“Customer relationship management (CRM) is a term that refers to practices, strategies and technologies that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, with the goal of improving business relationships with customers, assisting in customer retention and driving sales growth.”
The term “Customer Relationship Management” has been in existence for more than 20 years and has in fact evolved into “Customer Value Management”. For years organisations spent excessive funds on advertising to attract and acquire new customers and paid little or no attention to retaining their existing customers. Even though customer data was readily available, very few companies spent the time to analyse this data in order to better understand customer behavior and preferences and to identify customers who were adding real and tangible value to the business. Ultimately if you do take care of your relationships (both internal and external) then value will follow.
As an important first step in any relationship, we need to define our own identity and core purpose. Who are we, what do we believe, what are our core values, what is our purpose – what is our identity?
At Salt we perceived a gradual shift in the industry that started several years ago – a shift towards greater authenticity, more transparency and honesty and most importantly a shift towards being able to identify our real strengths and ultimately our true purpose. This has meant a transitional move away from projects and a renewed focus on our core offering, being the data-centre as well as selected new client-centric online business solutions.
As a second step we need to have a clear understanding of who our customer is and how we can add the most value to their business needs. This goes hand in hand with a detailed review of our product and services offering to ensure that it is aligned with our core purpose and internal capability. We cannot try and be everything to everyone. Neither should profit be the main driving factor, in fact it should become the result of a client-centric and relationship focused vision and mission and actual application throughout everything we do, say, manage, implement and create.
We have therefore redesigned the purpose of our CRM function to reflect a long term relationship focus founded in honesty, transparency and integrity. Our meetings are based on mutual trust and open and honest sharing of both the good and the bad to ultimately restore what has been broken and to join our customers on their journey to IT enabled growth and expansion. In addition to the changes within our CRM function we have also worked on improving our Help Desk function to be able to provide customers with faster response times and more efficient resolution of queries and incidents.
It’s about spending more quality time with our clients, to get to know them better, to understand their core focus and how we as Salt can add the greatest value to the delivery of their business solutions. As such we have managed to greatly reduce some of our clients monthly SLA spend without compromising on the experience or the service delivery and satisfaction.