Aaron Dignan posted about power users of a business. After the CRM hype, we still don’t have a clue about these folks.
CRM is all about small. Think of Maria’s frustration here. My experience was similar: the manager was glad to joke around with his workers but could only grunt and wiggle his finger at me – the guy who just paid $80. So the U-Haul brand no longer appeals to Maria and me. Now I’m sure they have great folks working there but their CRM and brand custodian, the manager just did not connect with me as a person. It was U-Haul and "customer" not Eric and Harsha. So he couldn’t care less.
My friend Rajesh Setty has a great blog on distinguishing oneself (Beyond Code). Relationships are hard to manage and highly influenced by the point-of-contact person. Uniformity is impossible so U-Haul can’t mean the same to all of us. It has to be different and distinguishable.
So my #1 goal first and foremost, has been to get to know client peers since they could have very well have been a friend. That also gives me so much more job satisfaction. Otherwise, it is just boring account management stuff. My team sees me live this goal and is emulating it. So, CRM is small: you and I as individuals (not a compiled statistic) determine what others think of our business.
Power users have to be in touch with someone from the company, yes? That "someone" will be one of your top sellers in new and repeat sales. You don’t need a CRM to find that out – you’re already tracking it. Find and shadow them. Ask questions. Figure out how they track their interaction with your clients/users. Is it by memory, an Excel tool or a modification of your existing CRM? Abandon the old carrot-and-stick way of motivating your sales team to treat users well. Then bring those performers into one room and ask them "Why?" Your power user is recommending your business based on the interaction with that person.
A brand is an intangible asset. When we can worry about that so much, why not worry about the one that holds the attention of power users? It is amazing how the Pareto law (80/20) is universally applicable. That is all we need to do.