With all the talk on co-creation, CRM has taken a back seat. No more pulling the customer to buy but engaging the customer in the design process. I would just like to point out one simple fact: in CRM, there is Relationship and that’s what gets the ball rolling. To develop a relationship, you need to start on something, i.e. purchase history, lifestyle data, verbatim and so forth. How did co-creation become the latest buzz if it’s not through customer data analysis among other things?
I believe that CRM has begun a soft decline due in part to poor ROI. The mistake businesses make too often is systematically associate CRM to technology, without checking first whether the organisation has “shifted” . That shift means making sure employees are all working for the client. For CSRs who have a privileged direct relationship with customers, that would mean noting every interaction, getting to know them throughout their lifecycle. These interactions add on to the knowledge base and help in engaging customers.
It’s twice the challenge to lead employees to customer-centricity AFTER having implemented CRM technology. For two reasons:
- in the first stages of CRM deployment, bugs and unclear processes generate frustration and hence a negative perception of what CRM stands for
- the notion of customer is a foggy concept and everyone has their own definition which is, more often than not technology-driven, CRM techies having paved the way.
In a nutshell, there is still room for “pull” but we must make customers want to share their personal data. It’s all in the shift. No shift, no customer insight, no relationship.