When companies are focused on continuously providing customers with better value - more personalized, relevant services, anticipating their needs and preferences, etc. - they're more likely to engender customer trust and create a more sustainable model for revenue growth, says Don Peppers, founding partner at Peppers & Rogers Group.This philosophy also applies to sales strategies. Oftentimes, organizational leaders are so focused on meeting revenue and other business targets that they lose sight of what's in the best interests of customers. This week as we reveal the winners of the Gartner/1to1 Media CRM Excellence Awards, we recognize two companies that have taken the true meaning of customer centricity in their sales strategies to heart - HDFC Bank and Akbank.
Despite its status as the largest bank in India by market capitalization, HDFC Bank sought a means to differentiate itself in the market and to stem competition from rivals who were aggressively promoting retail loans and other products. Organizational leaders for the bank saw an opportunity to distinguish itself over the long-term by developing a deeper understanding of its customers and their end-to-end relationship with the bank.
That's no easy task when you're talking about a bank that has 30 million-plus customers and 65 million product holdings. Nevertheless, this represented a terrific opportunity for HDFC Bank to analyze and act on customer data from across the full spectrum of their interactions and product usage.
By gaining a richer understanding of each of its customers and their individual needs, HDFC Bank has been able to make personalized, next-best product offers to its customers, leading to impressive business results.
For its part, Akbank has taken a slightly different customer-centric approach to its sales strategy. The Turkish bank it utilizing a next-generation CRM system along with pricing analytics and other tools to provide more precise offers to its customers based on a combination of factors: customer needs, price sensitivity, and product and channel propensities.
While the respective strategies executed by HDFC Bank and Akbank differ from one another, they have a common thread - taking a customer-centric approach to sales efforts. In an industry where customer trust took a major hit following the financial crisis of 2008, developing sales strategies that are focused on the needs and preferences of customers makes a lot of sense.
By the way: don't forget to check www.1to1media.com on December 1, 2014 to find out how to nominate your company to receive a 2015 Gartner & 1to1 Media CRM Excellence Award.