(CRM) Customer Relationships Management
What is Customer Relationships Management (CRM)?
The True Definition of Customer Relationships Management
(CRM) Customer Relationships Management used to mean managing the relationship with Customers, much like Customer Experience or Customer Experience Management. However, today, most organizations think Customer Relationship Management is the centralized computer system that holds all the information on customers, often referred to as the CRM.
It’s not surprising that today CRM means computer software system rather than customer relationship management. When senior management asks for the analysis of Customer Experience, they want to see facts and figures arranged in reports. What they aren’t expecting is a list of touchy-feely adjectives that describe a person’s feelings.
While Customer Experience qualitative information can hardly be reduced to a list of emotions, it is also not only facts and figures. Customer Relationship Management that requires emotional information represents a new frontier for those c-suite occupants that came up the corporate ladder before we entered the experience economy.
It’s a shame that technology has overtaken the concept of CRM. When it comes to Customer Relationships Management, relying on a computer system to manage human relationships will only end in tears. CRM software might have the statistical information about customers, but it is strictly quantitative. When it comes to CRM Consulting, meaning the actual work of managing a relationship with customers, quantitative data is not enough. Numbers don’t tell the whole story. One must have the qualitative information as well.
Customer Relationship Management requires a hard look at the softer side of the business. Experiences have many layers and vary with every situation. In our global Customer Experience Consultancy, we employ a hearty qualitative research effort to uncover the information we need to manage customer relationships effectively. Our CRM consultants do not only look at the numbers; they also look at the reasons the numbers turned out the way they did.
For many organizations, the beginning of Customer Relationship Management starts by getting every member of the team on the same page as far as what relationship with customers they want. Our consultants advise our clients to undertake a Customer Experience Statement (CES) exercise, which defines that relationship in specific emotional terms. A CES can not only rally the team around a specific goal for the softer side of business, but it can also serve as a basis for proving ROI in the CRM for analysis by the C-Suite.