By Princewill Ekwujuru
In today’s business, a new approach to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is needed to not only adapt to the way organisations and people transact and analyse business in the social networking arena, but also how they engage in these activities.

Customers today expect a personalised experience and they expect to be able to find the answers they want quickly. Customers also expect companies to demonstrate that they know who they are, and organisations that deliver get their businesses on the driving seat.|

However, managing customers, fostering customer loyalty and  generating more revenue streams today is far more complex than what it used to be before now.

In the past, information and branding were managed exclusively by companies, partners and employees and they had a relative amount of control over customer behavior. Today, the  relationships between buyers and sellers have changed. Now brands are also managed by customers depending on the relationship between the company and its client. This means there’s been a fundamental shift from being vendor_centric to customer and community_centric relationships.

GTBank, privy of this fact, and in educating it’s staff on customer management brought to town Prof. Simon Knox of the Cranfield School of Management, who spoke on the topic; Managing fallout from the global financial Crisis: Positioning and Branding Financial Services. Knox had said that in today’s market place demand for customer service is escalating, product innovation is quickly copied and customer loyalty are hard fought: Customers want what they want. They are becoming the specifiers of value and risk.

Since there are customers who have low brand loyalty and high confidence to move between rival brands at a drop of a hat, need to be handled professionally.

That was why the lecture said to manage this new environment requires a CRM solution that can capture vital information that occurs across channels and systems to fully connect customers, employees, and partners across a company’s sales, marketing, and service organisations

He noted that aligning the company to create customer value and experience means developing its brand capabilities and credentials.

Only by successfully blending these characteristics can a company gather better information and richer data to deliver more engaging interactions and act upon the right conclusions to deliver a higher quality customer experience. This means the one customer fora has to come into play.

To accomplish required personalised, relevant customer promotions and communications that engender customer loyalty across all customer touch \points and across all aspects of CRM.

Loyalty plays a critical role in every customer interaction at a point of sale, on a call with customer support, or when browsing an e_commerce site  and needs to blend into an organisation’s sales, marketing, and service processes. Every customer interaction – no matter how brief – is a chance to engage with customers and promote loyalty to increase up_ and cross_sell opportunities.

An organisation’s strongest asset is not just its people it’s also the relationships and resulting conversations these people have with customers, partners, and other employees that offer true value to a company. For a complete CRM solution, vital interactions and insight gained from these relationships need to be captured.

There has been a significant shift from back_office, product_centric processes to front_office, customer centric_processes and CRM is driving a significant amount of overall business. CRM, which traditionally was used primarily for account, lead, and opportunity management, is now looked upon as a pivotal point for pricing, promotions, and even order management. With CRM as an entry point in enabling an organisation’s business strategy, integration becomes key.


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