Sharpening the proposition ...

Talking about Customers

Read about the world of customer experiences and the enablement of Sage CRM within organisations from David Beard, CRM Principal at Sage CRM.

Sharpening the proposition ...

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Over the last week several people have asked my thoughts on how CRM propositions need to reflect the changing times.   A couple of threads have been running around in my head, so let's see if I can bring them together.

Firstly - I attended a Gartner CRM Summit in the UK last week.  The message from speakers & attendees was loud & clear.   In the current environment, with customers concerned about redundancy & saving money, a business' proposition needs to be effective in meeting those concerns through a sharpened & relevant offer.   In tough times, customers are looking to get the best value from suppliers.  Yet business have similar challenges - they are looking to get better value from their own activities, reducing costs where possible & seeking new efficiencies.

So, what's the solution ?   A business needs to improve operational effectiveness & bring customer centricity to the forefront.  They can be achieved through Customer Experience Management (CEM) programmes.  With CEOs and finance staff watching every element of spending, any CRM/proposition needs to focus on short programmes of work that are cost effective & nimble - ideally, delivering ROI within 1 quarter.

Secondly - a couple of articles on psychology crossed my path this week, both reflecting on the human tendencies to "move position" based on the most subtle of influences.   Steve Martin, co-author of "Yes! 50 Secrets from the Science of Persuasion" suggests that moving a person from saying "yes" to following through on their committments can be tough.  However, people can be persuaded to move in a new direction simply by asking them to imagine & describe the future assuming they had moved.  Try that approach when building a case for the importance of a CRM / CEM programme in a company - what does their future look like ?

Along a similar line, Richard Thaler & Cass R. Sunstein, authors of the book "Nudge", advocate the concept of gentle suggestions - "nudges" - to help people make better choices, perhaps without even realising they have been influenced.  It's all about gettng a picture painted in people's minds.  In our case, it's all "Talking About Customers" and the experience you want them to have.

  • Update - to my delight, the "Nudgers" are in London later this month - excellent news !