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Live from Gartner Symposium ITxpo - Driving the Customer-Centric Enterprise

I am attending Gartner Symposium and ITxpo this week and blogging as I go.

Scott Nelson presented on Driving the Customer-Centric Enterprise. He started with some predictions:

  • Large scale CRM projects come back
  • Build your own composite CRM application
  • Single view of customer projects will double
  • SOAs a major focus for CRM vendors
  • SaaS and open source more important
  • Companies will continue to throw away lots of feedback from customers

He made the point that, in reality, CRM is already key for most companies - just look at the priorities that CIOs have. They sometimes think that CRM is not a focus because they define it too narrowly. Gartner regards CRM as an approach to becoming more customer-centric.

He said that the intent-driven organization is the goal. What do customers WANT to do? He gave examples of "differentiated or personalized relationship", "service as the value of a product" and "intelligent automated relationships". All of these seem to me to be decisioning problems - how do I personalize, automated interactions with customers. He used he gethuman website as an example of customer power and I have blogged before about gethuman - humans are not the solution, getting your problems solved is. He also said that custom IP is going to be the key differentiate themselves - to add decisioning to handle that 5% that is unique.

I have blogged before about customer-centric enterprises and presented recently on customer experience at the Teradata conference and about how to stop customers leaving.

BTW Fair Isaac is at booth 305

In addition he said that isolated systems a big problem and he said need to make systems talk but I might say you need to extract and externalize decisions instead. He emphasized that you are going to see more channels, more devices, real-time data and internal as well as external data. We need a more comprehensive view of customer experience. This involves not just the customer facing applications but also customer-satisfying processes like delivery, supply chain, logistics etc. Making customer decisions in the light of all these other processes and systems is what CRM is all about and this means more than just traditional CRM systems. Perhaps we should think about Customer Decision Management?

Interestingly he identified eight building blocks of Customer-Centricity. Successful CRM implementations had all 8

  1. Vision
  2. Strategy
  3. Valued the customer experience and asked them what would make the relationship better
  4. Organizational collaboration - got beyond the "my customer" attitude
  5. Focused on customer processes and fixed them rather than just automating
  6. Focused on customer information - 50% effort in making data actionable.
  7. Technology - including CRM software but not only CRM software
  8. Metrics - tracking, learning, improving

He laid out a maturity model for Customer-centricity and some nice self-assessment tools. Interestingly more mature states had a much greater decisioning-focus with more analytics for instance and much more implicit reliance on decisions.

Lastly, he covered the question of what is a customer-centric strategy? One of:

  • Extend breadth and depth of relationship
  • Use and enhance brand equity
  • Minimize barriers and costs
  • Focus on customer satisfaction

Not all of them - doing everything is not a strategy.

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