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CRM initiatives must be driven by CIOs

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Customer relationship management (CRM) is an essential part of a business' customer service, so company CIOs should be engaged with initiatives.

According to The Wall Street Journal's CIO Journal, advanced IT systems in contact and call centers are not enough to ensure customer satisfaction or push companies beyond competitors. The CIO needs to be involved with decision-making surrounding client services.

 

The CIO Journal referred to the "customer experience ecosystem," a habitat in which company employees, customers and technologies interact. In order to be successful, the CIO needs to constantly check the pulse of this system, diving in to best understand how actions and decisions affect clients in the customer age. Just like in a natural ecosystem, one change can have a domino effect, influencing everything else, according to The CIO Journal.

 

The news source reported that even though it's difficult for CIOs to see connections between software systems, procedures and policies, it's essential that they do so to optimize CRM.

 

Making connections is possible. "Listen in on calls, read feedback from surveys and learn how to integrate this into the development of IT," said Bruce Temkin, managing partner of a customer experience research and consulting group, according to CIO India.

 

CIO India reported that there are 5 important components of customer experience that CIOs need to understand: CIOs should increase customer engagement, hire the right people, use analytics, not implement technology or software that is too complex and make sure customers keep coming back.

 

"CIOs need to have more key players focused on understanding how customers interact with the business," said Temkin. If new hires do not understand the implications of genuinely effective customer support, they will not be an asset to a company.

 

According to Forbes, one of the top 10 strategic issues in 2013 for CIOs is actively addressing the engagement economy. This strategy champions customer-focused initiatives, giving clients the ability to design products, aid with marketing and give input about price options.

 

Today's customers are not only interested in interacting with the sales team, but want to access different parts of a company, reported Forbes.

 

With CIOs at the forefront of big data analytics, business intelligence, cloud computing and other developing technologies, they should implement CRM strategies that benefit the source of business- their customers.