Strategic Planning: Customer Management Processes

Customer management processes cut across all your customers — current and new. In evaluating your performance, written or unwritten, your organization goes through the following processes when acquiring and serving your customers:

  • Selecting customers: Are you identifying the right customers whose problems you can solve?

  • Acquiring customers: A quick way to evaluate this process is to look at your customer conversion rate. How many prospects are you turning into customers? How effective is your marketing strategy? Is your message the right one, and does it hit the right people at the right time? What’s your sales cycle? Has it improved from last year?

  • Retaining customers: Assuming that you’ve landed the right customers and are able to deliver what you promised, your customers should be sticking with you. While you’re acquiring new customers, you still want to take care of the old ones. Word of mouth is also important here. When your customers are highly satisfied, they tell their friends.

  • Building relationships with your customers: Are you growing your relationships with your customers, or are they stagnant? You can measure this success by seeing whether your customers are buying more from you year after year.

Scandinavian Airlines realized the importance of managing its customers’ relationships by breaking down customer relationship management processes to their most basic, uncomplicated level.

Jan Carlzon, CEO, says, “Last year, each of our 10 million customers came in contact with approximately five SAS employees, and this contact lasted an average of 15 seconds each time. Those 50 million ‘moments of truth’ are the moments that ultimately determine whether SAS succeeds or fails as a company.”

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