CRM has not been very effective in making a ‘happy customer’ because its primary focus is satisfaction, and consumers want much more.
Customer satisfaction is good, but it is no longer a sufficient requirement to remain in business. Going beyond the standard goal of increasing customer’s satisfaction to developing insight on the current and strategic value of a customer is the way to do business now. This means getting more intimate with the customer. That is, to make customers feel good whenever they make contact with your business. Intimacy refers to the bond and connectedness of a relationship; it culminates in a relationship in which people “experience warmth.” That is how a 21st century customer wants to feel about your business.
‘Customers don’t want to be managed, they want intimacy’
Chi Kin, a professor of marketing considers customer intimacy as a strategic move to offer customers the best possible advantage, which inevitably leads you into a close partnership that goes beyond transactional relationship to an intimate one that seeks to build and improve the customers, and businesses stand to also benefit from this relationship.
Dealing with current and future needs: It helps businesses to determine and anticipate the current and future needs of the customers.
Building strong customer loyalty: It helps businesses to create strong emotional bonds with their customers which will eventually lead to building a strong customer loyalty.
Developing deeper, long lasting relationship: Customers become more intimate in relational services than in transactional services, and a long relationship could lead to a greater revenue, and higher customer lifetime value.
Currently, most CRM initiatives follow the satisfaction paradigm: Monitor satisfaction levels, reduce service failures, and promote programs to “lock in” customers. However, becoming intimate with the customer can help you achieve all these, deal with the challenges associated with CRM programs, as well as adding excitement to the service delivered.