Saturday, December 1, 2012

CRM is not about “managing” customers (anymore…)

CRM 2.0 is the move away from the transaction based “management” of customers (one way pushing marketing information) towards a real two way dialogue that is based on trust on both sides. To discover the full benefits of a changing customer behavior that is arising with new technologies, it is necessary for companies to open up, share information and start listening to customers instead of just pushing marketing messages out into the market. Engaging in such a meaningful conversation will help to discover new ideas and align products and services with the customer demand. It further leverages the willingness of users to contribute to the development and enhancement of products, services or ideas.

It has to be kept in mind that CRM 2.0 is not just a technology or software tool but consists of several components that all need to be considered and eventually implemented.


The underlying technology is only a minor matter but has to support the shown elements. Open Source software and Software as a Service (SaaS) can help to reduce the cost for the IT infrastructure in order to set the clear focus on the strategically more important parts like the required change in corporate culture.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The new 360° view (of customers)

imageCan you remember back in the year 2000, when all the CRM vendors started to preach the “360 degree view of the customer” vision? Although this is twelve years ago, the adoption and implementation of this concept has only been completed recently in many corporations.

And now – after having combined all the internal data sources and delivered the relevant customer information to the applications and users that need it (in real-time) – the game has changed again!

With the rise of social networks and the internet of things, there is so much more information available than just the internal customer database.
Especially the tech-savvy and younger generations are divulging many details about their preferences for products and services that can be used to tailor the often praised Customer Experience.
In addition, the rise of smartphones and RFID helps tracking customers and their behavior (consider privacy here!).

Ok – all these information is out there to be found… but HOW?

There are some Basics that have to be in place before you should add all the social media and machine data:

  • Master Data Management (MDM)
  • Customer Data Integration (CDI)
  • Storage (lots of it – be prepared for Big Data)

The next step is to get hands on all the new data:

  • Create a Facebook page and get many “Likers” – that’s how you get hold on their personal information
  • Text analytics – analyze all public available sources like twitter, blogs, forums, etc.
  • Have your customers opt-in to your marketing activities – ideally at first contact
  • Do excessive click-streaming on your web page(s)
  • Include offline shopping activities (if any)
  • Build a social graph and bring external data together with you customer database – it will be a challenge to tie together the multiple identities of your customers.
  • Decide where a decision needs to be real-time or where post-analysis is sufficient (not everything has to be real-time!)
  • Include the new data to calculate a more accurate customer value 
  • Integrate the external customer information into frontend(s) – e.g. CRM, Integrated Marketing Management (IMM), (Web-)Shops, etc.
  • Allow communication on all channels – you can still push customers to your preferred channel, but do not force them!

Are you already touching these new sources of customer data? Are you thinking of extending the variety of channels for the customer hub?
I am curious to hear your experiences, successes or failures in doing so. Feel free to comment or drop me a message.