Making the Most of Customers

CRM can be a useful tool only if data on customers are managed and interpreted effectively enter analytical CRM (aCRM)

Peter Dorrington


When some organisations spend millions on developing Enterprise Resource Management (ERM) systems to shave a few percentage points off costs, and this only to allow them to compete on a level playing field, where do they go next? As more and more organisations are discovering, the ability to find more customers, hold on to them longer and extract more money from them while they are customers, offers the potential to add far more value to the top line enter Customer Relationship Management (or CRM), stage right.

How much does a company really know about its customers? Most companies would agree that customers are their most valuable assets. Yet, while customer satisfaction is the goal for most, there is often little real management of the customer base. Instead, management focuses on indirect routes, which include taking steps to ensure excellence in products and service or improve the quality of the dialogue. This is typically seen in a dash to implement a web presence or call centre. This is extremely desirable, but the ability to maintain a dialogue with a customer is not the only facet of CRM it may not even be the most important. The truth is, customers expect highquality service there are no medals for winners, only wooden spoons for companies that fail to deliver.

Customer relationship management