Sunday, April 27, 2008

Advisory Relationship

Charles' comment about the differences in the business - customer relationship made me think about the changes that CRM 2.0 will imply in this area:
"CRM 1.0 assumes a “transaction relationship” with the customers. Trust is not necessarily important, just ”feeds and speeds,” so to speak. Does this not imply an advisory relationship? What kind of relationship does CRM 2.0 imply? Is this just a little change or is it a qualitative shift in relationships? Is trust important? In other words, there are a lot of subtitles involved in this 1.0 to 2.0 shift. What are they?"

If I follow the idea of an active customer that is willing to provide data and information about himself and takes part in what I called a 'two way CRM', it is absolutely necessary to create a high level of trust between both parties. Otherwise the customer will not be willing to provide all that data - he will see no value in doing so.
In the past (actually this is still the standard for 95% of the market) CRM was always a one way - or advisory - relationship, meaning that the businesses tried to gather as much data as they could of their customers and made them available wherever they could. That's what they called a 360° view of the customer and the goal was providing this information with some intelligence (e.g. what product can I up/cross sell to this customer) in real time on all available channels.
Although this still desirable, it will not be enough in the future to differentiate from competition and create a unique customer experience - which will lead to loyal customers.

CRM 2.0 really requires a much stronger relationship to customers, allowing them to take an active part in decisions and get more influence. A good example is the internet community that grouped together and bought Ebbsfleet Utd., a football club that is now actively managed by the members which take part in all decisions (even the formation during a game or player changes). How loyal would you be to a product where you are involved this deep?

CRM 2.0 should really be called "Customer Relationship Model 2.0" as the term Management suggests that the business 'manages' customers, which is not the case anymore...

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