Member Since: 30th Apr 2003
CRM Optimisation Consultant The Wisdom Network Ltd
10th Jul 2008
Interesting article and it confirms the opinion of MarketTools CEO Amal Johnson having acquired CustomerSat:
There is clearly a lot at stake and firms cannot afford to make the wrong bets. Insight into customer behaviour and the ability to listen to online communities is increasingly important.
21st Apr 2008
A key element of the CIM definition is 'satisfies customer demand...'
None of the measures directly captures the customer satisfaction element. Only indirectly, the assumption being customers vote with their wallets.
It is also potentially possible to satisfy customer demand profitably, but not as effectively as competitors. In time this can make the business very vulnerable. Does anyone remember OS2 Warp?
So I wonder if the CIM definition ought to be updated to include ''more effectively than the direct and indirect competition.''
This would imply deeper insight into what customers really think and the competitive landscape.
Marketing therefore ought to be a discipline across an organisation that enables the firm to sense and effectively respond to change, more effectively than competitors.
It's not sufficient to monitor historical data, the anticipatory nature is essential too. This is one reason why budgets are so poorly allocated within firms - the cash cows get the lion's share of the investment whereas the rising stars are ignored.
I also think there is something about the cycle time to achieve this which ought ot be part of the definition.
Traditional research processes take ages, so there is a need for much shorter cycle times using more advanced feedback mechanisms, such as realtime touch-point analyses, to trigger a rapid reaction.
A healthy company is one which can spin on a sixpence and is highly adaptable. Such a highly sensitive organisation, remains relevant to its customers, whereas many once successful firms fall by the wayside which assume a 'more of the same' approach.
13th Mar 2008
Great article Jennifer. If I might add some additonal barriers - which are often the same ones that impede success with CRM, they are:
- No common purpose/ lack of leadership which leads to what Stephan Haeckel (www.senseandrespond.com) calls 'incoherence'. The cost of which is financially great and damages the customer experience.
- long cycle time between customer feedback and reaction. Traditional VOC capture techniques via 3rd parties that are analysed 3 months down the road and then filter up to senior management round budget time, do not solve a customer's pressing problem or dissatisfaction.
- The old Silos - different departmental interests ask questions specific to their own needs rather than from the customer's perspective. Customers are not recognised as individuals with a history with the firm. It's a monologue, not a dialogue, a transaction not a relationship.
- If there is a common purpose, then measures should reflect it or it remains nothing more than pious hot air.
- It's not just good quality software that is needed, but the discipline in place to use it to drive customer centred outcomes. That requires cross-organisational and collaborative thinking time, or it results in more efficient irritation for the customer, not to mention wasted money.
22nd Nov 2007
Yesterday I tried to get hold of BT Vision service department. The only phone number on their website was the sales department, which I duly rang. They answered within 2 seconds very cheerfully asking me if I'd like to place an order.
I explained that Id signed up for the BT Vision package and was told an engineer would come round to install on the Monday. No engineer turned up and no one rang to inform me.
Sales department put me through to the service department telephone which took 25 minutes before it was answered.I heard 'your call is in a queue and will be answered shortly.
50 such messages later and a rather surly individual who couldn't care less told me it was a self service product and then hung up!
Same routine but this time to a more helpful individual who didn't hang up.
I opened the package of kit that BT had sent me and sure enough it wasn't too complicated.
Good technology - lousy service and the fact that the only telephone number is for sales, speaks volumes for BT's priorities.
28th Feb 2007
Where you have a firm that really respects its customers, that same cultural philosophy is likely to prevail in a CSR environment.
The converse is likely to be true too.
28th Jan 2007
Sometimes we make assumptions on what constitutes a good customer experience. This is dangerous.
On the other hand asking them may not reveal the answer either - so what should we do?
Perhaps the critical key is to try to understand the customer's context. This takes a degree of care and skill in order to encourage responses and identify key drivers of customer satisfaction and need.
This take a lot more than simply throwing surveys at customers.
Firms that are beginning to succeed with this though are reaping huge rewards.
Prof Stephan Haeckell calls this the 'customer back' organisation or the 'Adaptive Enterprise' able to sense and respond to customers needs and adapt its capabilties to serve them better.
Customer satisfaction surveys are a vital tool, but they need to be constructed intelligently and encompass the entire customer experience.
Powerful analytics can then identify critical-to-quality or key drivers of satisfaction.
The results then need to be followed up rapidly.
Managing sometimes tens of thousands of customer inputs and demonstrating appropriate responsiveness can be greatly aided by what we call 'Action Management'.
This enables a firm to be responsive, rather than frozen in the headlights of customer feedback.
Of course it is never quite so simple - and requires leadership and the right culture to really make a go of it, but EFM applications (Enterprise Feedback Management) can provide part of the answer - take a look at www.customersat.com or the Ariba and Honeywell case studies on this site to see what I mean
9th Nov 2006
Graham this is only the second of 6 interviews and was focused on the broad issue of aligning business and customer strategies.
The lovely stuff you are on about - creating value comes out hopefully in the next couple of interviews - first on customer value creation and the second on multichannel integration, which contributes to the whole customer experience.
Delta Model may be old hat to you, but it is not a bad stratospheric view of main challenges facing many businesses. They are often very product centric, fixated on shoring up their basic operational capabilities (no doubt using the promise of Six Sigma and other incremental disciplines). And few have grasped the nettle in terms of customer intimacy/insight etc.
Not sure where you get the idea that Prof Payne was advocating anything being set in stone, in fact his last comment was that strategy is a continuous process, not a one-off- stick-it-in-the-draw and then execute it come what may.
Finally, there is often a tendancy to look for the new silver bullet, or new fad. Our industry is the worst for this. The fact is that some of the old stuff still has value, and is perhaps augmented rather than deposed by the new.
Indeed your point about 'strategy is about building a portfolio of business options' is actually quite old but none the worst for that - See the Art of the Long View 1991 Peter Schwartz - something the Oil industry has been playing around with for donkey's years, and still very valuable..
I hope the next interrview will be less troubling and I'm sure you will put me right if it isn't. :)
all the best
31st Oct 2006
Stuart what is the difference between this and Word Of Mouth (WOM)?
Graham thanks for the link
20th Oct 2006
I agree with the thrust of this article. However to really get serious about 'customers as assets' these firms need to take a disciplined approach to their 'customer portfolio'.
1. Segment customers by revenue and profit performance
2. Consider potential lifetime value of customers
3. Develop a portfolio strategy + long term goals
4. Segment desired customers by benefits sought and behaviours to really get underneath their needs
5. Assess capabilities to fulfil customer portfolio strategy in the light of this new understanding
6. Identify gaps
7. Fill gaps - people, process, technology,culture,skills etc
8. Track performance
9. Project future cashflows based on how the portfolio has developed
10, Provide plenty of evidence to support a higher valuation to investors.
Few accountants can help with this.
16th Oct 2006
Graham - as far as campaign management goes that's all fine and dandy.
If the organisation is blowing £millions on campaigns then providing some discipline is no doubt beneficial.
For more advanced organisations looking to keep ahead - MRM as it is today barely scratches the surface.
Tom - There is so much more to marketing than lead generation activities. You wouldn't think so though when terms like
'Marketing Resource Management' are used.
To my mind, MRM today doesn't go wide or deep enough for firms that already have effective marcoms budget disciplines in place.
Today MRM is really 'Marketing Communications Resource Management. It only deals with one element of the marketing mix.