CRM must track changing habits

David Reed’s article on customer loyalty (MW January 20) was right to emphasise the importance of cost justifying the expense of investing in customer relationship management (CRM), but do remember the customer franchise is not a static asset.

People change, market influences evolve and businesses need to understand and act on these developments. Understanding and managing the behaviour change of your customers is central to successful CRM.

Data is at the heart of CRM. It is the conduit to customer insight and, through analysis, gives customers knowledge and understanding. Data enables you to identify the potential lifetime value of customers and to use that insight to drive strategies which will lengthen relationships with loyal customers, build sales and increase the profitability of each sale opportunity.

At the same time, do not forget we are in an age where automation and information is a two-way process. Customers’ expectations are increasing as they shop around for the best deal. They have multimedia access to more information and education about services and products, and so they are more demanding. You have to work harder to show you are prepared to satisfy them and retain their loyalty.

CRM is a major investment, but it will reward your bottom line when the commitment is holistic and dynamic.

Rob Macdermott,

Managing director

The Computing Group

Crawley

Sussex

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