Customer relationship management
IF YOU ASKED South Africans if any major company they deal with adequately manages the relationship between them, you’d probably get more people replying no than yes. That’s because even though most companies have implemented what’s known as customer relationship management (CRM) systems, the focus of those is more on the customer management part and less on the relationship part.
The problem that CRM hopes to solve is that information about you as a customer is scattered throughout the company. The accounts department may know that you pay your bills on time and the sales department may know that you buy lots of products. But because that information isn’t available to the customer service department, you get treated like every other client.
The idea behind CRM is that every time you speak to someone in a company, whatever you say is entered into its system and the next time you call, the person you’re talking to will know almost everything about you without you having to repeat yourself. That sort of tech- nology is the foundation that allows the modern contact centre environment to work.
Sadly, as experienced by many, contact centres seldom have access to the correct information or, if they do, they don’t use it to save clients from having to repeat themselves. However, in the sales environment such systems are more effectively used, because making the sales operation more efficient is typically a company’s top priority.