July 8, 2016
The start of The CMR Agency.
With the ever increasing amount of commercial stimulae (thousands) per day directed at consumers, the need to build a solid and lasting relationship between organisations and their customers is of paramount importance. Organisations have long been collecting data on their customers, forcing the customer to re-enter data time and again for each separate organisation with varying requirements, passwords, etc. The Customer increasingly gets annoyed about this inefficient process. Moreover, their information ages quickly: about a quarter of a contact list gets outdated each year. At the same time, European regulation has been putting the customer at the center stage with countervailing power vis-a-vis the unbridled data collection. This forces companies to rethink their data strategy (stop colllecting), but presents an opportunity for engagement at the same time (start connecting). If done well, this leads to a stronger customer relation and more commercial opportunities. A Customer-Managed Relationship (CMR) which is advocated by The CMR Agency to arrive at an higher customer engagement – level.
CMR is good for your business:
CMR is good for your customers:
A customer-managed relationship (CMR) is a relationship in which a business uses a methodology, software, or internet-capability to encourage the customer to set up and manage the nature and the duration of the relationship which he or she wants to have with the business. The customer decides which (type of) personal information he or she is willing to share with the business and for how long. CMR can be viewed as an alternative to or as a logical evolvement of Customer Relationship Management (CRM).
There are three aspects of CMR:
CMR provides a richer communication between companies and their customers. It allows customers to choose how they wish to interact with the company, how they wish the company to serve them and to which extent they allow the company to access and use their personal data for this purpose. CMR is the beginning of a next wave of change within organisations by addressing customer demand for more control. Companies benefit from CMR as it provides an opportunity to create trust. It creates relationships with customers who feel that they are respected. It promotes customer loyalty and provides new opportunities of being relevant to customers.
The same line of thinking can be found under the title Vendor Relation Management.
Customers no longer conform to the push-marketing and sales-funnel thinking that most CRM systems are built upon, which tends to force customers into a relationship paradigm in which the business is in control. To truly transform your business today, you should focus on one-to-one customer engagement, which involves recognising the power that your customers hold and interacting with them on their terms, using real-time intelligence to become more informed about your customers and their needs. And what is a better way to become informed about the needs of your customers than by asking them? Companies can do that by giving the customers a communication tool with which they can directly communicate with you, your systems and technology and give them an interest to maintain their data at an accurate level.
Yes, because it helps your business but the urgency is caused by the new law, the European General Data Protection Regulation as has become effective as from 24th of May, 2016. Any citizen-customer can already rely upon the new rules and bring any organization that does not comply with the new rules to court.
On 24th May 2016 new EU legislation entered into force which requests companies and organisations to handle personal data in a different way:
The rules entered into force on 24th May, this year already. Companies, governments and other organisations have time to adapt their processes and procedures until 25th May, 2018, after which the rules will be applied by the supervising authorities. Who fails to comply to these rules by that time not only risk a heavy fine (administrative fines up to € 20.000.000, or in the case of a business undertaking, up to 4 % of the total worldwide annual turnover of the preceding financial year, whichever is higher) but also negative publicity, loss of credibility and trust. However, who actively embraces the regulation, will stand out, have a chance for renewed customer intimacy, be associated with ease-of-use for the customer and be able to reduce costs at the same time. Whilst the authorities will enforce the new rules from 25 May 2018 onwards with fines, individuals can already now rely on the new rules in civil procedures. Thus there is an urgent need to act.
Customer service is a very critical component of the customer relationship. 59 percent of customers are willing to try a new brand on the promise of better customer service. Research shows that companies rated high for customer satisfaction have better stock price performance than brands rated low for customer satisfaction. There is a significant value to be harvested by investing in customer service.
Superior customer service allows you to not only prevent your customers from defecting to other brands, but also to price your product with a higher margin: One survey states that 86% of customers are willing to pay more for better service.
In the past, Customer Relation Management systems would focus on metrics like lead volume, number of calls, and first-call resolution. These metrics drove internal efficiencies for the business that at the time also offered benefits to customers. As customer expectations increased and channels evolved, businesses then needed to look at ways in which each customer interaction could be more effective for them and the customer (see Figure 1).
The road to CMR and increased customer engagement :
In essence, while effective, this “inside-out” approach didn’t lend itself to either brand or service differentiation or the ability to make an emotional connection with the customer. The interactions became merely transactions. The next generation of technology is forcing businesses to look at ways in which they can use CRM to differentiate the end customer’s experience.
Customer engagement continues to evolve, and more change is inevitable. Trust is vital in making a real connection with your customers. Push is sending and exploitation, pull is listening and collaboration. The latter builds trust.
Customer engagement is much bigger than the scope of many traditional CRM approaches that follow an inside-out, control-based, salesforce automation design principle that is entirely at odds with the modern buyer. CRM applications today are at an inflection point, one driven by a future in which companies need to start closing the execution gap from the analysis of customer information to driving contextual engagement in real time, because with customers in control, they can quickly and easily move on to other options if brands don’t meet their specific needs.
Trust it is built by excelling in the daily provision of services. Touch point performance, the perceived quality of customer facing employees, the ease of doing day-to-day business are the most important elements in building or reinforcing trust: a Customer Managed Relationship (CMR)!
We will get more personal with our customers (again) and the mobile device which tells much more about your customer will be a key factor in this development.
 American Express Survey, 2011
 Beating the Market with Customer Satisfaction – Harvard Business Review, March 2007
 Customer Experience Impact Report by Harris Interactive/RightNow, 2010