Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Data Analytics and CRM

In my last blog titled ‘What is Data Analytics for Big Data?’. I discussed about what data analytics can do for big data. Today, I will try to see another somehow related concept, integrating data analytics into your Customer Relationship Management, most of the time referred as CRM.

What is Customer Relationship Management?

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a model for managing a company’s interactions with current and future customers. It provides a complete view of customer data. It involves using technology to organize, automate, and synchronize sales, marketing, customer service and technical support.[1] CRM involves using a tool to store all information you have about your prospects/customers. This normally includes all contacts with customers while they were prospects, all customer service touches, what products they use and how much they pay for each. CRM market is one of the fastest growing market out there. In 2011, It grew by 13.5% and 2010 growth was 14.2%. Some of the big boys in the CRM market are SAP,, Oracle and of course, Microsoft.[2]

What is Web Analytics?

The Digital Analytics Association defines web analytics as the measure, collection, analysis and reporting of internet data for purposes of understanding and optimizing web usage.[3] You can read more about Web Analytics on my previous blog Web Analytics and Data Warehouse.

Why Integrating Web Analytics and CRM?

CRM systems contain pretty much all data about prospects/customers that takes place after you know who they are. But, before your customers fill out a form or call you, most of them go to your company’s website or social media sites. You can collect this information using your web analytics platform.
Most of web analytics information we have is anonymous. We don’t really know who the site visitors are. So we can’t easily connect their website behavior to other interaction. Imagine taking all of the anonymous website behavior and somehow connect it with the known prospect/customer behavior stored in our CRM system? Imagine if every time a prospect filled out a lead form on our website, the sales person who is routed the lead could see what the person had viewed on the website or what products the person had looked. That could lead to a much more meaningful conversation and help get things off on the right foot.

Some of the reasons to integrate web/data analytics to your CRM are: -[4]
Better Customer Understanding
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  •          Better Customer Understanding: - CRM analytics can integrate all customer data points including call center, the internet, email and social media to group customers according to their behaviors. This allows a company to identify the most profitable customers who should receive special offers or get preferential treatment. 
Customer facing operations
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  •       Better understanding of customer-facing operations: - Analytics will provide proof of how the company is performing in terms of service, sales and marketing. Most CRM projects are launched to drive down costs in these areas. Without analytics to demonstrate the ROI of CRM, moving into new areas, like linking CRM with social media, will be hard to justify.

Decision Support
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  •       Decision Support: - After defining the value of customer-facing operations, changes can be made to drive operational investments. Companies can answer questions around building new call centers or outsourcing based on this analysis.
  •       Benchmarking: - CRM analytics will allow a company to track over time how well it’s performing related to a strategy or to competitors. Benchmarking analytics in areas like customer satisfaction, retention, cost per customer service call, and revenue per call will expose operational areas that are lagging behind and those that are up or above company and industry standards.

Photo Courtesy [8]


[1]         Shaw, Robert, Computer Aided Marketing & Selling (1991) Butterworth Heinemann ISBN 978-0-7506-1707-9 


  1. Good informational post Michael.. I keep learning about the various uses of Web Analytics with such posts.. Never looked at the perspective that WA can be used for CRM.. Thanks for the post!