"The customer is always right"   - Harry Gordon Selfridge (1909)

"The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself"   - Peter Drucker

"People say the customer is always right, but you know what - they're not. Sometimes they are wrong and they need to be told so"   - Michael O'Leary

No matter whether you believe the customer is right or wrong, you definitely want them to want what you’re offering. It is key to understand the wants and needs of the customer. What you choose to do with this information is up to you. Obtaining this data, gaining this knowledge, is the cornerstone of customer relationship management (CRM). By learning more about your customers' needs and behaviours it is possible to develop stronger relationships with them. Understand customers' needs, and develop ways of meeting those needs. By bringing together all the disparate information about customers, it is possible to gain insight into their behaviour and their values and to use this to sell products and services more effectively.

CRM helps the business to:

  • provide services and products that are exactly what your customers want
  • retain existing customers and discover new ones
  • offer better customer service
  • cross sell products more effectively

The introduction of CRM systems is generally regarded as something that only large enterprises can afford to do. No matter what the size of your company, levering data to ensure your customers are happy is important. Read the CRM white paper for a list of CRM systems for small and mid-size businesses. Learning about your customers doesn’t have to mean falling out with the bank manager.