Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Marketing is Responsible for CRM

The realization that marketing is now responsible for maintaining clients as well as attracting new ones is slowly sinking in. Theoretically, it was the rationale for investing in CRM technologies. But the technologies came and we didn't change what we were doing all along. It proved culturally and organizationally difficult to separate acquisition efforts from service efforts. Managing customer relationships remains a paramount task and we need to increase the marketing bandwidth to cover all the bases.

The goal of CRM is to create more value through interactive and mutually collaborative activities ... the end-state is increased customer retention. That's the primary measurement.

Interim measurements should focus on improvement in:
  1. Customer Sensitivity -- Do we really care about our customers or are they just a means to a prettier bottom line? This shift resides in how we think, how we act, and how we respond to customers.
  2. Convenience -- How easy is your company to deal with? Customers will take the line of least resistance and if that is not your company, it will be another.
  3. Product / Service Quality -- The features have to be there as promised. Reliability must be there as promised. If not, the perception of value delivered will disappear.
  4. After-Sale Service -- Did you disappear? This is one of the most important points in which you have the opportunity for regular contact with a customer. Every opportunity should be optimized to improve the relationship. Continue to offer education and promotion opportunities for your customers. Complacency here will convince the customer that you were not concerned with their well-being.

When it comes to CRM, it is the marketing department's responsibility to nurture the relationship for the long haul -- not IT and not sales. CRM done well is the path to improved profitability.


At 1:29 PM, Anonymous Amanda said...

Although I am a PR student, we are required to take several classes in the marketing department. What I have learned through those classes, is that CRM is a lot like Public Relations. CRM is about keeping your customers happy, finding out what they want and effectively communicating with them. PR is a lot like that. We must determine our target publics. We then have to determine what their needs are and what they want from our organization. Then, we have to figure out the best way to deliver that information to them. While marketing is responsible for mainting clients and attracting new ones, I think PR can also help.

I like your identification of interim measurements. Customer senstivity ensures that you are treating the customers as people, not just a way to reach a bottam line. In PR, we learn how to communicate with consumers in a way that benefits them, which is a major part of customer sensitivity. I also like the idea of "after-sale service." A company needs to stick around after a customer buys/uses a product/service. CRM is all about relationships, and continuing to have contact with those customers, just like PR.

At 9:26 AM, Blogger Raúl Alberto Lilloy said...

which crm do you recommend?
I feel very complicated to manage crm, specially for the force task.


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