Optimising Customer Relationship Management.

Saturday, 12 October 2019
Optimising Customer Relationship Management.

Client Situation

This client has a Customer Relationship Building team of about 14 people in a non-profit organisation. They work in a pressured environment where they are expected to:

  • Meet their sales targets on a daily basis
  • Engage with and onboard new clients and
  • Renew contracts with existing clients.

ISSUES: Contracts were not being renewed, the company was losing customers and experienced high levels of staff turnover. Training new staff was costing a lot of money and not sustainable.

APPROACH MADE BY: HR Director and Sales Director – Telecommunications Industry

Status Quo Observations and Findings

  • When reviewing the method and manner in which the team approached their clients, it was found to be aggressive, demanding, impatient and target-driven, rather than being customer-orientated. This was the manner in which they had been interacting and trained to interact for literally decades.
  • In addition, management also dealt with their staff and customers in the same way.
  • The culture and belief system which had developed from the management team down was clearly to:
    • fight for sales,
    • be as forceful and quick as possible to win as many clients over in as short a space of time as possible.

Once CCS-Gazing had a good understanding of the environment from the perspective of the Customer Relationship Building team, as well as that of the client, a change process was put into place, achieving the desired results.

Input by CCS-Gazing


  • After working with the Customer Relationship Building Team and understanding their concerns, fears, lack of experience as well as low skill levels, a process to assist them was put into place.
  • Customers were also interviewed and it was found that they felt mistreated, not listened to, often not receiving what they required, yet being hounded to renew their contracts.

Evidence of Change Success

  • With the provision of tools and development of skills required to engage clients in a customer-centred manner, using empathy and relevant probing questions, the Customer Relationship Building team started to:
    • listen to their clients, instead of demanding information and
    • understand them and their needs/requirements better, by asking relevant and timely questions.
  • Rudeness and abrasive manners became a thing of the past, as there was no longer a fear of not meeting targets.
  • This resulted in them providing the right solution at the right time and building trust and confidence in their team (as experienced by the clients).


  • A reduction in cancelled contracts.
  • An increase in the client base.
  • Happier and more stable employees, with less absenteeism.
  • A decrease in the turnover of staff.
  • Staff became more proactive and team orientated as they started to see the benefits of the new way of operating. They started to treat one another in the same manner.
  • A new culture of engagement rather than telling and blaming started to emerge, with each member of the team listening to one another, as well as to the customer.


Management also had to ‘change their old ways’, which was the only way a suitable environment could be created, in which staff felt safe enough to risk operating in a different way. They had expressed the concern that management would not like the new approach and that they needed their consent to do so.

However, by this stage, management had started to see the benefits mentioned above and with this new insight and realisation, they were relatively open-minded when they attended a similar workshop to ensure that any gaps were closed and that everyone was aligned and operating in the same way.

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