We've frequently said that you can't have a relationship with customers unless you can create an effective value proposition. Customers will not buy into having a relationship with your firm unless they can clearly see what they will get out of it. Despite what many organizations might say, there's no point in pursuing CRM unless there is value created for the organization.

That said, it's important to revisit the CRM business cycle we introduced more than a year ago (see Figure 1). The cycle illustrates that with the appropriate understanding of customers, you can develop and customize your products and services and, ultimately, deliver increased value to customers. That continuous customer intelligence and optimized interaction cycle will then allow you to acquire "better" (i.e., more valuable) customers and retain them longer.

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