Author's note: Many critics cite a lack of focus on business strategy and organizational change as the root cause for failed customer relationship management (CRM) engagements. In the following months, we will discuss how customer intelligence supports the strategic development, operational execution and organizational challenges to ensure CRM projects meet expectations. This column discusses how customer intelligence can support a customer-focused strategy through customer loyalty initiatives.

Recently, organizations have been rejuvenating or accelerating their focus on customer loyalty within their CRM initiatives. The economic hardships during the past few years caused buyers to be less plentiful and more judicious in their spending. Companies realized that not only were there fewer customers to go around, but also that the cost of acquiring new customers was much higher than the cost of retaining current customers.

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