In 2003, US-based Schwan Food Company, which sells frozen foods under the Schwan’s Home Service and the Schwan’s Food Service Group, revamped its customer relationship strategy (CRM) in an effort to improve services. With two discrete, multilayered divisions representing customers ranging from individuals in the home-delivery service sector to industrial food groups, developing a successful CRM presented a significant challenge. Yet by implementing an incremental rollout that incorporated customer analytics, Schwan’s Home Service doubled online sales, improved web conversions by 30%, and integrated customer data collections into one database—while Schwan’s Food Service Group projected similar success. (http://www.destinationcrm.com/Articles/Editorial/Magazine-Features/One-Company-Two-CRM-Strategies-44446.aspx
As Schwan’s example illustrates, optimizing your customer relationships is an essential part of business strategy, and your approach with different types of customers is critical in retaining them and creating successful, long-term relationships. Now that e-service has matured to become a major channel for delivering products and services, we have an additional opportunity to apply customer analytics to our CRM practices. This helps us understand what customers really want, and we can use customer analytics to analyze and predict customers’ behaviors and decisions to deliver on their needs.
Financial data is the key to customer analytics, due to the ability to collect, analyze, and report on the rich seam of purchasing and payment data that underlies a customer’s web activity. Using CRM strategies to analyze your customer relationships will provide answers to key questions:
- How should we measure the strength of our customer relationships?
- What makes a customer loyal?
- How should we develop strategies to manage relationships with each of our customer segments and types?
- How can we deploy customer analytics to optimize customer relationships?
Your financial job role inevitably affects the development of customer interactions. Is your organization doing the most to cultivate and analyze your customer relationships? Could your company be the next Schwan’s in its CRM success? The Accenture Academy course Analyzing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Strategies
can help develop your understanding of CRM in the context of offline and online business.