Too often, CRM is reduced to pure sales support. The main tasks of marketing, sales, and service are often described as:
- Where can you find the customer?
- How do you win the customer?
- How do you keep the customer?
Companies notice that this consideration falls far too short at the latest when no arguments for their services and products can be found in dialogue with (potential) customers. It is important to clarify a clear added value of the own offers for the respective customer. The customer perspective is crucial here: the company has the highest chance of success, which can grasp and understand the target customers’ needs to create the right offers in a targeted manner.
It is therefore clear that companies have to ask themselves further essential questions to operate successful customer relationship management:
- What are interesting customers?
(Sales opportunities, probability of success, development)
- Which services are in demand on the market?
(Which products and services? Which areas of application? What terms do customers use? What advantages do customers expect?)
- What exactly does the prospect want?
(Which terms are the prospect looking for? On which channels? With what background?)
- How do I make myself interesting?
(What information does the interested party react to? How do you differentiate yourself from the competition? How do I get the interested party to consume information and enter into communication?)
- What are the decisive factors for the purchase decision?
(Product properties? Price? Service quality? Proven customer satisfaction? Professional/technical competence? Development opportunities?)
- Who determines the purchase decision?
(What is the composition of the Buying Center? How, for example, are professional, technical, and strategic interests weighed against one another?)
- How do I develop the customer further?
(What goes beyond simply keeping the customer? What services will the customer want to use regularly? What are possible supplementary products? How can I benefit from the further development of the customer, e.g., through higher-quality services?)
- Do I want to develop the customer further?
(What is the cost-benefit ratio of the customer relationship? What are the expected sales? What can other advantages (e.g., reference, development partner) be gained from the customer relationship? When does a customer become unprofitable?)
- How do you develop your own company further?
(What are the products and services of the future? How can you further improve communication with (potential) customers? How can you further improve internal processes, e.g., flexibility and quality? Which partnerships can be advantageous?)
- What measures are to be taken for this?
(How do the planned products and services fit in with the current offers? How can I develop myself further without endangering the current business? Which people and groups are to be involved in the development? With what priority should be implemented?)
Real customer relationship management significantly improves the market approach and the chances of customer acquisition and customer loyalty. It also provides essential information to question and further develop one’s activities critically. This also clarifies that customer relationship management is a management task and that all areas of the company must be involved to implement the goals set.