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Seeing CRM Success

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Posted December 19, 2001 By Robyn Greenspan     Feedback

"Creating a CRM Vision" from Gartner indicates that companies who aim to be successful in CRM must adopt an image of what a customer-centric enterprise looks and feels like.

Research released by advisory and analysis firm Gartner, Inc. indicates that companies who aim to be successful in CRM must adopt an image of what a customer-centric enterprise looks and feels like. The report, "Creating a CRM Vision," outlines the steps that are needed and their appropriate actions in order to develop the "company personality" — an essential component when creating relationships with customers.

The report equates the CRM vision to the DNA or blueprint of the enterprise and without it, customers and other interested parties, such as employees, will not have a clear image of what the enterprise offers. "Without a vision, employees will not know what to deliver, and organizational collaboration will be difficult and expensive. Properly delivered and promoted, the CRM vision should motivate staff, generate customer loyalty, gain a greater wallet share and turn its target customers into advocates," says Jennifer Kirkby, research director at Gartner Research and author of the report.

Since CRM vision begins with an understanding of what drives market demand, the first step is to identify a core business proposition that defines the enterprises reason for being. "...the core business proposition should be a clear declaration of intent around which a distinctive customer value proposition and enterprise culture can be built," the report explains.

Secondly, determining the key brand values for delivery will help differentiate the enterprise from the competition and should be established from the customer view. Understanding what services customers really want will generate value and loyalty, and also prevent the enterprise from investing in unnecessary resources.

The next part of the process involves designing a customer experience, with emphasis on how the customer feels about dealing with the enterprise. Marketing to prospective customers will be more effective when there is an idea of the emotions the marketing should evoke. The report says, "Price can be undercut and products overtaken, but an emotional advantage can provide a sustainable advantage over competitors."

The last component of the CRM vision involves leadership. In order to implement the vision successfully, the CEO must provide inspirational leadership and be able to motivate the staff and customers to understand the vision too. Just as poor leadership will doom CRM initiatives, a strong visionary at the helm will encourage success.

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