Relationship Management

New Research: The State of Customer Management in the Relationship Era

In the Relationship Era, customer relationships (and the way we manage them) have fundamentally changed. What was once a one-time transaction between a business and a single buyer has evolved into long-term and mutually rewarding partnerships between teams and their customers.

In this new context, business priorities have also shifted. Companies care about more than just making deals today. Instead, they aim to deliver an unparalleled Relationship Experience through personalization and retention initiatives that drive stronger customer relationships.

Last month, we surveyed 1,059 business professionals to discover who’s involved in building lasting customer relationships today, how team members work together, and where they communicate and collaborate with customers. Today, we’re thrilled to release our findings in our new research report: The State of Customer Management in the Relationship Era.

Here's a sneak peek of what's inside:

Who owns the customer relationship today? And which teams are involved in building lasting partnerships?

Our research suggests that the one-to-one sale is dead. Cross-functional Relationship Teams are the new norm, and they’re made up of Relationship Makers from every corner of your business.

The usual suspects—sales, marketing, and business development—continue to play a key role in building customer relationships. But others, from customer success and operations to product and design, now have a sizeable impact on delivering an exceptional Relationship Experience.

The bottom line: Employees can no longer be divided into customer-facing and non-customer-facing teams. Today, everyone is a Relationship Maker—and 82% use CRM technology on a daily basis to build lasting customer relationships.

How do teams and customers communicate and collaborate in the Relationship Era?

The way we build customer relationships today is more decentralized and less formal.

Email is still king, but less formal communication channels, like video conferencing and chat, are rising in popularity. Plus, teams and their customers now engage in real-time collaboration via productivity apps, like Google Docs and Sheets.

Since Relationship Teams are made up of many Relationship Makers, each from their own distinct function, these customer communications are more spread out across the business.

Are traditional CRMs keeping up with these changes?

Unfortunately, the vast majority of these interactions aren’t captured, suggesting traditional CRMs haven’t evolved for the Relationship Era. To make matters worse, businesses continue to be plagued by age-old problems with CRM, such as excessive manual effort, endless data entry, and low adoption and usage. As a result, 66% say they’re unsatisfied with their CRM.

"Today's business users want tools that make their lives easier, deliver a consumer-like experience, and fit within the way they live and work," said Jon Lee, Co-Founder and CEO of Copper. "We're in an age where automation and collaboration can help team members be more customer-centric and focus their time on nurturing the customer relationship, all while bringing more value to the organization."

To learn more and get access to all of the data, download the report.

We’d like to thank Google’s partnership team for jointly sponsoring this research and our amazing team of marketers and designers who brought this report to life.

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