21/06/21Customer Management: Success comes pretty quickly and can be measured fantastically

The Corona pandemic has forced companies to start digitizing their processes faster than anyone could have imagined. Company leaders are facing path-breaking decisions, investing in new business models, and are under pressure to stay cost-efficient while still working effective. In many cases, they loose sight of their Customer Management. "That's a big mistake," Thomas Hamele, Managing Director of BCM. Best Customer Management GmbH and long-time CRM expert, is convinced.

Thomas Hamele

Mr. Hamele, you have been advising companies during their digital transformation for many years. Now, the process has picked up pace. Is that a good thing?
Corona has forced the acceleration of any digitization efforts. Companies now need to tackle those issues and concepts that may have already been locked away in a drawer and have never been attempted. Because: in sectors in which physical contact points were the basis for success before, customer contact now mainly works in the digital space. Here, all companies across various sectors need to develop their digital customer contact points in the interest of their customers.

And what's the big challenge in that?
Thomas Hamele: When consulting, we are often surprised by SMEs or even big corporations that have not integrated and formalized Customer Management with all its important dimensions in their company strategy. And they don't even include it in their budget.

What do you advise those companies to do?
I agree with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos: "Start with the customer!" Only those who align their company strategically, operatively, and analytically along the entire customer value chain as well as consistently observe and fulfill customer expectations and requirements are prepared for the future. With our CRM.Check (maturity level check), we support companies in reviewing the 8 most important dimensions of customer management. These include, for example, the mentioned customer management strategy, Customer Centricity, organization & leadership, but also concrete tools, processes, analytics, and performance measurements.

And you need a budget for that?
Yes - and no. The CRM.Check shows companies which screw they need to adjust to prevent dangers and achieve economic quick wins.

Two examples:

  • In several banks in Germany, the employees still like to work manually. With a slim, digital process for customer data management - aimed to prevent postal returns due to faulty address data - one of our customers can now save about 300,000 Euros a year.

  • The customer base of a well-known online fashion retailer has steadily declined for years, the acquisition of new customers is at an all-time low as well. This customer churn would result in the company losing almost 5 million Euros in EBITDA over the next five years, their customer base would be cut in half. Facing those numbers, the company has decided to invest in Churn Prevention and lead management optimization by deploying a custom-fit CRM system.

What does the CRM.Check (maturity level check) look like in practice?
The check is clearly structured - and has been successfully executed by many companies. During a one-day workshop (onsite, held digitally or as a hybrid event), we gather all relevant stakeholders. Depending on the size of the company, these include representatives from management, marketing & sales, customer management, human resources, IT, and in some cases market research. First, the workshop includes an evaluation of the current and desired maturity level of the existing customer management. The evaluation is followed by a gap analysis along the 8 dimensions. These include positioning & CRM strategy, Customer Centricity, organization & leadership, smart data, customer analytics, customer interaction, reporting & performance measurements, as well as processes & tools. Depending on the customer wishes, we also integrate the external view, that is, the customer evaluation which is queried based on the scientifically substantiated Fan Principle. We derive concrete measures from the findings, prioritize these so-called enablers according to their maturity and impact on the business objectives, and provide recommended actions to the respective company which are then combined with a strategic roadmap.

And this roadmap is then implemented?
We have been supporting companies during this process for more than 20 years - and we know that the persons in charge often assess their customer management maturity to be better than it actually is. Therefore, they are very grateful for the sound analysis and in most cases immediately tackle the steps we recommended with our support. The amazing thing is that the success always comes pretty quickly and can be measured fantastically.

Do you have a final tip for our readers here?
Yes, an appeal: by turning the correct screws in your CRM and Customer Experience Management, any company - no matter the sector or size - can significantly increase their economic success. Those who ignore their customer management and think they "save" money are not on the winning side - whether during the Corona crisis or in the future. I want you to become a winner.

Get an insight into the CRM.Check at my webinar CRM.Check: How developed is your customer centricity really? on November 16, 2021 - register now.

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