posted by Alan Joenn on February 8, 2013
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The second part in this mini customer classification series focuses on assessing the relative strengths and weaknesses found in the existing relationships you have with your customers.


Hello, and welcome to this CRM video whiteboard session. Today is the second in a pair of short video clips covering customer classification in CRM. This second one is looking at the possibility of quantifying opinion.

Most people who deal with customer relations or deal with client handling in some way have a gut feel about the strength of a relationship. They can articulate it in team meetings, but there is no way of measuring it when other people are looking at the client record in a CRM system. So you might want to think about client classification where you try to quantify opinion.

Now, quantifying opinion can be converted into a matrix, into a grid, whereby a question forces you to think subjectively about this knowledge you have, this gut feel you have, subjectively about the client, and force yourself to answer one of four possible answers which satisfy this question, and give each a different weighting. So you might score them 1, 2, 3, 4 and score over here 10, 20, 30, 40. Different questions might even have different weighting along rows, where one question you feel is more important than others. So the kinds of questions that go in here might be “what’s the quality of the relationship with the lead client handling person?” Is it None, Poor, Good, Excellent?

If you have a client which is a good case study or an example of things you do within a given market, the question here might be “What’s the importance of this client within this market sector?” And the answers might be: None, Low, Strong, Vital. Other questions might be related to the costs of servicing this client – the amount of effort that’s required that you can’t re-bill, work that you have to do, time that you have to spend that you can’t invoice to the client – in which case this question would be answered with: it’s too high, it’s above average, it’s acceptable, it’s very low – and scored accordingly.

So, we have clients of ours using this grid technique to create an assessment of client value, they quantify opinion, they might even add into it, the top couple of rows in this grid the output from the customer classification in CRM number one the financial analysis which is the subject of another video from last week, and add that in, until eventually a score is achieved at the bottom of this grid and that gives you a rank. The score itself is an arbitrary number and it means nothing in isolation however if you were trying to prioritise the way you spend time, the way you approach clients within a particular market sector, their relative ranking one against the other, might enable you to take informed decision about how you prioritise resources, effort, marketing messaging or other attributes of your client relationship.

So, hopefully this is an approach that you can value and take into your CRM thinking, we hoped you’ve enjoyed watching this short video today, please go to for more tips and hints and more content in our blog. Thank you for watching.

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