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How To Use CRM To Understand Customer Expectations

Are you concerned about meeting customer expectations? Especially since most customers expect you to exceed their expectations. Obviously, you can't exceed expectations you don't know about, so here is a way to use customer relationship management (CRM) to discover and understand customer expectations.

  1. Map customer interaction points. Interaction points are any point where customers encounter your people, process, or product. At these points, it's critical to have customer information available including contact history, order details, and service parameters.
  2. Set objectives early in the contact. Find out what a customer expects to achieve at the interaction. Create a purpose or target to focus the interaction on customer needs, not what you want them to achieve.
  3. Prioritize objectives in a way that addresses customer expectations. Often customers will have various objectives to accomplish in a single interaction, prioritize those points into a logical progression. Take each expectation one at a time.
  4. Gain customer acceptance after addressing each expectation in the interaction. Get a customers approval to move from one expectation to another. Make sure you've addressed each point to their satisfaction before moving on.
  5. Before interaction end, summarize expectations and confirm meeting them. With lots of little agreements, summarize all you've done for a customer then get their approval to close the interaction. This helps customers see what you've done for them.
  6. Document expectations in CRM post interaction. Create a history attached to the contact (account or company) pertaining to the specific interaction. This record should note expectations, actions taken, and schedule any follow on actions necessary to meet customer expectations at that interaction.
  7. Use documented expectations to model future interactions. By using what you already know about expectations at certain interaction points, you can streamline your process saving both time and resources. Customers will appreciate your ability to anticipate their needs.

Let your CRM system become a library of customer expectations that sales, marketing, and service departments can mine for nuggets that help you exceed customer expectations. This method helps structure an interaction, whether it be a phone call, field service, meeting, or website visit. By using CRM in this way, you'll gain a better understanding of customer expectation that translates into satisfaction.

/ interaction-points | bi-crm /

By Justin Hitt at September 20, 2004 5:48 PM  Subscribe in a reader


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