For years, companies have used customer relationship management (CRM) and customer experience management (CXM) to attract and keep more customers. However, as more companies adopt CRM and CXM, the time has come to look for otherways to gain competitive advantage.
Taking customer relationships to the next level: We believe the answer lies in companies using the customer data they’ve collected to spawn business among their customers. We call this inter-customer relationship management or ICRM. To be sure, it’s not an entirely new concept. It’s something that companies, especially in the legal, financial services, and software industries, have been doing for a few years now – but their approach has been more casual or ad-hoc.
To scale it up, companies need a more rigorous and systematic approach. When customer-to-customer transactions flourish, they’re not only more motivated to do business with you, but also have more resources to do so.
From expense to revenue source: In an age where buyers can find alternative vendors over the Internet with a few clicks, customer retention has become even more important. Since ICRM boosts customer satisfaction, it plays a significant role in helping retain them.
How to build an ICRM program: To begin an ICRM program, you need to first make sure your CRM and CXM systems can identify needs that your company can’t fulfill, but which your customers can. You’ll then need a digital engine to automate the large-scale identification of those inter-customer business opportunities.
You’ll need technology with capabilities to gather and analyze unstructured data, and you’ll have to create enhanced profiles to understand your customer’s products and services. Once you get started, you might have to tackle challenging questions such as to what extent you vouch for your customers while introducing them to others, and how customers can provide feedback on their ICRM experience.
As with any new initiative, you’ll need to feel your way through it, but you’ll also gain a significant first-mover advantage that will help you stand out from the crowd.
As a result, ICRM will help you develop stickier relationships.To better understand ICRMand how it might help your business, read Steve Goren and Anthony Butler’s article Helping Customers Help Other Customers: Moving Beyond CRM and CXM to ICRM.