CRM analytics: The fuel for the engine

CRM analytics: The fuel for the engine


Traditionally, CRM has been driven by IT companies putting in place major systems to provide a single customer view. They pick up transactional information, product records and, to a lesser extent, client data and the better companies link with operational systems actually to apply CRM at the front end via telesales, the Internet etc. However, the CRM system on its own has limited benefit. It is quickly becoming apparent that companies may have invested in the ‘Rolls Royce’ of systems but do not have the ‘fuel’ actually to drive it. This fuel takes the form of business rules and the science behind creating these is referred to as CRM analytics. These rules can drive the product offering, the distribution channel, the timing of the offer and even the pricing or payment method.


Figure 1, based on Gartner Group’s research, illustrates where CRM operations and CRM analytics fit within an organisation. The business rules bridge the gap between the analysis stage and the operational function, which allows the customer interactions to be managed in the way intended by true CRM.

Many companies are still structured in a traditional fashion in ‘product silos’ where key business objectives are geared around individual distribution channels or products.

Figure 1 The CRM model

But what happens to the poor customers who just happen to have multi products through different channels but with the same supplier? How well are their relationships managed, are they treated as individuals rather than just product holders?

A groundswell is starting and consumers are becoming significantly more demanding of their suppliers. They are moving away from commoditised offerings and are looking for a more bespoke solution to their needs. They also want choice in their distribution. Simply because they have purchased one product through telesales, does not mean to say that they want to buy all of their products through this channel. If, for example, they are buying simple travel insurance, they may ring telesales or use the Web; if, however, it is a more complex or important purchase such as a pension, they may prefer a face-to-face meeting. Those companies that can offer consistently what the customer needs, at the right time, at an acceptable price, using the right channel and message to sell the product have cracked CRM. It is vitally important to understand these behavioural traits in addition to having product and transactional data when building a successful relationship with a customer. Make sure though that after all of the analysis, the creative agency is well briefed. Even when armed with all of this data, if the wrong creative is used, it could be to no avail.

This is not rocket science; in fact, in the main it is going back to the way things were in the days of corner shops. In those days, the shop owner knew all his customers well, knew whether he should address them by their christian names or not, was aware of family events such as marriages or births, knew what products they were partial to and how they wanted to pay for goods — even down to whether they wanted the delivery boy to take the groceries to their home. Even then it was

important to know which customers wanted to talk and which did not. While most customers want to be treated as individuals by their suppliers they do not all want a relationship, although many companies mistakenly believe that they do The mystique around CRM is only enabling the large companies of today to have ‘corner shop’ relationships using the power of technology, data and analysis. A case study highlights quite well those customers that do not want a relationship. Don Peppers and Martha Rogers have set the foundations for one-to-one relationships in their books, however, although it is possible to analyse down to an individual level, how do companies then apply that learning operationally? How does a company with a customer base running into millions communicate to each individual in a totally bespoke way? It is not impossible but it is unlikely to be cost effective; an improved return on investment (ROI) could still be gained by giving the impression of having a one-to- one relationship rather than actually having one.



Representative APR 391%

Let's say you want to borrow $100 for two week. Lender can charge you $15 for borrowing $100 for two weeks. You will need to return $115 to the lender at the end of 2 weeks. The cost of the $100 loan is a $15 finance charge and an annual percentage rate of 391 percent. If you decide to roll over the loan for another two weeks, lender can charge you another $15. If you roll-over the loan three times, the finance charge would climb to $60 to borrow the $100.

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