A major drawback in today’s CRM solutions is its lack of transparency with regards to data collection. For example, sales people need to interact with the system in order to maintain new leads or business partners after the fact - meaning after completing a sales call, the sales person needs to go back and record the event and its outcome. The same holds true for customer reps and/or service-related organizations that need to track customer interactions and behaviors. The process for capturing this data is manual (and quite tedious and time consuming for some) – it is not automatic. This is where future CRM tools will excel.
Consider a new data collection paradigm where everything is logged, at all times, without the need to interact directly. All communication going from the enterprise to the customer base and vice versa passes through a common ‘CRM Black Box’ which logs everything:
While the sales person is speaking to the customer, the CRM solution is updating a display to sales person – on a tablet, smart-phone, maybe even a new optical device embedded into the lens of the sales person’s glasses? Not only is CRM giving the sales person information to create a personal experience for the customer, CRM is also logging the interaction – positive or negative outcome, mood of the customer, date/time of interaction, topics that were discussed, etc. However, the sales person did not need to change his/her behavior. From the sales person’s perspective, a phone call simply took place while a few talking points were displayed back in real-time. The integration between the sales person and the CRM system is seamless, effortless, and useful, which in turn drives acceptance of the system.
- My happiest customers
- My most annoyed customers
- Customers that use the company website and prefer it
- Customer that use the company website but would prefer to use the phone
- Customers that buy the least amount but call the service department the most
- Customers I talk to the most, but don’t sell to much
- Customers I never talk to, but sell to often
In a quiet and austere manner, CRM will find, catalogue, and report on every piece of information, behavioral quirk, or idiosyncrasy that drives customer behavior and preferences. Its presence will never be seen or felt, but its impact will be intense. Consumers will be amazed at how easily they can get exactly the right products and feel great doing it, and businesses will be amazed at how well they operate and how much their profits grow.