CRM Roadmap: 11 Steps To Better Customer Relationships

Tags: CRM

Brian Cantor

Contrary to contact center convention, "people, processes, and technology" are not standalone concepts.  They must all take center-stage as businesses explore how to make the most of their contact center investments.

One considering a new CRM tool, as an example, will want to consider how it fits into the existing contact center environment -- and how it will affect that environment upon launching.

Our recent Special Report on CRM took this concept to heart.  While it naturally explored recent innovations in CRM technology, its broader goal was to underscore a complete strategy for building customer relationships.  One that treats people, processes and technology as inextricable.

In pursuit of that goal, it included an eleven-step relationship roadmap.


Customer relationships are borne out of experiences that create unique, demonstrable value for customers.  They are borne out of the perspective that transactions are not isolated events but springboards for long-term connections.

Customer relationship management strategy must help create this value and forge these connections.

Chronicling customer data and interactions is a necessary component of CRM strategy, but it is not the goal of the endeavor.  The real goal – the real difference-maker – is creating a mechanism for using this data to create better experiences throughout the journey.

CRM solutions – often the focus of discussions about CRM – must contribute handsomely to this objective.  Their value comes not from their ability to store data but from their ability to frame that data in the most valuable manner possible.

To aid in the pursuit of a more valuable CRM solution – and more customer-centric CRM strategy – CCW Digital has developed a success roadmap.  An organization that ties its CRM investments and initiatives to these tasks will create a more productive environment for agents and more personalized and frictionless experiences for customers.

The end result will be more lucrative and permanent relationships with customers.

Identify the brand promise: What “value” does your business promise to your customers?

Establish key customer experience goals: What defines a “good” customer experience in the context of your product and customer base?  What would make the customer want to commit to a relationship with your business?

Map the customer experience journey: What does your business’ customer journey entail?  Why, where and in what context do customers interact with your business?

Identify the key data points:  As the customer embarks on the journey, what opportunities exist to capture data?  What data is directly communicated by the customer?  What can be directly surmised by the agent?  What data can only be acquired using technology?

Connect the dots: Is data from the aforementioned touch points being funneled into the same system?  Can an agent or system access all relevant intelligence from a single “screen” or utility?

Amplify the access: Do agents see the CRM solution as a source of empowerment or as a burden?

Frame the narrative: Does your system simply give agents to data they have already reported?  Or, does it transform the data into actionable, relevant, contextual insights?

Ensure customer fluency: Is the CRM solution tailored to the specific needs, wants and expectation of the business and its customers?

Fuel the “moments of truth”: Can agents and systems get access to the specific insights they need exactly when they need them?  Does the data put these “representatives” in position to deliver value?

Anticipate needs: Can the CRM solution communicate data beyond the scope of the individual interaction?  Can it help agents not only create additional value for the customers with whom they are speaking but forecast the types of customers, issues and expectations they will encounter next?

Foster growth: Will the CRM tool be affected by changes in other contact center systems? Can it accommodate growth or restructuring within the contact center environment?  Does it provide a framework for identifying opportunities, testing ideas and implementing strategies for elevating the customer and agent experiences?