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Changing the Organisation's Approach to Customer Relationships


Changes in the structure of the market and the NHS meant that a leading pharmaceutical company needed to make a step change in the way that it interacted with its key customers. Human Qualities was asked to work with the major Account Managers to develop a new approach to Customer Relationship Management (CRM), to ensure that the business would be competitively placed to build exceptional customer relationships.

Our Approach

The first stage of the project was to define the type of relationship that customers wanted and the behaviours that the Account Managers needed to adopt in order to be successful in building these. We designed a process for the Account Managers to gather feedback from existing customers. We also gathered market data on how the organisation was viewed in the market and conducted focus groups to look at critical interactions with customers.

On the basis of this research we designed a set of Customer Relationship Management competencies, covering the behaviours that the Account Managers needed to demonstrate, from understanding needs and building trust, to adding value in generating solutions for customers.

These competencies were used to benchmark the level of performance of the existing Account Managers, and to identify any gaps in their awareness or abilities. To facilitate this, Human Qualities developed a series of simulation exercises to elicit and test customer relationship behaviour. The overall results were collated and fed back to the client steering group, and the results were used to design a Best Practice CRM development workshop.

We facilitated Best Practice CRM workshops for the entire Account Manager population, to raise awareness and generate commitment to the new process. The workshops focused heavily on each team developing its own CRM vision and an action plan for how to implement the changes in their own region. The action plans were fed back to senior management to gain their support and buy-in.


This intervention has resulted in a step change in the company's approach to its customers. The process is now being extended, with Human Qualities involved in implementing similar changes with other staff in customer-facing roles.