What is Meant by CRM and/or Database Marketing Best Practices

Nethra Sambamoorthi, Ph.D
CRMportals Inc.,
11 Bartram Road,Englishtown,
NJ 07726
Ph: 732-972-8969

Key words:  CRM best practices, transaction data based decisions, product development, integrated database, single view of the customer, single view of the corporation, market dynamics, empowering CRM representatives ( Reps )
Best practices are practices, if moved away from such practices will result in less revenue and the operations less profitable, other things remaining the same.

Practices 1:
In a pharmaceutical marketing setup dealing with coupon to evaluate the transaction-based knowledge is not best practices; In fact this is true with any industry; everything in best practices should be justified based on ultimate hard numbers. Using actual sales transaction data to measure the effectiveness of campaigns is best practices and using coupons is sub-optimal.

Practices 2:
Not integrating different product line relationships to have single view of a customer’s relationship is less than best practices.

Practices 3:
Not in real time update process in your CRM set up is less than best practices.

Practices 4:
Having silos of databases, separately for suppliers and separately for customers is less than best practices; Example: Fulfillment house database and customer database in a direct marketing setup.

Practices 5:
Measuring customer needs and the product’s performance with customers in his application surroundings, should relate to the financial metrics in the organization; the analysts in the organization should be savvy enough that information overload is sifted through for information gold.

Practices 6:
The simple operational rule (though it takes lot of expertise and effort) to reach and serve the right customer with the right communication at the right time is never let down. All customers are not equal and your process should leverage this basic principle in CRM/marketing.

Practices 7:
The baseline satisfaction measure on both product attributes and service attributes are always on the move. Innovation and cost reduction are keys to beat this beast vis-à-vis the competition. Best practices keeps up with these changes. Any thing else is sub-optimal.

Practices 8:
Never undermine that all our best practices could become not so best practices because of sudden changes in the market conditions. Watch out what beats the market and the competition using all your current information about the market which may involve simple reading and integration of latest geopolitical, economic, demographic, and health trends into your best practices; this is a difficult thing to do but let us be aware of the fact that best practices is a tenuous concept as much as it is a strong concept. This one could be structure breaker.

Practices 9:
(How do we know whether best practices is working for the company or not) If your product development and services development, and ramping up of customer satisfaction are not speeding up during your “practices” of best practices, it is a clear indication that the concept of best practices are not well defined and/or hindered by sloppy implementation of output of best practices.

Practices 10:
All our technology will become useless, if on the spot realization by the CRM representative makes him/her realize some thing different than what the relationship rule (right message, right time, right person) dictates him/her to communicate; soft tonal and relevance of the situation (usually not captured in the right person, right message, right rule rules). This is related to the empowerment of the CRM reps. I can give you a horror story about a one of the largest telephone company CRM rep was awfully trying to sell a service to me when I actually was complaining about a pathetic service in some other part of the same organization.

This last one is a challenging issue. However, you can be assured that if your best practices follow the above points of 10, no CRM guru need to tell you whether you are practicing the best practices are not. Your results will tell you the status.

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