Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Crisis Management in Web 2.0 times

After the post about the “Amazon Fail” incident, I stumbled upon a nice slideset about crisis management at Domino’s Pizaa from Taly at Trendspotting:

Taly did some good research about crisis management and the presentations shows how this has changed in terms of reaction time (still to be improved) and used media type.

CRM 2.0 can help reacting to incidents like this one and avoid the Streisand effect that can cause major brand damage.

Here is some media coverage and Domino’s official response:

Monday, April 27, 2009

Are Facebook and Twitter just new channels?

Someone could argue that the new Web 2.0 platforms like Facebook, Twitter and co. are just additional channels that have to be supported by the existing CRM suite.


Dealing with these platforms as additional channels will not bring the benefit they could provide, though. Accepting that the rise of the Web 2.0 is dramatically changing the consumers’ behavior, leads to a simple conclusion – Businesses need to change the way they deal with the ‘new customers’ as well!

This means that Facebook and Twitter are only the spearhead of what will come in the near future. They are indeed channels that need to be dealt with (the more agile, the better) BUT the way corporations make use of them needs to change as well. The whole corporate culture needs to change!
Adapting to the new consumer behavioral patterns leads us to what I call a CRM 2.0 strategy (any other term will do as well as long as it has the same meaning and results).

New questions must be asked:

  • How can I have a meaningful conversation with my customers?
  • How can I engage customers to take an active part in this conversation?
  • How can I leverage the knowledge and willingness of customers?
  • Does my corporate culture allow meaningful conversations (what changes are required)?
  • Do I know the little aches and pains of my customers? Are they dealt with?
  • Who are my customers and where / whom do the talk about products and services?

In the very end, this might be the end of the transactions based CRM (not counting any order management here…) towards a more dynamic, flexible, agile and customer centric environment that acknowledges that customers are persons – usually – that make the buying decisions often based on trust and relationships.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Avoid getting into the fireline…


Amazon is currently experiencing a customer rebellion that has some similarities to the “I hate Siebel” wave that I wrote about in an earlier post. (search twitter on #amazonfail and #glitchmyass)

Basically this is all about the filtering of gay and lesbian authors in Amazons search functionality. I do not have full insight in what has really been filtered and if this has a negative effect on the authors’ book sales or not (and I really don’t want to get into this discussion as there is a lot of coverage already). But I want to analyze the happenings from a CRM 2.0 viewpoint and think of solutions for companies to avoid such massacres by detecting the development early enough and reacting in the right way to avoid the negative PR or even reverse the effects.

In Amazon's case, everybody can easily understand that adult books must be filtered from regular searches and bestseller lists to protect the younger users of this platform. On the other side, I can also understand the furious reactions of the gay and lesbian customers that feel discriminated by such a ‘censoring’.
What really happened here is that Amazon was getting into the fireline between parents and homosexual people. Not filtering the lists would probably have caused similar reactions on the other side…

So how can CRM 2.0 help?

This example shows that the empowerment of customers is advancing. Although we are talking about a minority, the amount of press coverage is massive and might have true negative impact on the Amazon brand. The beauty of a CRM 2.0 strategy is that it aligns a business with its customers. Although this does not make the conflict disappear, it would have signaled the responsible people much earlier.
This ledge could have been used to engage both groups into a meaningful conversation and find the solution that will probably be found and agreed on anyway in the end.

Having engaged the customers would not only have avoided the conflict to raise like it did, it would also have created more loyal customers because everybody would have felt involved and taken care of.

Funny enough, you can buy the domain at the other big arriviste of the eCommerce boom – at EBAY…

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Lexnet Interview


Lexnet is starting a series of email interviews with focus on CRM. I think this is a brilliant idea and Paul Greenberg and Christopher Carfi already shared some insights.

Find my answers here:

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Saturday, April 4, 2009

The future of the Web (3.0?)


Creating a CRM 2.0 strategy that is viable in ten years from now would be tightly connected with an accurate prediction of what the Internet (WWW) will look alike by then.

But the question must be asked if this prediction can be made at all? The world is turning faster and faster. Predicting the next 10 years of the World Wide Web would be like predicting the rise of HDTV and Flat TVs in the 1950s…

Remember my slides around Business Velocity?

Or do you remember your top bookmarks in 1996 (I was at university at that time convincing the Professor to upgrade the 56k Internet connection…)? comScore lists websites like WEBCRAWLER.COM, NETSCAPE.COM or INFOSEEK.COM amongst the top 5 all dead and gone ten years later!

On one hand, the ®evolution of the Internet is going at the speed of light (Paul did recognize this a while ago :) – on the other hand, I believe that the cultural revolution that has taken place, initiated by the Web 2.0, has passed its zenith and will continue at a much slower pace the upcoming years.

With the acknowledgement that the future of the Web is hard to predict, a CRM 2.0 strategy should not solely rely on the most hyped platforms like Facebook or Twitter, but focus on a foundation that will last when they will be gone in ten years from now. “Covering the base” is the motto here rather than jumping on the short living buzz.