Improved customer relationship management boosts profits

Different business units in our client’s organisation were investing in customer relationship management (CRM). Their initiatives were many and various, involving such elements as process redesign, consultancy, technology and strategy workshops. The result was:

  • heavy investment
  • lots of tactical solutions
  • no focus on the customer experience
  • many different technologies
  • unclear benefits
  • dubious executive buy-in and sponsorship.

Our challenge

We needed to ensure alignment on CRM within the business, optimise the company’s CRM work and close skills gaps.

What we did

We began by taking an inventory of the client’s core CRM initiatives and investments.

To ensure alignment, we used structured interviews with key decision-makers and influencers to ascertain the client’s understanding of CRM, business pressures and customer pain, and to determine relationship breakdown points.

We discovered what was missing in the client’s CRM work and what needed to be done to optimise the work for maximum benefit.

For specific areas where the organisation had skills gaps (e.g. supplier management), we placed interim staff in addition to our consultants.

Throughout, we identified and focused on areas where the most benefit could be realised for the least effort, risk and complexity.

The outcome

The project identified the broad organisational requirements for CRM, where the energy for CRM was in the organisation, and therefore what areas to focus on. It also formulated a common definition of what CRM meant to the organisation and why its people should care about it.

Finally, it identified the potential quick wins from CRM initiatives and core business sponsors for the work. Many of these wins related not to a large CRM project, but to ways of incentivising and supporting employees, for example through:

  • spot awards
  • making information easier to find
  • allowing some degree of employee empowerment.

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