Real Time Analysis, Content delivery, and Data Capture Powers CRM portals
In a recent experience with a very large telephone company, I had this horrible CRM experience. See how many different problems I was going through. First I dialed a number to reach the right representative. I had to go through 4 stops before I reached and the line was asking me to wait additional 15 minutes. Once when I was talking, I got disconnected. Not sure whether it was because I was complaining about the long distance service so loud that the rep did not want to hear me any more. The complain was that I recently joined the company and no body told me about a cost effective plan for overseas calls. Any way this happened 3 times (Every time, I had to go through 4 stops). The third service rep, finally, mentioned that they have a special plan for me and she will be happy to enroll me and give credit for the one of usage of over sees calls. The funniest part was she immediately started selling me a service before I even cooled on why I was talking to her. (talk about right person right message, they were being served by the rules, but the rules did not take into consideration the mood of the customer and the rules are not tempered by the correlated customer service failure points as one of the scoring element). Literally I got mad, and loudly preached her that their company should be sensitive to customers and then sell. Not take every moment should be seized as an opportunity to sell a product or service. There are times to accept the situation and just finish the request and be polite wishing a good day, closing the conversation. What could have been ideal is the rep asked some specific market research questions which help the company to understand CRM failure points.
In the following I give you the basis of CRM portals which serve as the front-end interaction center for service reps, in the case of B2C CRM, and different type of interaction dashboard in the case of B2b CRM.
- Able to perform “right person, right message/offer, at the right time” when interacting with current or potential customers
The traditional direct marketing promised this and tried its best to support this paradigm using US MAIL, subsequently using Teleservices. With the advent of web technology, this paradigm is possible to achieve for any time or by any channel (Web, US mail, telephone, fax, PDA, wireless) demands. However, the operatives of this paradigm are still valid, namely a strong data capture and data integration principles, data base management, analysis, and optimal messaging. Web technology makes this all the more easier to achieve and consumers get to expect the results of this paradigm in the light of web and wireless technology. The want the company to be sensibly talking to them, integrating all their previous interactions across different channels and provide all in an instantaneous framework. This is already extremely successful in wall street world, where such principles are extremely important for customer freedom and satisfaction.
- Able to collect/validate the latest personally identifiable and privacy protected, information about your current or potential customers
The data collection mechanism that is part of a CRM solution should have well defined principles for both collection and for protection of privacy and confidentiality of customers. Often companies miss the opportunity to validate the current information both to make sure the right person is talking to them and to make sure that the data base is updated with the latest information. This can be done in such a way that the consumers do not feel the push. For example, when identifying a customer, one can ask email address, not just phone all the time, especially if he/she is coming back second time with in a week.
- Able to make a sale then and there on
o Upsell or cross sell,
o Sell services, accessories, or insurance
Beware that if the customer is coming to you or you are reaching him/her at a time of failure of product/service, do not blandly sell these. They want to hear comforting apologetic explanations, not a sell. That would be a bummer.
- Able to get references for new customers with out being blatant