by andrea hickethier

the most important factors for your customer relationship management

Which obstacles do you put between your customers and the checkout? While companies are placing their customers at the center of their efforts more than ever before, customers are still often confronted with major obstacles "on their way to the checkout". In short: Many companies make it unnecessarily difficult for their customers to spend their money on a product or service. The affected companies often give excuses, such as: "The customers are not following the process". The focus is thus on the process, not on the customer. Does this sound like you? Which obstacles do you put between your customers and the checkout?

In what state is your customer relationship management? 

Let’s take a look at companies that put customer orientation into practice very well. The first ones that come to mind are Amazon and Disney. What they have in common is that they have anchored CRM as a philosophy in the entire company. There is a consistent attitude throughout the entire company to work with the customers. Why does this make the companies so successful? It always pays off to have happy customers. If customers feel that they are listened to, appreciated, and cared for, this increases their loyalty to the brand as well as the repurchase rate. The company’s image also improves. Depending on the customer loyalty rate, the company’s profits increase by between 30% and 90%

 

rpc-crm-workshop

In our experience, our customers have an average CRM maturity level between 15% and 30%. There is still room for improvement here. The good news is that companies can change this by using just a few factors to secure long-term competitive advantages.

 

What concrete steps can you take at your company to increase your individual level of maturity for CRM? rpc offers an individual workshop format that is based on the following measures:

#1 Assess yourself and identify your weak points

It starts with an analysis of the current state: Try to assess yourself on the basis of CRM success fields so that you know what your position is. At rpc, we work with a total of 16 CRM success factors. These include: 

Senior management commitment, customer-centric organization, business goals, customer strategy, customer satisfaction management, business intelligence, CRM analytics, knowledge generation, campaign management, success measurement, customer contact point integration, level of process maturity, data management (gathering and processing), further training on applications, user-oriented adaptation, and CRM data security.

In this context, you can also identify and collect the CRM “weak points” that are relevant for your company. These are important for drawing up a later action plan.

#2 Improve your data quality

Spot-check the quality of the customer data at your company. For example, take the last 1,500 data records that were created and check whether the previously specified qualitative and quantitative criteria are complete. In our experience, the data stock is often poorer than expected, with the quality varying between 30% and 50%. However, there are a number of measures that improve the quality of data rapidly. These include workshops, established standards, and success monitoring. 

#3 Learn from the best

Take a look at best practices for CRM from both your own industry and different ones. It is best to choose different perspectives, such as strategy, technology, or changed customer behavior in the context of the digitalization. Based on the knowledge gained, you can then easily make transfers to your own company, thereby already generating ideas for possible measures. 

#4 Develop your CRM target image and your CRM action plan

By using factors 1 to 3 described above, you have created all the requirements necessary to develop a CRM target image and an action plan for your CRM project. We recommend that you prioritize the measures collected in terms of their dependency and arrange them along a timeline with responsibilities.

#5 Consider change management and communication measures as well

Turn those affected into participants. Involve your organization. Use the following questions to develop some initial communicative approaches:

What is CRM about? 

What happens if nothing happens? 

Where will the change take us? 

How should we proceed?

 

key take away

With these useful instructions, you can take customer relationship management in your company to a new level in just 5 steps. Our customers improved their maturity level by around 20% to 30% after participating in this workshop. In the long term, companies can achieve a CRM maturity level of almost 100% by implementing the planned measures. 

 

 

This article is also published on LinkedIn.

 

 

*CRM is a business strategy with results that optimize profitability, sales, and customer satisfaction by organizing customer segments, promoting customer-friendly behavior, and implementing customer-oriented processes. (Source: Gartner)

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Michael Erz is partner at rpc – The Retail Performance Company and heads the consulting division.
Michael Erz
Partner
 
about
Leading rpc’s consulting division, Michael Erz has been integral to establishing and growing our consulting and business technology services since 2013. His broad skillset ranges from sales strategy support to design and optimization of business models
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