I think we, as consumers in our own right & employees working in business, would agree that managing customer relationships over a period of time, creates mutually beneficial relationships for all parties.
Building longer relationships enables companies to deepen their understanding about customers - what they want - through on-going interactions, deeper knowledge & buying history. Once you deepen understanding, you can help "add value" to a customer's business - being a supplier that "gets them" - knowing what is important, when it's important, and becoming a part of their ecosystem. Essentially moving beyond the basics of supply & payment.
What about when it doesn't work so well?
Perhaps when the value isn't additive? Or, worse still, is subtractive to a relationship?
We have all seen, heard or (in some cases) been part of a transaction where the relationships have soured. Perhaps goods were incorrectly supplied & the issue is not really dealt with. Perhaps deals for new customers are actually better than deals in place for long standing customers. And, at their very worst, situations may get so out of hand that it contributes to "reversals in relationship" for both parties.
Is this reversal the result of a one-off transactional failure or a larger, more ominous, failure in CRM strategy? Some people talk of CRM projects failing inside a business - can these be attributed to a lack of clarity as to what a CRM initiative SHOULD and SHOULD NOT be, a failure by the business to adapt to the initiative's scope or, more prosaically, people just "getting stuff wrong", one transaction at a time?
I'd welcome your thoughts and, I hope, an on-going debate for the betterment of everyone's CRM thinking.