers - it’s easy, right? You just hang on to them and get them to buy more, yes? Perhaps you find more customers & offer great service so they never leave. If it really is that easy, why do so many of companies fail to execute as well as they could?
Apparently smart (and often larger companies) have struggled for years to gain a single view of their customers. Think about a circumstance close to us all - our local bank, for example. We may hold multiple products with them but often each of those products & their elements of information are held in different parts of the organisation.
So, as we have said many times before, the answer to the problem, is customer relationship management, or CRM. A centralised, or 360 degree approach to data, processes and customer management. CRM projects gained a lot of attention around the turn of the millennium, many companies either set their ambitions too high or neglected to think about internal processes & culture, and thus a lot of projects failed.
Yet, despite all the bad press, it apparently these projects do deliver value. Aberdeen Group, examined 261 companies back in 2011,identifying the best performing 20% of companies surveyed managed an impressive 91% customer retention and 88% customer satisfaction.
In my experience these days, companies are now taking it in more bite-sized pieces tend to deliver projects that are usually less expensive, less complex, quicker to implement and deliver measurable success. These smaller projects could be just automating one or a number of customer focusing sales processes, driving communications through campaign management or providing an outlet for customers to self-self. And with more & more CIOs now reporting to an MD or strategy unit, there's now a chance for real & measurable partnerships between the business and IT towards successful project delivery.