The importance of Partner Alignment in Customer Centric Management

Written by Monique Jansen for Buljan & Partners Consulting

Companies have many reasons to include external partners in their customer facing processes. External partners can ensure a more efficient and therefore less costly service. They tend to save a company time in searching the right staff for the job, they ensure process effectiveness based on their subject matter experience and they improve efficiency though making advance of economies of scale.

However, outsourcing is not a light decision to take. Leaving a customer-facing process in somebody else’s hands is scary, as it is a crucial one in ensuring an A to Z aligned customer experience.

Continue reading

The loyalty card is back!

Written by Monique Jansen for Buljan & Partners Consulting

During the late 90’s and the early years of the 21st century, in many of the CRM mindset training sessions I delivered for our clients, I used to ask participants to get out their wallets and purses and start counting loyalty scheme and membership cards. They usually had many. Then I would ask them to name the companies and brands that they felt really loyal to.  The common outcome was that they mentioned only a few, and in many cases those brands were NOT the ones they carried the cards from.

A few years later this training trick did not make too much sense anymore, loyalty schemes were cancelled, went bankrupt or prioritized out, because they failed to prove return on investment.
Continue reading

Size Matters

Written by Luis Hergueta for Buljan & Partners Consulting

This is quite obvious in many areas in life but it is not always considered in terms of companies. I was once asked: how long does it take to do this?”, and I answered: “well, it depends on your processes” (CRM mentality, of course).

And for sure processes involve people, time, resources, choices…. All of this we deal every day with. So the more parties you have in a decision, the longer it takes to decide.  Many parties might enrich the final decision / project, but maybe not.

How many emails do you receive a day so that you are informed about all actions being taken in your company? So either you are in a communication overload regardless of the company size or the company is just too big not allowing you to see more than you can read.

Continue reading

Internal customers’ satisfaction key to Customer Centricity

Written by Kyriakos Katselis for Buljan & Partners Consulting

Nowadays, most of the companies around the world are focusing on Customer Centric Management and are presenting it to their employees, as a conceptual way of working in order to create added value that will result in a higher turnover. Employees, from their point of view, are trying to make the outmost in order to satisfy the company’s view, thus doing the outmost to meet their supervisor expectations towards the qualitative and quantitative targets, granting minor importance to the actual needs of the so called ‘external customer’.

But what is really Customer Centric Management? Is it a concept that companies and employees should have at the back of their mind and bring it on the surface every time there is a related subject or every time there is a customer complaint? Or should it be the company’s non-negotiable term of conducting business and behavior towards the internal and external customers?

Continue reading

Financial times – Are you ready for a meeting with your CFO?

Written by Christian Kohler for Buljan & Partners Consulting

Do you really know the Return of Investment (ROI) of your Customer Centric Management (CCM) activities?

On my last business trip to Germany I was reading an interesting article about the credit crunch which is affecting many companies in Europe at the moment, and which makes continuous innovation and growth so difficult in almost every industry.

We are definitely living in financial times and access to capital becomes more and more crucial for the prosperity of our economy, for many companies it turns out to be a key element to survive this deep crisis we are facing in the European Union.

“ROI is Key”

For CEOs, CFOs and other Top Managers the current situation means to take tough decisions, because the importance of corporate solvency, cash flow development and of the general debt strategy is rising. The Return of Investment (ROI) of every strategic initiative is turning into a key consideration for the management. All departments have to justify in detail all investments and cost items of their budgets. Projects or initiatives without clear objectives, assumption of their impact on revenues, profit or costs are rejected before even appearing on the board meeting agenda.

Continue reading

The Sunflower – Customer Centric Metaphore

Written by Luis Hergueta for Buljan & Partners Consulting

There is a very meaningful and unique icon in our company and it is sunflowers. And the explanation to this is because sunflowers turn to its origin of life -the sun- as well as a company turns to its reason of existence -the customer-. And that is clear. The sun never stays exactly in the same position since days and nights start all over again every 24 hours.

Continue reading

Announcing CRM Idol 2012 – season 2

Written by Buljan & Partners Consulting

CRM Idol is back! Last year we started an adventure towards engaging the CRM community in innovation, and active participation to find 2011´s promising CRM solution. “We” means Paul Greenberg as thinking head and primary judge for the Americas and EMEA, Esteban Kolsky, Jesús Hoyos, Denis Pombriant and Brent Leary as primary judges for the Americas, and Mark Tamis, Laurence Buchanan and myself as primary judges for EMEA. 

Continue reading

CRM in times of crisis

Written by Luis Hergueta for Buljan & Partners Consulting

Customer Centricity policies in companies are a must in regular times. But a crisis can boost your company to have a need of efficiency and this would lead to a need of focus on your most important target – your customers. In the following we explain 5 areas where customer centricity can add value;

  • Product focus -> Customer focus
  • Increasing loyalty
  • Organization and efficiency
  • Detect potential services
  • Motivation

Continue reading

10 years Customer Centric Management in Spain: still finding the path…

Written by Silvana Buljan for Buljan & Partners Consulting

When positioning Customer Centric Management in conferences, meetings with clients and even in discussions with subject matter experts from the industry, I come to the same conclusion as about 10 years ago: focus is on consolidating customer information (“I want to know”), across channels evolving with technology (from phone via Internet to social networks), and seeing in the customer a profitable cash-cow in the short term (“I want to sell better and more”). The only difference is the nomenclature: we don´t talk about CRM any more, but about customer centricity, customer experience, customer co-creation and, and, and.

The holistic view on customer management is still missing, because in the top rows of most organizations long term and profitable economic growth based on “doing the right things right” has disappeared from the agenda, and all initiatives related with customer management are considered as candidates for “automation”. Why don´t we learn from all the real cases that we have seen in the CRM industry since so many years? Demonstrating with business cases that technology without a business proposal, based on the company´s strategy and corporate values, has absolutely no value for excellent relations with customers, who in the long term are THE asset for improved business performance?

Continue reading

Success story of a Spanish supermarket chain

Written by Lisa Rottmann for Buljan & Partners Consulting

The Spanish financial crisis challenges even the largest and most valued companies and changes strategic trends in different market sectors. A few years ago, El Corte Inglés comfortably occupied the first place in the distribution chain of Spanish supermarkets, now Mercadona has stolen the “throne”.

Mercadona’s success is due to a commercial strategy based on creating value for and satisfying the needs of all stakeholders: customers, employees, suppliers and society – all of equal importance.

Continue reading