Crm Solutions

Written by Andrew Kozlov
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Customer relationship management (CRM) requires astute psychological acumen. When you're dealing with a customer for the first time, you need to assess the person’s needs, wants, and capacities within a few seconds in order to expedite your phone queue. If you erroneously size up your clients or give halfhearted service, not only might you lose customers, but you also might lose potential referrals.

On the surface, CRM seems intuitive. The rules of CRM are commonsensical--don't prejudge the customer, be polite and listen to complaints before responding, and put yourself in the customer’s shoes. However, in practice, CRM can prove monumentally frustrating and inefficient, particularly if your operators aren't trained effectively to deal with problem clients.

Lessons in CRM Management

In his best-selling book Blink, popular author Malcolm Gladwell outlines an amazing CRM failure that occurred in Chicago. Experimenters of mixed race went to Chicago car dealers to price shop. They wanted to test the effects of intuitive race bias on the final price a salesman would offer for a new car. The results were shocking--white men, on average, were offered far lower prices simply because of the color of their skin.

These results don't necessarily suggest that all Chicago auto dealers are racist. Yet it points to a deeper underlying bias, a bias that becomes apparent only when you look at how people behave when reacting to cues on a subconscious level. The lesson here is that smart CRM training isn't just about promoting buzzwords--it's about changing the attitudes of your employees.

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