CRM That Will Get You Noticed
We all read so much these days about customer relationship management (CRM). Seems it’s now in vogue to spend a lot of money on new computer software and hardware that will enable companies to have an ongoing relationship with their customers.
Indeed, companies are trying to aggregate all their customer and consumer information from disparate systems and sources into one database that will give them a better picture of customers’ and prospects’ behavior, thereby helping them manage their contacts in a more effective manner.
It sounds great ... but as a consumer, I haven’t noticed anything yet. I haven’t noticed my favorite catalogs treating me any differently when I call, now that they have all of this information. I’ve noticed only a few of my favorite Web sites sending me relevant e-mails and offers. I don’t feel these companies communicate a message to me that I’m valuable to them any more than they did five years ago. And with most of the companies I buy from, I’ve been doing business with them for many years and have a large lifetime value. Yet this doesn’t seem to be exploited.
There are two vital aspects of managing a relationship: communication and behavior. From the first time we meet someone, we’re gathering information about our new acquaintance and sharing information about ourselves. This two-way communication begins forging the relationship. If the communication stops, most likely the relationship will come to an end. Likewise, if the communication becomes only one-way, the relationship eventually will die.
The second part of a relationship is behavior. Do you like what the other person does or how he or she acts? Do you want to keep company with this person? Will you learn something from them or be able to teach them something you know? Do they behave in a manner congruent with what they have communicated?