10 CRM Trends to Watch in 2002
The technology and strategy are in place; now it's time to see a return on your customer relationship management (CRM) investment.
"Companies' CRM investment decisions in 2002 will be driven by the need to produce measurable business results within IT and marketing departments that face mounting budget pressures," report executives at Braun Consulting, a Chicago-based professional services firm.
Based on its work on combining CRM technology with business strategy for its clients, Braun executives cite the following 10 CRM trends as potentially having the greatest impact in 2002.
1. In a down economy, highly successful companies will invest more in customers, not less.
"Despite the uncertain economic environment, successful companies will continue to invest in CRM initiatives, shifting their emphasis from customer acquisition to retention," says Larry Goldman, Braun's vice president of customer solutions. In such a climate, consumers are more sensitive to their cash outlays and spend less in a down economy than they do in a booming economy. As such, companies must retain the customers they already have, because customer acquisition is not as easy as before. They must work harder to get those same dollars.
2. Companies will compete for customer share, not market share.
Before the economy turned south, consumers spread out their spending and even may have split spending across multiple channels, explains Goldman. But as consumers consolidate their dollars, companies have an opportunity to gain a greater share of their customers' business.
For example, a customer may buy products and services from you at the retail level, but prefers to shop your competitor by Web. If you invest in your Web channel, you potentially can grab the dollars that consumer is spending with your competitor.
3. CRM will evolve to CVM.
CRM largely is viewed as a technology-driven strategy. Customer Value Management (CVM) is the approach by which companies realize a return on their CRM investment. You can't buy CRM in a box. Rather, you need to change your cultural and corporate mentality. Determine your cost- and revenue-drivers, then base your business decisions on those metrics, Goldman advises.