CRM Portal, CRM Data Capture, CRM Analytics - Requirements for a Rapid Real Time CRM Portal Implementation - Operational CRM
Nethra Sambamoorthi, Ph.D
11 Bartram Road
Englishtown, NJ 07726
KEY WORDS: Real Time CRM system, CRM analytics, Analysis driven CRM, Operational CRM, CRM communications, CRM Integration of Channels, One Voice Once Face CRM, Time to Sell CRM and Time to Service CRM
In part I, we saw the importance of customer perspective for rapid implementation of a real time CRM system. We set out the business rules that defines best practices of components of customer perspective relationship that defines the data structure, data capture, data intelligence, and the technology needed to build such a system. We will discuss exactly the kinds of data that we need to capture to execute those components that come out of the customer perspective business rules.
In this part, Part II, we will discuss the components of operational needs of a real time CRM system; essentially we will define the business rules that defines best practices for an operational CRM component. Subsequently, as before in the case of the Part I, we will discuss exactly the types of data that need to be collected for executing operational perspectives of a real time CRM system.
Fulfill CAR( Correct, Accurate, Relevant) in communication and fast every time:
The ultimate goal of operational perspective of a real time system is delivering information in a consistent, accurate, and relevant way to the customer and to the system, systematically and successfully with every interaction (the moment of truth) with the customer, whether the interaction is a simple question about when the customer will get the rebate check or a detailed support service for resetting the parameters of an application in the case of a software application. The quality of interaction is extremely important; this is a combination of technology and personal touch of the CRM reps.
There is no lag between web agent, telephone representative, and of course the email or any other way company interacts (FAX, US MAIL, Chat) with the customer
The financial services companies are the best in delivering this kind of service quality. Charles Schwab, American Express, and Lands End are some of the best practices companies in this class following this business rule to the core.
Latest personal information of the customer and all the previous versions of products and services should be available at the finger tip of the CRM service representative
Remember that the functional and legal binding of the company in delivering promises related to various reincarnations of products and services requires that the company that sold such products and services with an explicit warranty should keep such information at the finger tip of the CRM representatives. For example, a pharmaceutical company promises that so many inhales per container is promised for an asthma medication and it came up with a new product where it provides both low end and high end usage of the container meaning two different new products. The pharmaceutical company will have to keep all the three products information along with the rebates and warranty time period and compensation if any consumer complains of any thing less than the promised delivery on the product.
All the departments of the company speak with the same voice and with the same face
Here is an example, which actually happened. This international cellular services company offers services all the over the world and I bought a version of the offer and took it abroad, to keep myself "connected" always. When I bought the RIMM equipment, I was promised by the sales person that RIMM works with out any problem where I intend to take, namely a big city in southern India. Happily I bought the equipment just a day before leaving on my plane. However, it so happened that it did not work as promised. After much discussion on a overseas call, the customer support center mentioned that since I was traveling abroad they will waive my 30 days return policy and make it 45 days (my return day was planned well ahead to be around 35th day). They advised me that I can take my RIMM and the store that sold will take it back, account cancelled, and credit issued. However, to my horror, I was told on the face that customer service is not running the shop floor, and they will not honor the customer service. It was perhaps the worst customer experience, mainly because, they outrightly said that customer service is not running the sales floor. I do not mean it is the way they deal with every customer but it happened to me on that day with this company.
While all companies are always interested in making sure that they have the latest information about the customer in the system, it is some times frustrating to experience delays in receiving customer service, because the "system does it have the latest information". The technology is there and a solution could be built; what is the holdup, buddy?
There is no quality or speed differential between the money inflow processes vs. money outflow processes or for that matter data inflow processes vs. data outflow processes
While inflow processes favor the company, the outflow processes are customer oriented.
This may look like it is similar to the above point. But this is actually a lot more demanding in terms of fairness in dealing with customers. Often the companies use technologies and legal processes to quickly make sure that they are covered in terms of getting the money or data into the system but when it comes to delivering back to the customer for whatever reason it does not represent the same speed or the detail. While this may look like philosophical, the days are not too far that consumers demand such best practices for their side. Here is an example, when one of the two large internet advertising company, I paid for a service and it turned out that is not what I wanted; after all they have automated the system, once the money is gone inside, it is like a black hole and you can not get the credit back into your credit card easily. Even after a week, nobody responded for a voice mail left. I have to go through the credit card company to challenge the payment and lodge an investigation.
Know your time to sell and know your time to service.
This is sales 101. Customers come to the interaction center because they are in need of something. It may even be details on a new product so that they can buy the new product. Pushing the decision rules always to sell at the first opportunity of interacting with the customer should have some sensible human rules also. In one of the large telephone company I interacted with, I had to clarify the billing. Honestly after 5 transfers, I ended up finally with the person, who said I have to call a separate number for small businesses. Interestingly though, when I am ready to hang up after much frustration, I was told that they have this DSL service for my home number. Use customer intelligence to serve what they want first and then make the sales if it is appropriate, utilizing that interaction opportunity
The same telephone company, called me three times to sell DSL even though I had DSL service from them; what a waste of my time, their time and to add to this the frustration.
This is the fundamental principle of "right person, right message, right time". If this is not served by your CRM system, you as well not do this, lest we save our face in terms of politeness and decency.
Use customer intelligence to do a good job for this business rule
At the end of closure of an interaction, ask one or two question to find out how the company could serve better (market research)
What is that they are missing that the company can provide and what is that the company do better?. This is perhaps the best opportunity to know information for product development and to increase service level quality metrics. Could our CRM ever have a friendly system and processes to talk to customers in a friendly way and extract information from them. This one even the best companies currently missing the opportunity of utilizing the interaction. Why is that we can not have casual chat at the end?
For heaven sake, have better trained reps, or virtual agents in the web
This is the most frustrating in a CRM activities from the point of view of customers; CRM representatives can not pronounce words properly and speak clearly. What all they have is information at their finger tip, and their voice. I never have this problem with the best practices companies. Now think about what does it mean to have a well trained virtual agent.
The exercise is to think why and how " CRM Analytics " plays a critical in the operational perspective also.
In part III, we will discuss the business rules for management perspective of real time CRM. As before we will not be able to implement everything at the same time, so we provide some prioritizing methodologies to sequence the implementation steps for putting together a working real time CRM system.