Customer Dynamics – Expanding the Scope of Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

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October 11th, 2010

Knowledge is king when it comes to successfully managing customer relationships. Knowing your customers’ activities, interests and preferences lets you tailor services and offerings to their individual tastes. Most companies use some type of customer relationship management (CRM) system for tracking and managing relationships with their customers.

For a while now, we’ve been talking about Customer Dynamics. It’s a new way of looking at customer and business relationships as viewed across all points of contact – phone, email, self-service, chat, etc. Customer Dynamics has the potential to significantly expand the scope and end-results of traditional CRM systems through the contribution of additional information only available from analysis of multi-channel customer interactions.

Customer transactions and demographics are the primary data elements of CRM systems. A transaction is the end result of an interaction – the customer calling, sending an email, chatting, or using self-service channels such as Web and IVR. Lacking visibility into the context of interactions, CRM systems can provide a full view of what happened, but not necessarily why it happened and what is likely to happen next. Customer Dynamics optimization (CDO) bridges this gap, letting businesses understand what drives their customers’ actions – their intent.

For example, the CRM system contains a transaction indicating a customer’s purchase of a one-year renewal for their service plan. They also had the option of purchasing two and three year plans. The CRM system provides no information into why they chose the one-year plan over the other two. CDO on the other hand, sheds light on the reasons behind that decision to render the longer-term offers more attractive. It then helps agents, in real time, capture opportunities to sell long-term service plans with automated in-call assistance.

Customer Dynamics optimization conveys information on other aspects of customer behavior beyond the scope of CRM systems. For instance, why a transaction didn’t happen. Some customer interactions don’t generate transactions, but still convey critical business information, such as researching rate plans to compare with a competitor’s offer. Lacking visibilityinto interactions, this is impossible for a CRM system.

CDO offers the ability to flag potential customer churnearlier than a CRM system, making retention efforts more successful. This is accomplished by analyzing the voice of the customer related to potential churn across contact channels, for example, inquiring about cancellation terms, or complaining about service.

Customer Dynamics optimization has the potential to augment CRM systems in many ways:

  • Directing customers to the best contact channel through cross-channel analysis of contact patterns.
  • Automatically generating sales leads in the CRM system by detecting missed sales opportunities.
  • Influencing the outcomes of interactions as they occur with real-time agent guidance.

CRM systems are a valuable tool in managing customer relationships. Customer Dynamics optimization amplifies their effectiveness and delivers significantly enhanced benefits.

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