co-founder diginomica
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Kirill Tatarinov, Microsoft: Everybody is now responsible for CRM

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18th Nov 2013
co-founder diginomica
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“Enterprise has evolved to become social enterprise.”

At first sight seasoned CRM market watchers might flinch slightly from Kirill Tatarinov’s use of ‘social enterprise’ as a term only a year or so after Salesforce.com got into hot water over its attempt to trademark the term.

But what the EVP of Microsoft Business Solutions is talking about is the impact of trends of such as social and mobility on how enterprises need to rethink their approach to customer experience and customer management.

“What only three years ago, was considered irrelevant waste of time in the world of business, today is essentially a very important core tool that businesses use every day to connect their employees, to connect better with their customers, to connect with the consumers,” explained Tatarinov at the Microsoft Convergence conference in Barcelona.

“People's expectation in this new world, in this new world where millennials are coming into the workplace with very different expectations, expectations of customer service have changed dramatically.”

One benefit of new technology approaches to customer management is the potential to keep tracks on what your customers really think, 

“Over 90% of the people never complain when they are not served well,” noted Tatarinov. “They never complain. They just leave, and never come back, and you lose a customer. 70% of the people form their opinion on the first interaction and in many cases that opinion of your brand, of your company, of the service that you deliver, stays with them.

“In my travels, I can tell you how astounded I am finding how few organisations actually know their customers well. How few companies actually implemented solid processes that would enable them to follow the customer, to serve the customer, to nurture the customer, to delight the customer.”

Brave new world

But in this brave new world, where does responsibility lie for CRM policy?  “The answer to that is very simple - everybody,” said Tatarinov. “It's not one person. It's not just about technology, it's not just about business process. It's about every single person in the organisation who really needs to work together to serve that customer.

“It's really human aspect of the enterprise that come to play in this new world of change, in this new economy, in this new connected environment.”

To get this level of overall corporate engagement with the customer means looking hard at how your employees are motivated, advised Tatarinov.  “Making sure that your people truly connect with customers, and your people are incredibly customer friendly and customer-centric is very important in this today connected world,” he said.

It is a simple equation, he added. “We find that happy employees typically deliver happy outcomes for your customers,” said Tatarinov. “Making your employees happy, making your employees happy and focused on customer experience will drive happy outcomes for you as an organisation, and happy outcomes for your customers.

“Humanisation of the enterprise is very important transformation that's happening in the business today. We used to talk about consumerisation of IT, we then started to talk about consumerisation of enterprise. Now we think it's about humanisation of the enterprise.”

There are good examples of this in practice, he argued. “I was on the aeroplane just a couple of days ago and read an article about a Russian airline called Aeroflot,” he said. “They are training every single one of their flight attendants, teaching them to smile so they can deliver better service. I tell you folks from personal experience, teaching a Russian to smile is not easy. But they are doing it”

That said, Tatarinov came to a somewhat downbeat conclusion: “It is just phenomenal that in this new world, in this world of change, there is so much still for us to do to enable great excellent customer interactions and to really drive it forward.”

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