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More customer proximity through a change of perspective

More customer proximity through a change of perspective

Many companies rely on Customer Relationship Management (CRM) in order to be able to respond to customers who expect knowledge of their needs and new services adapted to them. The original hopes aroused with CRM, however, have often been reduced to absurdity by IT-centric projects. The collection of customer data is complex and so there is still no suitable tool that takes into account attitudes, motivations, purchase intentions or user behavior and connects them in a meaningful way. That is why the Service Factory of the Fraunhofer SCS working group has developed a “Customer Management Scorecard”.

by Oliver Fuhrmann

The holistic model of the Fraunhofer Service Factory Scorecard integrates customer-related activities, customer management approaches and customer behavior that were previously viewed in isolation. Thus it closes the gap between the most modern scientific CRM and the implementation possibilities in companies. The scorecard is intended to define specific starting points for each company in order to improve customer understanding.

With the customer management scorecard model, “real” customer behavior can be used much more effectively than before as a basis for analysis and control. The four most important pillars for this are market research, analytical customer relationship management, customer experience management and social media monitoring. The balanced scorecard model from Kaplan and Norton is used for control (Kaplan, RS / Norton, DP, 1996). The Service Factory Scorecard looks at customer management on this basis from four different perspectives and connects the most important parameters with one another.

For example, all processes of customer relationship management are considered from the “process perspective”. These include, among other things, inquiry and information processes in customer care, customer self-care processes, complaint and complaint processes, order and invoice processes, customer loyalty programs and campaigns. Determined figures on process input and output can be used as indicators, such as the number of customer requests, processing times, waiting times and throughput times and key performance indicators (KPIs) derived from them, such as the first completion rate.

In the “learning and growth” perspective, it is determined what proportion customers have in the company’s added value through integration into the innovation process. In this regard, ideas for improvements and new developments initiated by customers are measured for their contribution to the company’s success. Customers thus become an important part of a continuous improvement process (CIP). The financial perspective compares the resources used with the financial results sought. This includes, among other things, employees deployed in direct customer contact and their qualification as well as direct customer-related expenses such as goodwill or campaign costs.

In contrast, there is the monetary value of a customer relationship, which is often expressed in terms of customer lifetime value. Within the customer perspective, the central influencing variables and their results are made measurable from the customer’s point of view. Through regular customer surveys on global satisfaction and partial aspects of satisfaction, for example with the service provided, the price, the quality of customer service and the handling of complaints with complainants. Other important target values ​​are key figures for customer loyalty and the recommendation rate.

The customer management scorecard offers management a unique view of their business activities – from the perspective of their customers. With their help, a wide variety of scenarios can be simulated, so that the specific interrelationships between the individual target values ​​can be described in a company-specific manner and possible target conflicts can be identified. In this way, they form the basis for observing and controlling activities based on target specifications, creating future-oriented forecasts and setting continuous improvement processes in motion.

The Service Factory of Fraunhofer SCS is currently looking for practice partners from various industries who are interested in implementing the customer management scorecard in their company. In addition, a cross-sector focus group will be set up in 2012 on the subject of “Services from a customer perspective”, in which practitioners and scientists discuss methods and implementation options in the areas of “Customer integration in service development”, “Customer Insight”, “Customer Centricity” and “Customer Experience” . Interested parties can contact research consultant Oliver Fuhrmann at [email protected]