Close To The Customer: Six Further Briefings

Customer Management on the Move
Using the mobile phone as a new way to manage customers

The mobile phone is emerging as a key new tool of customer management. It is the first truly mass market embodiment of pervasive computing — with household penetration sky-rocketing leaving the PC way behind. New mobile technologies suggest the mobile phone will take over simpler information transfer roles from PCs. The mobile phone could become the key communication medium for the customer on the move. So how should marketing and service management use this new tool for competitive advantage? This briefing answers the critical questions. Key feature: How to future proof customer management checklist. 24 pages.

Multiple Intermediation
How business partners can work together to manage customers better

Progress with information technology makes it possible for several companies to be involved in the management of individual customers – or transactions. This briefing examines the world of complex intermediation. It shows how far companies have to go in creating value for customers or themselves by using the information generated by and about customers as the latter pass through the formers’ hands. It also suggests how to build effective partnerships between intermediaries and suppliers to improve customer management. Key feature: How to decide where you can add more value and get most margin without taking the responsibility and costs of the whole value chain. 24 pages.

The Intelligent e-Business
How a virtual company finds and uses information to satisfy real customers

Most successful companies succeed with customer management not just because of how they use information, but also because of strong clear strategies, professionally developed policies and effectively managed implementation programmes. At the core of these lies proper use of data. In future, when most large companies are likely to have substantial e-business — and some move entirely towards it — what will distinguish the intelligent e-business from the dumb e-business? What information will it be using — and how? This briefing suggests some answers to these questions. Key feature: How to decide which information will give you greatest competitive advantage in an all-e world. 24 pages. (Published: June 2000)

The Intelligent Supply Chain
The practical issues of supplying and servicing customers over the web

Developing an effective e-business means handling a whole range of supply chain issues. This briefing focuses on the data, processes and systems that companies need so that the various supplier-customer relationships in an electronic supply chain work effectively. It investigates the extent to which removing different parties — vertical integration and/or disintermediation — increases net value to suppliers or customers, when it does not, and the costs and benefits to final customers. (Read this briefing in conjunction with The intelligent e-business.) Key feature: How to decide your new place in the virtual supply chain and the systems support you need to make it work. 24 pages. (Pubished: August 2000)

Time-lapse Customer Management
How to manage infrequent customers so they don’t forget but return for more

When a customer buys a “consumer durable” product, contact with the manufacturer is often rare. Most contact is managed by an intermediary. It’s i nfrequent — taking place in bursts around the initial purchase or around regular or emergency service. Or never if the customer uses an “unauthorised” service agent. So is it worth the manufacturer trying to maintain a relationship with the customer — rather than focusing on providing a reliable product? This briefing uses surveys of practices in several industries, including the automobile industry, to provide answers to this critical question. Key feature: How to decide which consumer durable customers can be cost-effectively managed and what you need to do to achieve this. 24 pages. (Published: October 2000)

People in Customer Management
Creating the culture and processes that help staff serve customers better

Successful long-term customer management is often driven by managers who change how their companies think and act — and who mould the behaviour of customer-facing staff that deliver on the company’s promises. And the most successful managers create a culture and processes that are independent of current job holders and their personalities — a way of working embedded deeply in their companies’ approach to business. This briefing uses research into the people aspects of customer management to show how some companies are on the right road, but others are wedded to old approaches where real customer care is only skin deep. Key feature: How to identify the people and process implications of new ways of doing business with customers and how to ensure that these implications are properly handled. 24 pages. (Published: December 2000)

For further information and to purchase contact Colin Coulson-Thomas