Customer Relationship Management
It develops the value of customers through the increase in purchase volumes, a greater frequency of consumption and the adoption of profitable lines of business and more efficient channels.
The strategy starts by identifying the profile of the main groups of clients as well as the consumption pattern of each one of them. In this stage the value attributes are identified as well as the performance that the company has in them. Finally, by quantifying the potential of each group, business priorities and service levels can be established.
There are different groups of clients with different needs, priorities and expectations. To get to know these groups better we can classify them using some basic segmentation variables. In the business market we can use variables such as economic activity or sales volume, while variables such as age, profession or family life cycle are frequently used in the consumer market.
Once the main client / consumer groups are defined, the most representative consumption and purchasing habits are identified. The preferential purchase, information and service channels are also established with their respective frequencies and most representative schedules. We can determine a path from the activation of the need to the repurchase.
The value attributes that are important in each of these groups are ranked and compared with the performance of the company's value proposition. In addition to the characteristics of the product, personnel factors such as cordiality, technical knowledge and decision-making power are also considered. Advantages such as agility, easy access and training are analyzed when evaluating business processes and the development program.
The service priority that will be assigned to a customer not only considers the current sales volume that the customer is generating for the company, it also considers the revenues that the customer can produce over time (LCV). This long-term projection will allow to establish the level of investment that each client will obtain in the different commercial activities: trade marketing, technical assistance, public relations, etc.
The strategic focus of this stage is related to all operational aspects of the service. Processes that contribute to meet customer expectations throughout the different contact channels with which they interact. Processes, policies and conditions are agreed upon to guarantee compliance with the promise of value offered.
Each client is at a specific stage in their business relationship with a company. While for some customers it may be the first time they work with the company, others may be requesting an additional product or service. Processes must be implemented that permanently guarantee that all clients are informed of the benefits, alternatives, additional services, conditions and service policies of the company.
With frequent customers, campaigns are activated that improve the value and profitability of each of them through the sale of premium lines, complementary services, accessories and related services. This proactivity generates additional demand events that go beyond the transactional account, creating exit barriers and strengthening ties with the client.
Either to offset the transaction costs of some services or to achieve "portfolio economies" it is very important that the client adopts other lines with better profitability. A proper cross - selling strategy obtains significant growth in sales volumes with relatively low costs since they are sold to current customers. Each type of customer has a sequence of products to be offered based on the success rate of previous campaigns.
If an adequate interaction with the client has not been maintained, there is a risk of affecting the commercial relationship with the client little by little. This situation is evidenced by less frequent orders, cancellations of scheduled orders, late payments and the non-renewal of contracts. This desertion often increases when the commercial relationship has become a simple transactional relationship without adequate technical advice or commercial support.
Throughout the life cycle of the client, certain tasks are necessary to maximize the performance of the product or service. Even before the first purchase, processes such as the creation of the customer in the system, the assignment of prospects and their credit analysis are activated. When being the first order is a series of logistic and technical processes that is also activated. Even when there are problems, processes for handling complaints, solving errors and improving the system are met.
Once a new customer requests and acquires a product, an authorization, delivery, billing and collection process is initiated. The generation of forms, document management, validation of signatures and assembly of alerts, are synchronized and controlled to guarantee an agile and simple operational flow.
Consumers and customers express their needs through the different service channels. These requests can range from simple queries or data updates to sophisticated customized requirements. The important thing is to create a methodology that allows adequate follow-up so that each of these requests is met in the agreed service levels.
Clients' complaints are analyzed in detail to find the causes as well as the best method to avoid repeating them. The classification of these claims in errors, delays, missing or failures, allows an analysis on the validity of the process and policies. The priority and escalation that is given to each one of these claims will depend on the type of client that is being affected.
The increase in the frequency and intensity of complaints with certain customers or in certain situations should generate timely alerts to determine if these are due to a "failure" or "error" in the strategy that manages customer relations.
Developing a client is based on a business relationship that generates value for all participants over time. There are activities that, while not directly related to the generation of income, are very important to strengthen the customer experience. The application of commercial and service protocols in each interaction with the client, guarantee a consistency in the quality of the service provided
The delivery of a service is complemented by a series of support activities. Many of these tasks are performed after the sale in order to ensure the proper use of the product or service. The start-up and calibration of the product is one of the tasks that strengthen the commercial relationship with customers
A multichannel with easy access allows the conditions, policies, processes and benefits of the company to be reported in a timely manner. This communication structure also allows to train and remember the differentiators and exclusive added values that the client has.
In order to make the customer profitable, processes are simplified and resources are optimized. Some of these initiatives seek for the client to use more efficient channels such as a call center or the company's website. Other alternatives seek that the client be more involved in certain processes through access to self-service platforms
There are clients that, due to their volume of business, access a special service level. The economic activity, geographical location or technological capacity of some customers also implies the adaptation of service levels and current commercial policies. These situations are analyzed taking as reference the potential and profitability of each client.
Certain businesses that due to their potential impact on the company's results, find it necessary to apply a follow-up and special dedication. These businesses are those that have been proactively generated and therefore previously recorded in a sales plan. The sales tactics and negotiation techniques applied in these opportunities are analyzed to accelerate and ensure the business closing rate.
The campaigns carried out by Marketing ensure that most of the generated prospects are realized using channels such as a call center or even the web. Although these channels represent a lower cost to the sales force, there are business opportunities that due to their potential volume, technical complexity or strategic importance, require a vendor to develop and make concrete the advances achieved by Marketing.
After the consultant has presented the company and its services, the true needs, expectations and priorities of the potential client are identified. The result of this process of inquiry will be the definition of one or more value alternatives that best suit the client's requirements. This solution will be an integrated products and services deployed in a given channel, time and form.
Although the stage of presentation and design of solutions can occur in the same event, most of the cases the negotiation stage implies a necessary interval of time to be able to profile the client and formalize the value proposal according to the needs found. All these business opportunities require a follow-up and a priority given by the probability of closure, the volume of business and the estimated closing date.
Achieving a successful business goes beyond simply getting the client's approval. With the application of adequate negotiation protocols, this business opens the doors to other business opportunities. Some of these protocols focus on planning with the client the next service and assistance visits. These interactions will allow the development of the account when finding new trading opportunities.
The quality of the relationship with customers goes beyond the level of sympathy that the client has with the company's staff or with the score obtained in service surveys. Customer relationship management is developed through objective indicators that allow investment decisions and service policies to be made according to the value of each client.
The quality of the commercial relationship that the company has with its customers is reflected in a first instance by the number of clients that perform a minimum of transactions in a given period. Depending on the market segment served, these minimum levels often change according to the potential of the profile served
The proactive interaction throughout the different stages in the life cycle of the client, allow to inform and generate demand for other products with which you can obtain a higher profitability per client or per transaction. Cross selling generates different consumer events and service experiences that in turn create exit barriers for the customer.
When defining the profiles and consumption patterns of the main groups of customers, the ranges of potential value to which they could be reached in each group of customers are also determined. To mobilize customers at a higher level, the ideal mix of products must be offered at the right time based on customer knowledge.
The sales volume of certain corporate clients or agents becomes so important that it can generate a dangerous dependency. Losing one of these customers can affect the company's results for several periods. This size often results in an increase in bargaining power that lowers the client's profitability.