Do you really know your clientele? How do you get the most accurate data available that reflects the buying habits of your target audience? What type of a life style should you foresee to promise them? Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has all the magic answers. If you’d like to find out about how brands that are specialized in this field proceed by investing in which strategies, and the global trends and development opportunities in CRM then you are at the right address.

In his book called, ‘Why CRM Doesn’t Work?’ Frederick Newell, who is a famous CRM expert providing consulting services worldwide to many companies, expressed that thirteen percent of the American companies invested for over 10 million dollars in CRM and only thirty-five percent of these brands became successful. Newell emphasizes that the failing brands consider the technology not as a tool, but as a target. He says, “The brands that fail on their CRM investments consider CRM as a technological solution. The companies that would like to be successful in this field should be able to develop a clear business strategy before everything else. They should shift their focus from their products to their clientele. Especially the companies operating in automotive, finance, and retail sectors undertake successful projects in this field. Tesco in Europe and Boots in England are the brands that succeed in this sense. Financial sector is extremely ambitious about CRM. They collect, process, and store customer information properly and develop products and services aiming at this objective.”

Newell made remarks about the brands succeeding in CRM: “One of the largest brands of the information sector, Dell has proved how it could turn itself into a giant by only meeting with customers’ needs. The founder of the company, Michael Dell, has established the brand after dropping off university and has always worked customer oriented. The secret off Dell is that the company provides custom-made computers, which are equipped according to each customer’s needs. One of the important brands of cargo sector, FedEx, made the difference in the field by making its target audience clear. The company designed products and services that would make life easier for their target audience. Interactive communications with costumers were the focus. After planning these processes, the next in line was the tech part. CRM was not considered as a technological process. The Wyndham Hotels became distinctive by their program called ‘ByRequest’ in tourism sector. Each professional assigned to this program is titled as a ‘WyndhamByRequest Manager.’ These professionals are tasked with checking and controlling if the guests’ needs were met by the hotel. They first make themselves acquainted with the guests’ personal needs and communicate them with the corresponding hotel personnel in order to comply with their job description. They also update the files of new guests.”

The president of Wicasa Group Agency, Aslı Şarman, is one of the prominent names that led the development of CRM in Turkey. She describes CRM as an important starting point for brands that want to know their clientele from A to Z and create loyal customers. Şarman gave us the following tips about which parts of the field that the brands are supposed to invest in determining customer strategies: “Focus on discovering the needs, expectations, and life styles of your clientele. Pay attention to their demands and complaints. Get rid of complicated company policies and customer procedures. Create common grounds between your customers and your brand, share their values, and set examples.” Şarman also gave us some examples of worldwide successful, creative customer strategies. One of the examples is Lands’end. Their web site is designed to encourage customers to online shopping at the comfort of their homes because winters are long and severe in Canada. After becoming a member of the web site, customers enter their body measurements step by step and then create their body types. The team put the system into practice after serious research done on male-female anatomy; therefore, reduced the trouble of purchasing non-fitting clothes to minimum.

The second example is Running Room. The brand is an e-commerce web site that sells sneakers. The site creates social groups by having the targeted customers share their personal needs. The brand supports people who turn running into a life style. The site requires membership and encourages its members to play sports. By analyzing the activity preferences of the targeted audience, like walking or running, the site matches members that run at the same time or who do not enjoy exercising alone; thus, creates groups and forums and turns sports activities into healthy life styles from this standpoint. This structure, which promotes Running Room, has found large audience from the USA to Canada. Now, the members organize even competitions. Her last example is the Home Depot. This construction store always offers expertise whether you purchase from them or not. By opening seasonal workshops, the brand makes the life easier for targeted customers. They focus on strategies to gain new products. They are customer oriented and make a difference by creating forums and platforms.