The “R” in CRM

Relationship is a two way process. That’s what  we are all taught by our parents, teachers, gurus, guides and every other member of societal framework. In a relationship there is always give and take. So for any relationship to sustain each of the party should derive definitive benefits. As I grew up despite seeing high importance given to relationship on the emotional plane – like love, gratitude, appreciation etc – it was difficult to observe any of these work on a relationship where there is no mutual gain. Where there were failed relationships one could see a lop-sided benefit system working. Surprisingly we could observe at times, even when emotions have worn off – the transactional aspects of a relationship could keep it going.

No! this is not a cynical view of relationship being transactional, but an attempt to see if this observation makes sense to us in the business world – with respect to relationship building. Let us take the singular most important relationship – the customer relationship

We all have been hearing a lot about customer relationship and its importance. Then I wonder why is it that the basic rule or building block of relationship taught at school was forgotten. Extending the learning from life – to build, nurture and sustain a great customer relationship you must run it through these check list items:

  • What is actual ROI that I am giving to my customer?
  • Am I “Giving” enough of it to my customer?
  • Is my “Customer” taking (making use) of what I am giving?
  • What am I “getting” from this relationship?
  • Am I “Getting” enough from this relationship?

Every interaction with your customer is a transaction. And many such transactions together produces an experience. Are you orchestrating your transactions to answer the above check-list item in a positive manner? And are all your transactions “cresting” to create the wave – or are they cancelling each other?


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