Very few companies are really seeing the increased customer satisfaction and retention, profitability and loyalty promised by CRM systems, according to business performance analysts Braun Consulting. Braun's latest report examines the reasons for these apparent failures, and identifies the critical areas for a better ROI.
Although the apparent failure of CRM systems has prompted many to question the value of their efforts, Braun's report says that success is closer than most firms realise. The report, How To Close The Gap On Customer-Centric Success, shows how a focus on integrating customer channels and understanding individual customer value can improve profits and provide the foundation for CRM success.
Published in conjunction with Gartner Group, the study identifies the strategic and tactical considerations that organisations need to employ as multi-channel integration and customer value management move to the forefront of their customer management efforts.
"Developing and managing multiple channels has proven to be far more complex than executives anticipated. But it doesn't have to be," said Larry Goldman, vice president, Braun Consulting. "Where companies are falling short is in their ability to understand a customer's true contribution to the bottom line, and then using that understanding to make investments in the channels that can positively influence customer actions."
According to Braun, the payoff of CRM cannot be realised until organisations enable a seamless and consistent interplay across their customer channels. To do this they must be able to evaluate the profit impact of a single customer interaction and reconcile that data across all customer channels. This level of integration allows marketers and their partners to deploy a more holistic view of their customers, seeing firsthand how individual interactions impact the bottom line.
The report describes how the combination of multi-channel integration, customer value management, and real-time analytics offers companies a powerful business tool, and it addresses some of the challenges associated with CRM initiatives:
- Understanding the dynamics of customer interactions across all of an organisation's channels.
- Understanding what multi-channel integration means to the organisation, including the risks and issues associated with the multi-channel approach, and how to prioritise investments.
- Understanding how differential value fits into the CRM equation, and how to develop an actionable customer value management framework.
- Understanding what level of real-time technology will deliver optimal business benefits.