Seven CRM lessons to take from 2009by
MyCustomer.com looks back at some of the major developments of the last 12 months and outlines what the CRM industry has learned in 2009.
1. Analytics is at the top of the agenda
- Understand what customers really value - Using a combination of qualitative interviews and observing how customers undertake jobs, followed by a quantitative survey to validate the jobs and desired outcomes with a larger group of customers, you can discover what customers really value and how satisfied they are with your value delivery.
- Map the value delivery process - Once you understand what customers value, you should follow the value stream from the customer through your company and map the value delivery process. This is different from the process mapping that you are used to. Rather than just look at the processes, value stream mapping looks at them from the perspective of whether and how they create value for customers - and if not, whether they enable other processes to create value for them.
- Let value flow direct to customers - Once you understand what customers value and how value is delivered, you should restructure your CRM processes so that value flows without interruption to customers. This means removing any process, decision point or other bottlenecks that unnecessarily hinders the flow of value to customers. Often, this is as simple as taking responsibility for standardised decisions away from staff and embedding them in system business rules.
- Let customers pull value themselves - Once you understand what customers value and have improved how it is delivered so that value flows, you should empower customers to pull value directly, as and when they need it. Once you know what customers value, it isn't too difficult to give customers tools to pull - e.g. product information or even a configured product - from you, on demand.
- Continuously improve value delivery - Once you have got lean CRM up and running, the final step is to continuously improve how it operates using Kaizen. Kaizen is a simple structured step process that looks at potential improvements to your business, sets targets for their improvement and trials them.
- Is the purpose of the concept clear?
- Can potential users be persuaded of the product’s benefits?
- Does the product or service meet a need?
- What is the specific nature of potential users’ requirements?
- How are existing products or services used, i.e. for how long, how frequently, for what precise purpose?
- What difficulties do people face in using existing products and services?
- What requirements are not being met?
- To what extent are users of current products and services satisfied with them and their suppliers?
- Is the price reasonable in light of the concept’s perceived benefits?
- How likely are potential users to buy the product or service?
What have you learned about CRM this year? Share your thoughts with the MyCustomer.com community by posting in the comments section below.
Neil Davey is the managing editor of MyCustomer. An experienced business journalist and editor, Neil has worked on a variety of newspapers, magazines and websites over the past 20 years, including Internet Works, CXO magazine and Business Management. He joined MyCustomer in 2007.