The role of customers in the modern enterprise

When writing a blog titled ‘The role of customers in the modern enterprise’ there is really nothing better than to start-off with a quote from Jeff Bezos, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Amazon.com and a man who revolutionised modern shopping:

“If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.”

This quote really sets the tone for what will be discussed in this entry. The customer is gaining more power in today’s world and this is attributed to people being more connected. In some aspects, this can be seen as a risk for companies because negative word-of-mouth can be generated more easily should a customer perceive an experience to be negative.

On the other hand, why should a business fear such a backlash? Why can’t businesses focus on generating positive word-of-mouth? The answer to the latter is that a business can aim to have positive word-of-mouth, however, obtaining it is not a simple task. A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) strategy has to be in place, one which allows customers to have better experiences.

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Offering better customer experiences will not only increase the chance of positive word-of-mouth, but it will also result in enhancing the customer value and increasing the customer’s switching costs. A customer who has an established relationship with a company will find it more difficult to switch to another company.

Initially, it is important to point out that having customer data is what Customer Relationship Management is about. After all, a relationship cannot exist without knowing who the customer is! Managing this data can however be very challenging and it is sometimes easier said than done. Exatel S.A., one of the leading telecommunications operators in Poland, wanted to streamline data management and to increase the effectiveness of its sales processes. By deploying Microsoft Dynamics CRM they were able to centralise the data in one place, thus avoiding the risk of losing data due to staff changes. Moreover, other employees can still access customer data in the absence of their colleagues (learn more on how Microsoft Dynamics CRM aided Exatel S.A.).

After establishing the importance of data, we can move on to discuss how a company can use such data to build or enhance a customer relationship. By streamlining their operations, Danwood, UK’s leading independent managed print and document centric services specialist, were able to access service data anywhere and resolve issues in a timely manner. Their staff are able to solve customer queries over the phone and engineers can collaborate using Yammer so that they can provide better and consistent customer service (learn more on how Microsoft Dynamics CRM aided Danwood).

Providing personal and relevant experiences can be seen as an enabler in keeping customers coming back. Importantly, providing exceptional customer experiences is not only about timely and accurate customer service but it is also about reaching out to them with relevant new product introductions or how other products can be of use to them.

The above paints quite an interesting picture, one that certainly leaves some questions unanswered. Would you like to learn more?

Customer Relationship Management is the topic of our next event. Make sure to register and learn more about how companies can deliver exceptional customer experiences that, not only benefits your customers, but also your company’s overall performance.