Four Guiding Principles

by Robyn Greenspan

"Getting Started with CRM" from Unisys Corp. outlines the four key principles that manifest themselves in many CRM projects and initiatives.

A new report from e-business solutions provider, Unisys Corporation, entitled "Getting Started with CRM" provides an overview of some of the key strategies and principles that can help an organization implement a customer relationship initiative.

According to Richard A. Fredrickson, managing principal, Unisys eCRM Practice, and author of the paper, "Strategically plotting the desired changes, as well as the impact of these changes upon customers and the entire enterprise, are essential steps in successfully deploying CRM."

Fredrickson examines the determinations that should be made regarding the CRM objectives, whereby establishing some guidelines for focused implementation. The report outlines the four key principles that manifest themselves in many CRM projects and initiatives.

  1. Do we want to reduce operational costs of our interactions with customers?
    This approach is outlined by the following solutions: first-contact resolution; advanced telephony; intelligent rules processing; key performance metrics; enhanced self-service; support for multi-step transactions; and measurement and rewards procedures.

  2. Do we need to enhance the service to our customers?
    Fredrickson recommends: service-level agreements; consistent delivery messages; accessibility; added fees for premium service; automated live data; and personalization.

  3. Do we want to sell more services or products to our customers and thus increase market share and revenue profit?
    This goal can be achieved with these techniques: bundle products or services that enhance each other; renewal selling; multi-channel sales; recording customer history; selling politely; and data mining and using marketing databases effectively.

  4. Do we want to provide "knowledge" so our customers can use it effectively and rely upon us as their trusted advisors?
    For this approach, Fredrickson suggests: multi-channel knowledge and data access; regulatory constraints; and internal morale.

"CRM is a set of business processes that an organization performs to identify, select, acquire, develop, better serve and, above all, retain its most profitable customers," Fredrickson says. "Before you attempt to deploy CRM, you must understand your customer-facing business process and where CRM fits into it. Otherwise, you may well become tangled up in disagreements and end up continually modifying software packages and adding costs in order to accommodate those changes. In the end, the whole thing may become frustrating, unwieldy or flat-out fail."

The report illustrates Unisys eCRM methodology and also contains a number of CRM planning assessments, such as: customer experience; systems integration; knowledge base; self-service offerings; quality management; marketing automation; sales force automation; and customer services support. Additional information includes key CRM design and deployment considerations, focusing on critical areas that must be addressed in the development of an operational CRM plan. The entire white paper is available at the Unisys site.

Headquartered in Blue Bell, Penn., Unisys integrates and delivers solutions, services, platforms and network infrastructure required by business and government to transform their organizations.

  This article was originally published on Wednesday Nov 14th 2001
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