The best companies will spend more on customers - not less - and will focus on share of customer rather than share of market, says professional services firm, Braun.
According to the Steve Braun, president and CEO of professional services firm, Braun Consulting, "It's time to deliver on the promises that CRM technology and strategic thinking have offered to companies. 2002 will be the year to put into action what we've been talking about for the last few years - getting closer to customers."
Based on its work with its Fortune 500 and middle market clients, Braun predicts that the following CRM trends will have most impact in 2002:
- In a down economy, the successful companies will invest more in customers - not less - and will shift their efforts from customer acquisition to customer retention.
- They will focus on achieving the maximum share of each customer, rather than simple market share, by managing and increasing the value delivered to each customer.
- CRM will evolve to CVM - Customer Value Management - and companies will seek to exceed expectations for their most valuable customers, satisfy those customers who positively contribute value, and find lower cost alternatives for the others.
- Companies will heighten their focus on data analysis and organisation to avoid "information roadblocks" (clear differentiation of customers, profitability-based segmentation and more measurable marketing campaigns).
- Companies will realise that customer satisfaction doesn't translate to loyalty. They will move beyond simply measuring contact centre performance and "stated happiness with current purchase" - they will delve deeper and use the information to shape their offerings.
- They will focus on "thoughtware" - the required thought processes and application of information - rather than "software".
- They will provide customers with a consistent, seamless experience, no matter how they choose to interact with an organisation.
- They will leverage their relationships with partners in order to better satisfy their customers.
- 2002 will bring the return of the large application suites to provide a holistic CRM platform for company's organizations, as well as to integrate best-of-breed applications for specific functions that provide a competitive advantage.
- The focus will be long-term. IT departments will closely examine long-term investments and ask, "How long will it last?" "What are the ramifications of going down this path from a maintenance and support perspective?" And, "What benefits will I see down the road?"
- 2002 will be a year of implementation and results - to finally put into action what so many have thought and spoken of for the past several years.