Get the opportunity to grow your influence by giving your products or services prime exposure with Performance Magazine.

If you are interested in advertising with Performance Magazine, leave your address below.

Advertise with us

The Importance of Customer Relationship Management

FacebooktwitterlinkedinFacebooktwitterlinkedin

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a process-oriented approach to the organization’s relationship with its customers. It is an organized effort to identify, understand, anticipate, and meet the customer’s needs to maximize customer lifetime value (CLV). The importance of CRM has increased over the years due to the advent of new technologies that have made it easier for customers to communicate with brands. 

With the advancement of technology, CRM has become more important than ever before. This article will help you understand why CRM is such a vital part of any business strategy.

Why CRM is vital to a business

One of the reasons why CRM is so important is because it helps a business understand what they want from their customers. The goal of CRM is to meet customer needs and expectations. To do that, you must know what those needs and expectations are. Understanding your customers will help you better communicate with them. For example, if you have the ability to tell your customers when an item is back in stock or when a new catalog is available, they’ll be more likely to buy it.

CRM also helps businesses identify potential problems before they happen. If you’re able to notice that something about your customer interaction isn’t up to snuff before it escalates into a major issue, then you can address the problem before it becomes worse. This will make your customers happy and help retain them for longer periods of time.

A CRM system can also help develop strategies for things like retention campaigns. Without detailed information about your customers, like their order frequency or total spending amount over time, you may not realize that certain customers should be sent a loyalty offer but aren’t receiving one due to a lack of knowledge on your part. This could result in less spending by that customer and lower lifetime value than expected, which costs the business a loss of income in both the short-term and long-term.

Why CRM is important to the customer

First, CRM is all about the customer, which is why it’s important to the customer. Your company will be more successful if you can identify and satisfy your customers’ needs. You want to provide your customers with the best customer service possible. When they’re happy, they’ll buy from you again, which will result in increased sales for your business. 

Second, CRM improves business performance at every level of the organization. This means that employees are happier because they know their work is appreciated. The customers will also appreciate the improvements made because their needs are better fulfilled. This results in cost savings for your business since you’ll spend less money on unhappy customers who no longer avail of your products or services.

Third, CRM makes your company more competitive by providing a wider range of products and services to meet the varied needs of its customers. This way, no matter how many competitors come into your market space or what type of products they offer, there’s always something for everyone in your product line-up.

Fourth, CRM helps businesses better understand their competition by analyzing data on where they are across all aspects of marketing, including social media advertising campaigns and website traffic data. And finally, CRM provides an accurate measurement of CLV so that organizations can tailor their efforts accordingly. It helps them figure out how much time and money should be put into each individual customer to maximize future profits.

Benefits of CRM

It is important to have an organized customer database so you can better understand your customers and their needs. Some of the benefits of CRM include:

  • Tracking your sales and marketing efforts and measuring ROI
  • Improving customer retention by providing better service and personalized offers
  • Identifying the most valuable customers
  • Segmenting customers into groups that require different kinds of attention or treatment
  • Making essential decisions about your business strategy with the data collected through CRM 

Conclusion

A CRM strategy is an investment. It takes time and effort to set up and it will continue to take time and effort to maintain. However, if you can do this, you can reap the benefits of a CRM strategy. These benefits will depend on your business. 

No matter how your strategy is structured, the most important benefit will be increased customer loyalty. You can never be 100% sure that customers will come back, but if you have a CRM strategy in place, you will know how to retain customers and build relationships with them. With the right software and execution, you may see a return on that investment in as little as three months.

Transforming the Workplace Positively with Gratitude

FacebooktwitterlinkedinFacebooktwitterlinkedin

The pandemic has been the cause of many shifts in the workforce, such as business strategies, the acceleration of digital transformation, and even employee working environments. The latest trend to take effect across multiple industries during the second half of 2021 is the Great Resignation. Mostly associated with the US market, this trend saw a record high of 4.5 million American employees resigning in November 2021.

This movement of mass resignation can be due to several factors, including a company’s lack of response to the COVID-19 situation, job insecurity due to reorganization, and burnout caused by the pressure to constantly innovate. An analysis from MIT showed that the main reason of the mass attrition is due to toxic corporate culture. There are several indicators of toxic work culture, including a lack of appreciation towards employees – a factor that is, according to a survey by PlanBeyond, the driving force as to why people are quitting.

Needless to say, many companies have incentive programs and rewards systems to show appreciation towards their employees, but this might not be enough. The owner of Leadership Refinery, Jill Hauwiller, suggests taking it a step further by practicing gratitude in the workplace during this time of high attrition. 

Fostering gratitude in the workplace

Practicing gratitude is more than just a simple “thank you.” According to the Greater Good Science Center, gratitude is described as a recognition of goodness outside one’s self; in the case of the workplace, it is recognizing the “efforts of other people.” 

Apart from the fact that employees generally want to know that their hard work is appreciated, gratitude has other benefits, such as boosting the morale of the individual and the team as a whole. This can positively impact their motivation towards work productivity. This also develops trust and openness among colleagues and builds an employee’s self-worth within the organization, leading to a more positive work environment.

It is clear that employees today would rather work for organizations that have a positive working culture. To achieve this, top management can take the first step by supporting the practice of gratitude in the workplace and lead by example to encourage employees to do the same. Here are some practices that can help.

  1. Embrace gratitude. It is important that upper management show their gratitude towards employees to start building a positive relationship with the team. Rather than keeping track of failures, recognizing the successes done by each team member – no matter how small – can influence and motivate employees to do better at work. This can be done by genuinely acknowledging and appreciating the team’s work during a meeting or supporting their career development. Maintaining a gratitude journal can also help refocus on how much the team has already done. 
  2. Involve everyone in the conversation. Each employee would want to be heard and know that they have a say in the work being done. Listening actively to each member of the team and acknowledging ideas without negativity is another gesture of gratitude. Creating a space where people can brainstorm freely without judgment can also encourage everyone to contribute to the conversation.
  3. See beyond work achievements. Oftentimes, people are more appreciative of the output or work done for them. Instead of just being appreciative of a finished product, show gratitude towards who they are as a person through small gestures, such as giving tokens of gratitude or even as simple as treating them to coffee. This also signals employees that they are genuinely valued in the company and will be more likely to engage further at work.
  4. Show consistency. Gratitude is not only done during successes or when a project is finished. For gratitude to be part of the company’s culture, the organization would need to show it consistently to their employees. Offering programs in building that culture, such as deep sharing sessions, having team-building activities across the organization, and encouraging gratitude journaling, can help in showing consistency.

In these uncertain times, people need assurances, such as recognizing their value to the organization. Having a genuine attitude of gratitude can cultivate an individual’s morale and worth. Once leaders are able to practice gratitude towards their team, involve them in decisions, realize each member’s worth as an individual, and continue to support this cause, it can be a step towards creating a positive working environment that people want to stay in.

Turnovers and Leveraging Data for Improving Organizational Performance

FacebooktwitterlinkedinFacebooktwitterlinkedin

When used effectively, data can bring valuable improvements in all areas, including Human Resources (HR). Hugely relevant data is to be found in the area of human capital and is usually collected and managed by the HR department in your company. In essence, all organizations seek to keep top performers while reducing the number of low performers as much as possible. The first thing that comes to mind when discussing measurement in the HR area is the Turnover Rate.

Turnover Rate is a common organizational measurement that tracks the loss of talent in the workforce over time, and it may also be used to gauge an organization’s culture. Employee turnover encompasses resignations, layoffs, terminations, retirements, relocation transfers, and even deaths. Businesses frequently measure their employee turnover rate to estimate its impact on production, customer service, and even morale. Turnover is frequently referenced negatively, owing to its high expense of replacing personnel; however, it is a natural part of the employee life cycle and organizational renewal.

Now, how can data be used for maximum insight from employee turnover?

  1. Gather internal HR data.

    Preparing the data is always the first step. If your organization has an HR Information System (HRIS), you should be able to simply get the data and elicit the desired reports from combining different available metrics. However, if your organization does not have an HRIS, the HR department should be able to provide relevant data that can be analyzed.

    The turnover data you require is the headcount of the organization, as well as the record of persons who have departed the organization: employee name, date of departure, and position should all be included in the record. If you can gather supplementary information, such as the reason for leaving, the direct manager, and so on, it will help to improve the depth of analysis.

  2. Document and organize the data properly.

    After obtaining the turnover data, it is advised that you set up a separate storage folder for this data. It should be well-documented, including periodic details (e.g. for the year 2021). With a well-structured document system, you will be able to access it and even repeat the procedure for the next period.

  3. Run the analysis of data at various levels of granularity.

    This stage is dependent on the data you have available as well as your objective. The number of separations and headcount are the most vital components in calculating the Turnover Rate. The number of departures divided by the average employee headcount is a typical formula for calculating the turnover rate.

    If your data is much more detailed, you can perform a more granular analysis, such as turnover by month and structure. This allows you to gain more specific insight rather than an overall view of the organization. Another example of granular analysis is examining the number of separations and visualizing it by using Structure. The graph will tell you whether there is a certain Structure that needs extra attention; you can also try by Manager, by age, and so on.

This is only a rough idea of how you might use your own internal data to enhance your organization’s retention and engagement. The possibilities for expanding the turnover analysis are limitless. A genuinely effective, high-value data initiative, on the other hand, requires a comprehension of data dynamics as well as how to apply today’s best practices to carefully utilize and assess data.

Workplace Agility: What It Is and How It Is Done

FacebooktwitterlinkedinFacebooktwitterlinkedin

Applying agility in the workplace has become a trend during the past few years for its wide range of benefits, such as adaptability, faster work speed, and innovation. However, some companies fail to implement it in its correct sense and gain its fruits. This raises several questions: is it because agile is only successful for software companies? Or is it because some companies may have a limited or ambiguous understanding of the concept and its implementation?

What does Agile mean?

Despite the fact that agility is one of the most popular and challenging concepts, there is no one common definition explaining it. A study conducted by Moritz Petermann and Hannes Zacher (2020) explained that there are four main factors that most definitions highlight to define agile organizations.  The first two are the organization’s ability to act to change in internal or external business environments at the right time and its response to act proactively on and predict change to make the most of it as an opportunity. 

The third component involves learning and continuously expanding/accumulating skills, knowledge, and experience. Last but not least, agile organizations have to build a network structure, a people-centered and purpose-driven culture, as well as iterative processes to improve/enhance a product, service, and the like. Taking into consideration those factors, Petermann and Zacher define an agile organization as “a network of self-organized teams in which employees are able to autonomously make decisions and change the course of action”.

How to apply agility in your workplace

Although the rate of organizations applying agility in the workplace is accelerating, not all organizations are applying it in the right manner which might affect the employees’ performance in a negative way. This is not because agility works only in IT or software companies; agility can be implemented in almost all types of organizations. It is because companies are not embedding the concept in the right sense. 

There are several building blocks for developing agility in the workplace such as strategy, values, agile team, organizational structure, agile leaders & managers, culture, and processes. These building blocks can be grouped into two categories: organizational level (strategy, organizational structure, culture, and agile leaders) and team and individual levels.

  1. Organizational level
    • Strategy: For companies to successfully embrace agility, they should create an agile strategy that is aligned with their overall business strategy. This would create a clear roadmap for applying agility in the whole company.
    • Organizational structure: Having a long hierarchy that does not allow smooth decision-making does not allow for the successful implementation of agility. 
    • Culture: Companies should embed agility and its components into their culture to successfully implement it.
    • Agile Leaders: In applying agility, leaders are not only knowledge experts or experienced managers anymore; instead, they are supportive leaders that allow decision-making and delegation within their teams.
    • Reward systems: Ashutosh Muduli (2019) recommends that allowing nontraditional rewards – like skill-based pay systems, improvement-based incentives, and nonmonetary rewards – do help in fostering workplace agility.
    • Information systems: They are crucial to boosting operational speed and flexibility within the workforce agility. Muduli pointed out that information systems will help in giving access to timely information associated with the customer, accounting, and business performance, as well as management, organizational leaders.
  2. Team and individual levels

    a. Team level (definition and characteristics)

    According to Petermann and Zacher, agile teams are defined as “teams that use agile methods in their daily business”. Despite a wide range of agile methods and practices, most of them involve common characteristics. Those characteristics include self-organization, delegation, a quick exchange of information, rapid and continuous two-way communication, and feedback with the customers as well as within the team.

    Based on those factors, agile teams are able to develop high transparency and a method to measure progress. They have the capability to use iterative processes and respond to changes efficiently and successfully. Agile teams will be able to direct their attention on simple designs that reveal incremental steps that are easy to understand for everyone included.

    b. Individual Level (definition and characteristics)

    There is not one common definition for agile individuals that is accepted by everyone. Petermann and Zacher describe agile individuals as “people who have the abilities, knowledge, and skills to proactively seek opportunities, and are able to quickly adapt to new situations.” They are also characterized as people who have the required skills to predict, apply, and make full use of and derive benefit from changes.

    c. Individual characteristics and team formation

    Since individual characteristics and team formation are critical for implementing agility, Petermann and Zacher suggest that companies should re-evaluate their recruitment and development practices. Recruiters should highlight agility skills in their job postings in order to attract candidates with an agile mindset and personality. During interviewing and selection phases, HR people should focus on personality characteristics and cognitive abilities that focus on change.

    Training and development are also very important to help agile teams adapt rapidly to changing market requirements. Agile teams need to get updated with the latest skills and knowledge to respond successfully to market changes. Leaders should also be provided with training to lead their teams successfully and efficiently.

    Moreover, organizations should train their employees about various methods and tools (such as scrum) that could aid them to apply agility in the workplace. However, it has to be noted that not all circumstances are treated with the same amount of agility and not all methods and practices can be applied in all workplaces. Companies need to ensure that the methods they are using do suit their environments.

There is no doubt that implementing agility is not a piece of cake and companies need to understand the concept and its implementation thoroughly. You can find below some ideas on how you can do that:

  • Start small: It is better to apply agility on a smaller scale. For instance, you can start with the research and development department. When the team members master agility, they can transfer the knowledge and methods to other departments.
  • Stop and review: During the implementation phase, you should always stop and assess the current situation to make sure that you are applying agility in the right way, whether in decision-making, meetings, processes, or others. This will also help in assessing whether the teams do really understand the concept of agility or not.
  • Communicate: Always allow for two-way communication and feedback within the team members and from top-down and down-top in the company. This will enable feedback and continuous learning across the organization.

To sum up, agility can be applied in almost all companies and in any industry, however, they need to make sure that it is applied in the right sense to gain its fruits. Moreover, companies need to make sure that they need agility in the first place before they go into the hustle of its implementation rather than just trying to follow a trending concept.

Effective Ways Companies Can Prepare for the Holiday Season

FacebooktwitterlinkedinFacebooktwitterlinkedin

The holiday season is a time when everyone is looking forward to spending some family time, eating good food, and getting lots of presents. This can also be a stressful time for many companies. The holidays are often the busiest and most profitable time of the year for stores, restaurants, and even online retailers. However, this means that it can be challenging for a company to maintain high standards while keeping up with demand. 

The holidays can also be the best opportunity to attract new customers. While the holidays are not yet on sight for most consumers, brands and retailers know that planning for those moments of success begins now. As the vacation season begins to gain traction, organizations need to consider what the season means for their business and how the holidays will affect their bottom line. 

This is why it is important to start preparing for the holidays several months in advance. October may seem early, but the two-month pillow gives you plenty of time to check and make adjustments before the holiday hustle and bustle. When the holiday shopping season kicks in, you won’t have time for anything drastic. 

Preparation for the holidays

This holiday shopping season could be just as important for small businesses in the retail or B2B sector, especially as customer behavior changes, aiming for a seamless shopping experience from online shopping to in-store shopping. Customers who have not decided yet on holiday food would most likely want to stock up on ingredients right away. People are also starting to consider where to go on vacation and when by looking up deals and packages.

Companies must be prepared to increase sales and match or outpace competitive offerings in a dynamic vacation market. Preparing for the shopping season will ensure you get the most sales and the most satisfied customers. Make sure you have a plan to quickly purchase additional inventory if your vacation sales are better than expected.

Planning ahead can help you stock up on everything your customers need while ensuring that your employees’ needs are met so they can better serve your customers. Experts advise that the sooner small business owners start developing a vacation plan, the better. In a small business, automation of work processes will significantly save time while on vacation. 

Also, keep track of your inventory and make sure you have a good understanding of what buyers will be looking for while on vacation. Check out last year’s orders to anticipate the number of essential supplies that you and your customers will need, whether it’s shipping supplies and packaging, paper towels and toilet paper, or branded gift certificates for holiday shoppers.

If you are not launching a new product, you can use the planning phase to think about how to modify an existing product to make it especially attractive for a particular holiday. It’s also worth noting that you don’t have to completely change the product; instead, you can promote it in a way that is in line with the holiday.

Conclusion

If you take the right steps, you can capitalize on the holidays and grab the attention of your clients during this busy time of year. Companies can prepare for the holiday rush by meeting the expectations of all stakeholders. Overall, as a business, you need to prepare yourself to welcome a wide range of customers in order to maximize your success this holiday season.

THE KPI INSTITUTE

The KPI Institute’s 2024 Agenda is now available! |  The latest updates from The KPI Institute |  Thriving testimonials from our clients |