Customers' Experiences With CRM Activities

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Kristel
Member

Posted 15-Feb-2006 05:45 AM
Dear Jim Barnes,

I am currently working on my Ph.D. research question.

I am very interested in what customers experience from CRM activities. Therefore, I would like to focus my research on one or a few companies in Belgium and survey their customers about their experiences with the implemented CRM activities.

In your opinion, are there further research possibilities on this topic? Can you give me some recent references about this topic?

Thanking you in advance for your time,
Kristel


Graham Hill
Guru
Member

Posted 15-Feb-2006 11:12 PM
Kristel

The question of what customers experience from CRM is very pertinent today.

I think it is fair to say that to-date, CRM as practiced by the majority of companies has been done solely for the benefit of them: What the customer receives in return for their attention has never really been considered by most companies. Its a bit like the dark and good sides of the “force” in Star Wars.

But this one-sided approach to CRM is gradually changing, driven by companies looking for an additional competitive advantage through an explicit customer-orientation, by the rise of the Internet as the unparallelled source of “unbiased” information and opinions, and by the fact that customers are no longer satisfied with the poor fare and irrelevant marketing served up by most companies.

Simply put: Customers are no longer satisfied.

The heart of all this is the concept of Customer Perceived Value; the trade-offs between all the different types of “costs” the customer incurs from doing business with a company and all the different types of “benefits” it receives.

I suggest you go along to the Wegener DM Marketing Day 2006 near Brussels on the 23rd March (see their website at http://www.wegenerdm.be/?pag=128 for more details) to see for yourself what companies are doing in this area and to network with the 1,000 marketers who are expected on the day. I am sure you will find plenty of Belgian companies who might be interesting to study.

Graham Hill
Independent CRM Consultant


Kristel
Member

Posted 16-Feb-2006 05:27 AM

The heart of all this is the concept of Customer Perceived Value; the trade-offs between all the different types of “costs” the customer incurs from doing business with a company and all the different types of “benefits” it receives.

Graham Hill
Independent CRM Consultant

Dear Graham Hill,

So, in your opinion, should a company investigate this customer perceived value as a part of their CRM assessment?

I will be present on the Wegener DM Marketing Day 2006. Thanks for the tip!

Kristel


Graham Hill
Guru
Member

Posted 17-Feb-2006 03:42 AM
Kristel

I think it is absolutely essential that companies look long and hard at customer perceived value as a foundations stone of all their business activities.

This customer view is one of the four views that a company should take when thinking about CRM or about business. The other views are the value view of what drives financial value creation for the company, the capability view of what the business needs to do to deliver value to customers and shareholders, and the customer experience view of how these three things are knitted together to provide a superior end-to-end experience.

Paradoxically, the best book on the customer view at the moment is written by a branding man. Tom Asacker’s new book “A Clear Eye for Branding” talks extensively about what exists in the customers’ mind, particularly the feelings they harbour about brands. In many ways, this is the heart of the customer view. Take a look at Tom’s blog at http://www.acleareye.com/ for more details.

Graham Hill
Independent CRM Consultant

PS. See you at the Wegener DM Marketing Day. I am giving a keynote about customer-driven CRM that touches on the same topic.


Jim Barnes, CRMGuru Panelist
Advisory Board
Member
Picture of Jim Barnes, CRMGuru Panelist

Posted 17-Feb-2006 04:39 AM
Hello Kristel (and Graham)

I am just now joining the debate as I was travelling this week and am just now back in the office. As usual, Graham and I think alike on this subject.

I agree that much if what is now called CRM has been and is still being implemented by firms with a set of objectives that pertain primarily to the firm itself, not to its customers. Which is why I raised what I think is a pertinent question, namely, “are customers actually noticing?” I believe the answer is probably “No!” This is especially so as much of what customers experience from CRM installations as typically defined and designed are better targeted mail shots and more frequent special offers, etc. This is all occurring, by the way, at a time when there is widespread evidence from Yankelovich in the US and others that customers are rebelling against agressive forms of conventional marketing.

I think you are addressing a very critical question that has not yet been very well addressed, that being whether customers are impacted in a positive way by CRM as defined by industry. Of course, if you subscribe to a broader view of CRM, one that includes how the employees of companies interact with people and a company’s attention to dealing with little things that occur with some regularity in customer encounters, then there is ample evidence that companies that pay a great deal of attentiom to their customers reap the benefits in the form of increased loyalty and advocacy.

I look forward to continuing the discussion. You will enjoy talking with Graham at the Wegener event.

Jim Barnes

Jim Barnes specializes in Customer Strategy as a member of the CRMGuru Advisory Board. For more information, please visit Barnes Marketing Associates.


Graham Hill
Guru
Member

Posted 20-Feb-2006 12:37 PM
Oscar Wilde, the great Irish wit, famously said, “Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong”. However, in this case I find myself agreeing with Jim… up to a point.

Jim is of course right in suggesting that the whole organisation should be involved in all aspects of CRM; from the delivery of touchpoints, through back-office activities that support them, all the way to planning activities that lay the foundation for CRM. As is so often the case, Peter Drucker put it succinctly when he said, “the purpose of an enterprise is to create a satisfied customer and deliver all of the parts of the enterprise in the service of the customer”. Sadly, this often is not the case in reality.

And that is the point where I would take Jim to task. Jim asks, “Are customers actually noticing?”. When it comes to marketing I probably agree. Marketing response rates are falling in pretty much all industries as customers have grown tired of the irrelevant spam that the marketing industry overwhelmingly produces. And when your response rate averages only 1-2%, then 98-99% of your messages are irrelevant spam! But when it comes to customer service, I think it is safe to say that customers are noticing that the service they receive is getting poorer across most industries. This is a fact confirmed by recent trends in the Customer Satisfaction Barometer operated by Michigan University in the USA. And as research shows, service failures are a prime reason for defection in most industries.

At the end of the day, it is the companies who understand what outcomes customers are looking for, who organise themselves to deliver them to a high quality at low cost, and who learn from being in business with customers and continuously improve themselves who will be the winners. Just look at the rise of Toyota vs the decline of General Motors or Ford.

We still have so much to learn. But it all begins and ends with customer perceive value.

Graham Hill
Independent CRM Consultant


Gregor Kupper
Member

Posted 27-Feb-2006 12:14 AM
Hello Kristel (and Jim and Graham),

Isn’t it time we asked ourselves what happened to the R of CRM? Most of CRM so far has concentrated on collecting as much data as possible about clients. Does knowing a lot about somebody equal relationship? Most stalkers would think so… and isn’t that what many clients are experiencing with their ‘beloved’ companies? Well intentioned salesmailings that put clients at unease (how did they know that …. I wonder what else they know about me?). Is this a sound basis for a relationship?

Don’t we need to reassess our approach and find ways to listen to the client? to understand him/her? to enter into a dialogue that will (might!) result in a relationship?

See you at the Marketing Day!

Gregor

Gregor Kupper
COO
Greenhouse Biotic Brand Cultivation Ltd.
Belgium

Gregor Kupper specializes in customer relationship growth strategies. For more information, please visit Greenhouse|BBC Ltd.

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