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Customer focus with EDM

John Hagel, author of The Only Sustainable Edge (reviewed here), has a nice post on Tests for Customer Focused Companies. I liked his three "big" questions and any organization thinking about using a customer focus as a strategic weapon should ask themselves these questions (and read the post).

  • Who in the organization holds real decision-making power? Is it the organization that manages relationships with the customer or is it some other group?
  • What are the primary measures of performance for the firm?
  • What is the primary focus of the brand promise of the company?

Now enterprise decision management, EDM, can't do much to help you answer these questions. What it can do is help you turn your answers into operational reality. First and foremost automating customer treatment decisions allows you to deliver on your customer focus promise with strategic, top to bottom alignment. Automating decisions can also deliver better customer service and be a solution to the problems outlined by Seth Godin. Many organizations focused on becoming customer-centric become obsessed with collecting more data and I think there is a secret to capitalizing on customer insights and that EDM can use what you know about your customers more effectively. Customer loyalty can also be a focus for decision automation as I discussed before in Don't let your customers take their business elsewhere... and Customer Loyalty, EDM and "the corner store". In the end being customer-centric means being decision-centric - not just cross-channel, truly customer-centric and EDM delivers customer centricity. This focus on decision automation also let's you being customers inside the decision making process and give them an influence on decisioning.

I also wrote a "thought-leadership" white paper for Montgomery Research  called "Smart-Enough Customer Decisions" (an obvious plug for my book title, Smart (Enough) Systems) and reviewed Chocolates on the Pillow Aren't Enough, a highly recommended book for those working on customer centricity.

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