Top CRM Trends for 2013: Focus on the Customer, Not the Technology

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The top customer relationship management (CRM) trends for 2013 were outlined in a recent Forrester blog by William Bland.   The second trend, “Companies will transform to become experience-driven organizations,” really resonated with me.  He explains this customer-experience strategy: “More enlightened companies are defining customer management strategies from the outside in, articulating a customer management strategy defined in customers’ terms that can be used to guide organizational improvement efforts.”

From my experience, too many organizations embark on a mission looking for a CRM solution that they define as a “CRM initiative.” The reality is that a CRM solution should be seen as a support mechanism for a much more strategic organizational goal—in this case, the focus on the customer and his/her experience, not on the CRM  technology.     As outlined in this Forrester blog by Mr. Bland - organizations are honing in on better ways to improve upon a customer’s experience.

Think about it in terms of a treadmill. Purchasing a treadmill should not be the focus—the treadmill is a support mechanism for a larger goal of getting in better shape. If you are looking at implementing CRM in

2013, consider the trend Mr. Band pointed out—improving your customer’s experience. A CRM solution can be used to enhance your customer’s experience, just as the treadmill can be used to reach your fitness goals and improve your health. As you plan for a CRM solution, CRM can be the collaboration tool used to help your team improve internal communication about a customer, which in turn can improve his/her overall customer experience.

By Bill Pintsak of Sikich, a Chicago-area Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Dynamics ERP Partner

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