Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Done Right

This post originally appeared on the FCR blog on January 3, 2017. Click here to read the original.

A great customer relationship management (CRM) system can pay big dividends for your customer experience, making a customer’s history and preferences more readily available to your support team and systems. A well-integrated CRM is a tool that potentially reduces the effort required to resolve issues, both on the part of your customers and your agents. A poorly integrated CRM on the other hand— well, those become expensive toys that don’t do a whole lot of good.

I don’t by any stretch of the imagination pride myself as a CRM expert, but more a student of the game, fascinated when I see companies doing things the right way. Last weekend I saw two great, and oh so simple, things that I’d like to share.

The ATM

I use one of those Internet banks and they don’t have any physical ATMs. They instead reimburse any fees so I can be free to visit any ATM I darn well please. On Saturday, the most convenient ATM for me happened to be Wells Fargo. After inserting my credit card and pin, I selected the option to make a withdrawal.

The very next screen asked me to enter the amount I wanted to withdraw and the first option on the list was the amount of my last withdrawal at this particular ATM. The system remembered my card and assumed correctly that I prefered to withdraw the same amount of money I did on my previous visit. This was so simple, in reality only saving me five to ten seconds, but that’s the first time I’ve ever seen a bank do that.

The Haircut

Later on that day it finally came time to get a haircut. Funny, I just remembered my eighth grade science teacher who called it a “hairs” cut because they don’t just cut one hair. I’m glad I finally found reason to use that one in a blog post.

Anyway, I ventured into Great Clips with my oldest son. The stylist at the front counter asked me for my phone number and then confirmed the names of the people getting their hair cut. As we both sat down in our barber chairs, the stylist said something like, “I see that we did a #3 on the sides last time and took about an inch and a half off the top. Is that how you’d like your hair this time?” I agreed and we were on our way— and they did a great job.

By taking the extra little bit of time to enter my haircut preference into their system after my initial haircut, Great Clips saves time on all subsequent haircuts. As a father who also needs to respect the wishes of the mother of his children with regards to their hair, this keeps me out of the hot seat and keeps my kids looking good.

On a sidenote, I’ve typically steered clear of hair chains and only tried Great Clips when my usual barber shop was closed. They earned my business thanks to this system and the consistently great service they provide. The lady who cut my hair most recently also talked to me at length about the ways they work to accommodate families with young children and also children with disabilities.

Summing it up

As you read these examples, I hope you noticed the way the ATM actually enhanced my self-service experience. I can’t say there’s typically a wide variance in ATM experiences, but by remembering my preferences, Wells Fargo managed to simplify it significantly. More banks need to follow suit.

In the case of the haircut, Great Clips actually eliminates my need to communicate how I want my hair done multiplied by each of my three kids. It also increases my level of trust that I’m going to get a consistently great haircut. That CRM tool, placed in the hands of great customer service professionals (AKA Hair Stylists) allows them to provide great service and better connect with me as the customer.

Jeremy Watkin is the Director of Customer Experience at FCR, the premiere provider of outsourced call center and business process solutions. He has more than 17 years of experience as a customer service and experience professional. He is co-founder of the Customer Service Life blog and a regular contributor. Jeremy has been recognized many times for his thought leadership. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn for more awesome customer service and experience insights.

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