In pursuit of True Relationship Value

Value Exchange

Relationships. How do we measure the value of a relationship?

It’s not an easy question to answer.

Customer Relationships. How do we measure the value of customer relationships?

We have an answer. But I think it’s the wrong one, or at the very least an incomplete one.

If we were all in a room together, many of you likely would have shouted out words like “profitability!”, or “revenue!”. Maybe some of the more advanced thinkers would throw out “CLV!” (Customer Lifetime Value).

The problem with this lies within the root of my first question: “How do we measure the value of a relationship?”

THE MEASUREMENT OF CURRENCIES AND CAPITAL

As companies measure the value of customers, we typically only look at Dollars, or Euros, or Yen, or whatever the local currency is. We limit our evaluation and ranking of our customers to how much capital they have contributed to our organization in the denomination of monetary currency. But aren’t there other forms of capital?

You’ve heard the terms: Relational capital, Social capital, Human capital, etc.

Identifying relational value should include all the components of the value created by that relationship, but today’s CRM systems typically only include monetary measures in identifying how much a customer is worth to the company.

What about those companies or individuals who have created value for the firm by:

(1) Talking positively about them
(2) Referring potential customers
(3) Referring potential employees
(4) Providing recommendations and/or being references
(5) Introducing them to new networks
(6) Adding value in other “hard to measure” ways

There is a whole set of value being generated and given to us by not just our customers, but many members in our relationship ecosystem. The problem is that we are not measuring it. Since we are not measuring it, we don’t know what to do with it, and are likely missing opportunities to create more opportunities of value exchange.

If people are only interested in money, we call them “golddiggers”. Shouldn’t our systems enable and empower richer professional relationships than this?

The Limits of Customer Analytics in a Recession | CustomerThink – CRM, CEM & Social Media

Customer segmentation is a big issue as companies look deeper at their existing customer base, and as Graham points out, not only are companies needing to readjust their strategic initiatives and sometimes entire operational models, the data that they have in their database may not mean what it meant just a few months ago:

The recession has resulted in a number of companies having to change their ‘business operating models’ and to switch their emphasis. Sometimes this can have unintended consequences . For example, talking to one telecoms executive, his company’s emphasis has changed from acquiring new customers, to retaining the ones it already has. This is quite a change for the telecoms industry, more used to spending huge sums of money acquiring new customers to replace the ones that it lost the previous year, than to keeping existing customers. This change applies to many other industries too.

As the recession evolves into something more frightening, I am sure that there will be many more of these ‘phase changes’, as businesses switch from their current operating model to a different one.

The difficulty with changing the emphasis from customer acquisition to retention, is that it requires very different business capabilities. Acquisition is generally done through mass marketing campaigns to the market as a whole. What is generally on offer is a bundle of product, service, even experiential components, that are almost identical to what competitors are offering. The emphasis is on competitive intelligence and mass marketing capabilities. Retention on the other hand is mainly done with a combination of mass-customised follow-on offers to individual customers based upon their recent behaviour. The emphasis here is on customer analytics and mass-customised marketing capabilities. Making the switch can be very difficult, as although most companies already have these new capabilities, they are not always there in the right quantities to deliver against management’s change in emphasis

via The Limits of Customer Analytics in a Recession | CustomerThink – CRM, CEM & Social Media – Think, Feel & Connect.

Getting Back to Segmentation Basics – Think customers: The 1to1 Blog

You’ve heard it a thousand times, but I’ll say it again anyway: Customers today expect you to know who they are i.e. understand their specific needs and treat them accordingly e.g. communicate with relevance.

During a session at the Gartner CRM Summit UK, Furkan Ocal, a manager with Peppers & Rogers Group, reminded attendees about some of the important basics of gaining that customer knowledge. He offered four fundamental steps for customer segmentation that can help business leaders to better understand and communicate with their customers: identify, differentiate, interact, customize IDIC. These principles may not be new, but they’re effectiveness have stood the test of time.

Read more at the 1 to 1 Media Blog