Saturday, 4 December 2010

(S)R in (S)CRM is for Record


After a conversation on CRM versus SCRM with Sameer Patel, Jon Husband And Rawn Shah, Rawn posted a fine piece on "Building Social Collaboration Into CRM With Customers And Within The Organization"

Too occupied with other matters at the time (and since), I promised him to read it later and comment - and this is my comment as it, again, is one of those fine blog posts resulting from a naturally flowing, seemingly casual conversation on Twitter that provokes so many thoughts and words that a comment would take more than just a few words

And because I think that comments should be brief, the length of a few tweets at max so to say, I commented on his post and referred to this one for further reading

CRM is for Record: that means that CRM is an inside-in, or at best an inside-out approach where existing, known customers are put on record and solidified into the CRM database. In my view it is a Customer Record Maintenance system, where all data about an existing customer are kept.
And, to the best of my knowledge, the existence of CRM systems usually "siloes" that same data into one single application, only available to one single department.
That makes it a passive, defensive system that operates from the end of the fish trap

SCRM promises to engage the social customer where ever she is i.e. operating at the very beginning of that same fish trap. But what's the end to that? Like Sameer rightfully puts it,
@MartijnLinssen @jonhusband @Rawn #SCRM is so #DOA if it stays in the front office :)
all that SCRM action has to end up in the back-end systems in order to serve company intel.
That makes SCRM an active, offensive system, operating at the very start of the fish trap

Now, how do we make sure that the Social customer record makes all the difference from the good old-fashioned customer record? Can we just keep the old record and refurbish it with some Social metadata?

As long as I live, it's people that are the actors in my social life. It's why I live in a small town, where I know almost everyone, and vice versa.
I chat with the guys and girls at the supermarket, the other dog-owners in town, the parents that pick up their kids from school - we all have a relationship going of some kind, that deepens the more we meet, and their is no written record of any kind (hope so) - it is people!

Towns, cities, metropolis: cf. entrepreneur, SMB, enterprise. From Intimacy by Proximity, it all has changed to Anonymity by Distance.
CRM was just an attempt to restore the broken relationships between customers and providers. And regardless its intent, it didn't reach its goal.
Still, it put the customer on record - and there should be a record, otherwise it'll be one big disagreement about that customer

SCRM, how ever it will fare, will have to end up as a record as well. Whatever happens before that, how will that Social Bit resonate in that Customer Record?

I have a few ideas about that, to follow later - but what do you think?

9 reacties:

jonhusband said...

SCRM, how ever it will fare, will have to end up as a record as well. Whatever happens before that, how will that Social Bit resonate in that Customer Record?

That is THE question.

Why not offer the customer who goes into that record a view of that record, on an ongoing basis ? That would, to me, seem to be a critical element of 'inviting' she or he to continue building whatever a relationship with a given company might mean to him or her, no ?

Martijn Linssen said...

Hi Jon,

thank you very much for commenting - and especially pinpointing the issue at hand

You take an outside-in transparency PoV - and I'm all in for getting notifications when my trusted vendors change something in our mutual relationships, but they're doing that already: via old-fashioned letters, and it works fine.

Then again, I only get those if I'm allowed to: there are many more things happening to my customer record without me knowing so. Most of which I couldn't care less about, I think

To make a very long story very short: I think people do relationships, not machines. My SCRM record couldn't possibly be different from my old CRM record, could it?

jonhusband said...

You take an outside-in transparency PoV - and I'm all in for getting notifications when my trusted vendors change something in our mutual relationships, but they're doing that already: via old-fashioned letters, and it works fine.

Then again, I only get those if I'm allowed to: there are many more things happening to my customer record without me knowing so. Most of which I couldn't care less about, I think


Yes, and ... old-fashioned letters are quite nice. You may or may not read them.

I am assuming it's not much work, actually, to provide each customer with a dashboard, or even just a mere listing, of 'social' interactions with enterprise or organization. If for nothing more, this would be an advance in establishing some level of psychological comfort with knowing that you can check / review what the elements of your building (or established) relationship is.

Not revolutionary, but evolutionary, and mainly on the soft (human ?) side) ?

Patrick Brinksma said...

In my experience the R(ecord) reflects the way CRM was/is mostly implemented: as an IT system. Dealing with a record and keeping it up to date, accessible to only a part of the company has nothing to do with maintaining a 'good relationship' with the customer. And from a customer's point of view: what is that relationship, and when does the customer even 'want' that relationship?
From my personal experience, I only want to have that relationship if it benefits me. So, when I have a product / service issue => customer service. At that point, I am willing to engage in a relationship with them. Or when I can get informed that there is a better offer which benefits me.

And I really question how the 'social' factor in SCRM is going to be captured in a database. Do you want to know the customer's network on social sites? And to what benefit? To 'know' the customer? I'd rather that a company invests in it's accessibility (through whatever channel) and makes my service experience one that I don't want to forget.

My 2 cents. :)

PS. Keep up the great blog posts Martijn. I do not comment much, but still enjoying your view.

Martijn Linssen said...

Thank you Jon, and Patrick.

I think it would be nice to view your social conversations with an enterprise / company indeed, and that would be very little trouble. It would be an easy form of automation that would float in between the customer and the company, although it would be attached to the comopany's site, making it isolated - but it's a good start

Patrick, I wholeheartedly agree. It's why I think of VRM as nonsense: today's customer relationships aren't the longlasting marriages like in the old days, it's come to good old prostitution and one-night-stands these days: there is no need for a tool to extensively record your relationship with a vendor

If any, people will handle that relationship - not machines. But they'll do so based on input, and to be able to justify their actions, that input should be stored - or should it? Are telephone calls recorded these days, to justify company decisions based on customer input?
I don't think so. But the fact that a call was made, is recorded - and it would be easy to e.g. freeze those tweets in a social conversation between customer and company.
Much like an email address and a phone number, a customer's social id('s) is just another means of reaching him / her

Still, that would make that all aftersales stuff: dealing with known clients only - otherwise there's no record to store all this with?

So: social hanbdle(s) and social conversation(s) between customer and company should be stored. Any takers?

Jude Russo Caserta said...

"Patrick, I wholeheartedly agree. It's why I think of VRM as nonsense: today's customer relationships aren't the longlasting marriages like in the old days, it's come to good old prostitution and one-night-stands these days: there is no need for a tool to extensively record your relationship with a vendor"

Jaded but not altogether untrue. Interesting.

Jude Caserta
@JudeCaserta

marktamis.com said...

Hi Martijn,

The question here is not so much about a customer being a record in your system - it is about how much you want to "record" and for which purpose. The way I see it, what we are trying to capture is the context of the customer or even segments, so that in our interactions we can better understand and anticipate needs and expectations so as to meet desired outcomes. Contact details and trasactional data will only get you so far...

The other part of the equation is for the company to better understand desirability to maintain the relationship and at which level (whether it is 'worth it' to 'invest' in this client and her social network in terms of CLV, WOM etc.)

This last part is where 'the back office' and 'Social Collaboration' can play an important role - people, resources, devising customer engagement strategies, conceiving adapting product and service offers. SCRM is DOA if you aren't organised to take action on what you learn through interaction and 'collaboration'.

The record needs to be there, and its contents must be aligned with what the organisational goals are. The problem thus does not lie at whether we need to do Social Collaboration or social CRM (as these are means) but rather whether a business model based on customer-employee collaboration will be sustainable and beneficial to those involved. #justsomethoughts

Cheers,
Mark

Martijn Linssen said...

Thank you Mark, I agree there; this is just a post to find out what distinguishes CRM from SCRM - and to prove that all valuable data to an enterprise should be stored on disk via some application: if you outgrow the grocery's, you need automated systems to share your companies knowledge so you can treat your customer as if you (your company's employees) were one and the same

Unsure what the context of a customer is, or how that is static enough to store. I am just wondering what we want to know *extra* about the (Social) customer: we know why we want to do this (make more or easier money against less cost, or achieve a better / less bad brand reputation against less cost), even talk about how (SCRM) and with what (social media) we want to do this, but have skipped the what we should do: exactly what should we do?
Where are the tangible business services we seek?

If you can define a few of those services, you get to your business model - and then know what you need for the questions and answers involved, to finally arrive at what we need to have stored in order to prepare that, and postprocess that

marktamis.com said...

Hi Martijn,

The context (social, interest, lifestyle, lifestage, personality, network, environment) serves as a datapoint to understand what the customer is trying to achieve, and reduce friction in your interaction with her.

It can also be used to anticipate churn by spotting triggers for defection behaviour so that you can then make an informed decision on what to invest to maintain the relationship in the light of CLV, potential WOM etc - rather than try a winback which has little chance to succeed.

The tangible business services we seek would also be decreased risk of new product launch failures (at the 80% rate), which through interaction and feedback could be reduced to 1/5.

so to go back to your initial question, the difference sCRM/CRM lies in not only using transactional data, but also contextual/interaction data to guide your business decisions. Makes sense?

Cheers,
Mark

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