Customer relationship management

Professor Hugh Wilson
Cranfield School of Management

Professor Hugh Wilson of Cranfield School of Management describes the ten dimensions of world-class CRM in a multichannel world.

CRM has been around for some time. We all know the theory. It's meant to be about the management of individual customer relationships across functions, channels and products so as to maximise customer satisfaction and lifetime value. In complex multichannel organisations, this can't be done without significant amounts of IT. But somehow, even today, the IT ends up taking over and customer relationships don't change much, if at all.

Maybe we shouldn't bother? Well, certainly CRM doesn't apply to everyone equally. To start with, if our business strategy is all about operational excellence or product leadership, individualised customer relationships may be an expensive distraction. But for an increasing number of firms, customer intimacy is a critical form of differentiation.