Nowadays, customer relationship management is more important than ever. The fact that customers expect tailor-made services requires you to know your customer inside and out. This is what Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is all about. Your customers always come first. To achieve the right result, you should not only consider what end result they can achieve, but, even more important, what foundation is required to achieve these results.


Every customer is unique. This is why it is important to have a 360-degree profile of each customer, so you will have all relevant information to be able to serve the customer in the best possible way. Just what customers are looking for… This entails collecting, storing and combining a lot of data, such as contact details, information on the sales and service history, telephone notes or all correspondence. The better you know your customers, the more you will be able to classify your customers using the collected data and tailor your business operations to this knowledge.


Relationship model

The foundation of a proper CRM system therefore starts with the so-called relationship model. This requires all relevant information about your customer, who may be a business customer or a private customer. The model defines what data is recorded in the CRM system, how this data is structured, and what connections exist between that data. It is a visual representation of the entities and relationships. Within the relationship model, four building blocks are important, namely:

  • Household
  • Person
  • Position/Role
  • Organisation

These four building blocks must be present in the data model of the CRM system as separate entities. It all starts with recognising the person behind your customer. Next it should immediately be clear which interests and information are associated with this person.



A proper foundation for a CRM system is made up of structure. Not having the required structure often results in frequently entering a person (for each business role/position, and often a private person as well), and therefore in fragmentation of the information of the person concerned. In the end, this may entail all kinds of operational problems that impact the quality of the interaction in a very negative way. The quality of the interaction is important for the customer and the customer experiences. If the quality is jeopardised, this will pose a negative problem for the CRM system.


A pure customer and/or relationship profile based on qualitative interaction

A pure customer and/or relationship profile based on qualitative interaction will only be created if all contact moments related to someone’s position/role in an organisation are kept in the profile of this organisation. In this context, it is important for the ‘household’ entity to be present, as this entity groups the persons, who form a household, by an address. In addition, this entity must make it possible to record matters such as segmentation characteristics, customer status, etc., on a household level.


The more important the relationship, the bigger the impact

A good CRM system requires a good foundation to build on. A good foundation serves as the basis. This basis consists of a relationship model and the structure. If these are lacking, it will be impossible to get a good insight into your customer. The better you know your customer and the more relevant information you have, the better will you be able to serve your customer. And the more important a customer is for you, the bigger the impact. So make your customer come first.