May 2, 2011 – Customer experience professionals must revisit their CRM objectives, rate customer perspectives and dive into data outlets to ensure their enterprise is truly vested in an outside-in perspective, according to a new report from Forrester Research.

Analyst Paul Hagen led a group at Forrester for the report, “Beyond CRM: Manage Customer Experiences,” which presents a framework for organizations on CRM ventures. In the report, Forrester states that CRM and customer experience leaders need to build a customer-centric culture through definitions of desired customer experience and an understanding of customers’ behaviors and needs. This process often means moving away from a focus on business moments as they relate to the company and technology investments that dictate cultural compliance, according to the report.

“Well-intentioned customer relationship management efforts that focus on internal processes and objectives have largely failed to serve the most important stakeholder: the customer,” Hagen wrote in the report.

To define and enterprise’s customer experience strategy, the Forrester report recommends: write down the key elements of a company’s customer products and services, noting the varying degrees of profitability and effectiveness; revisit customer journey maps for opportunities to access siloed customer data and services that stand apart from the competition; and assign a pass or fail grade for existing CRM projects and interactions.

With a stated plan for CRM, enterprises can better address the wave of customer data coming in from social media and new analytics capabilities, as well as create connections with other organizations on their customer data, Forrester noted. The opportunity for better CRM is large, as Forrester analyst and report contributor William Band points to his firm's research that finds greater ROI for the 10 percent of enterprises that deliver “outstanding” customer experience projects.

For input on building this CRM framework, Forrester interviewed 19 vendor and user companies from various industries, including Accenture, Allstate Insurance, Bank of Montreal, Dell, John Deere, PricewaterhouseCoopers, SAP and Sprint. To purchase the report, click here.

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