Tuesday, August 26, 2008

CRM-Turn Customers to Clients

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is the process of bringing the customer and the company closer together. Estimates show that just 20 percent of customers account for nearly 80 percent of total revenues in some businesses. While getting more customers is critical for the sustenance of any enterprise, optimizing returns by furthering relationships with the existing clients is a key business practice. Barry Stamos, in "Best Customers: More Profitable Relationships" points out, "Why spend resources attracting new customers until optimizing the profitability of your client relationships?"

"Successful CRM is about competing in the relationship dimension" explains Bob Thompson, CEO, CustomerThink Corporation, "Not as an alternative to having a competitive product or reasonable price- but as a differentiator. If your competitors are doing the same thing you are (as they generally are), product and price won't give you a long- term, sustainable competitive advantage. But if you can get an edge based on how customers feel about your company, it's a much stickier--sustainable--relationship over the long haul."

Customers come first in business. Managing relationships with them is very vital. Through cross-selling and up- selling techniques, you can continue to add more leverage to your business. High value referrals from them can also procure endless opportunities. Cutting down time and marketing costs through client network selling, you increase the profitability of your organization. Usually, a 'sale' converts a 'client' to a 'customer'. More and more sale transactions with him make him a client. By then, he has developed a liking for your service and has taken you in his confidence. The first transaction was just not a one-time event; it perpetuated continuing business through credible relationship building with the customer.

CRM has clearly defined roles:

? Focus on the customer and develop sustainable relationship with him.

? Manage the post-sale period well.

? Provide flexibility to your solutions in meeting customer requirements.

? Get qualified referrals for more business expansion within the network.

? Always keep in touch and have an explaining mindset.

Customers bring business. The more healthy relationships you have with them, the more is the value addition to your business. Continuous introspection about the level of service being offered and providing innovative solutions can help you to stay in the front. To quote former New York City mayor, Ed Koch, simply asking clients, "How am I doing?" is a great way to know where you stand. CRM provides you with tools and techniques to help you in nurturing healthy and dynamic client relationships and turning more customers to clients.

T Chakrabarti and his global colleagues write for KPO2INDIA (http://www.kpo2india.net), a premier Writing and Content Development Farm.

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