Top Customer Relationship Management Models

When I started writing this, I wanted to discuss all kinds of unique customer relationship management model, as well as look at how this term probably means a good bit more than you may think it does.

However, when I began to research for multiple forms of customer relationship management model, I was disappointed to find out that there don’t seem to be a lot of these models out there. From what I could find, there seem to be two primary schools of thought for these models, and in all honesty, most of the differences are aesthetic, not mechanical in nature.

I’ll discuss them in a moment, but before I do, let’s go ahead and look at what I said about this term meaning a good bit more than you may think. You may be thinking from the term, that this pertains entirely to your layout and organizational choices regarding CRM software. Well, that’s a different thing altogether, actually.

A CRM model is basically a take on a customer experience map, but showing only the impact of the experience on the CRM surface, none of the others. So, if you’re used to experience maps, then the concept of these won’t be foreign.

As I said, there are two basic models of this that I can discern, and they’re more or less the same at their core.

The one with a distinct name is called the vault model. All it really is, is a linear take on the journey map, divided into five stages. However, with this model, the transition through the phases isn’t completely linear. It branches at the second phase (activated … first contact). If it’s a new prospect, it goes to the unstable phase, then on to latent and terminated. If it’s a switch back from a churn, then it goes to latent. If it’s a win back, it’s a repeat with a loyal customer, and it goes straight to terminated.

So, it’s pretty simple, and you can see its parallels to the customer experience map. However, just as there is a nonlinear experience map, there’s a cyclical model for this too.

I’ve seen no names for it, and I’ve seen many variations of it, but they’re the same basic idea. It just presents the cycle in a nonlinear path, with straight lines bisecting the inner area for that branched navigation.

But, having seen the anatomy of this model concept, you can see why there aren’t that many intrinsic variations to be explored, because it works the way it does.

Honestly, I tend to like those cycle models for most things, but I do like the vault model with this, though some trappings that can be tacked on under the activated make no sense, so I say this only providing that those frivolities be left out.

So, there really is only one standard customer relationship management model, there are just differences in displaying and illustrating them. Basically, it’s just a choice of visualization. “I like to think if it this way”. The model itself does not change from one interpretation to the other, and we should actually appreciate that, because it keeps things simpler than they would be if there were a billion ways to handle this process.


Michael Taylor
Michael is the Lead Author & Editor of CRMSimplified Blog. Michael established the CRM blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to CRM.
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