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The future of CRM

A few days ago @MarkTamis called me with a question: “Where do you think CRM heads to in future?” Uhhm, not that simple a question. It really forced me to think as all those thoughts, observations and discussions of the needed to be brought into a better structure.


To lay the foundation I need to start with a definition of CRM; as I like it I start off with the one that Wikipedia provides:

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a widely-implemented strategy for managing a company’s interactions with customers, clients and sales prospects. It involves using technology to organize, automate, and synchronize business processes—principally sales activities, but also those for marketing, customer service, and technical support. The overall goals are to find, attract, and win new clients, nurture and retain those the company already has, entice former clients back into the fold, and reduce the costs of marketing and client service.[1] Customer relationship management describes a company-w…

Social CRM needs a CRM system. No! But Yes!

Some days ago Bob Thompson interviewed Graham Hill about his take on Social CRM. The interview covered a lot of topics, most notably the future of Social CRM about which Graham has a particular view and led Bob to ask the question whether it is necessary to have a CRM system to have Social CRM.
On a first glimpse this question sounds simple, but it really isn’t. From a business perspective it only matters that CRM is executed upon, if CRM is a topic. This is totally independent of systems, as are the possible paths into the future of Social CRM that Graham sees, which is a deviation from this post that I likely will look into in a later post.
My answer to Bobs question is a clear No – but Yes!
Sounds odd, doesn’t it? So let me explain.
CRM is a business strategy; so is Social CRM. In an earlier blog titled CRM vs. Social CRM – what is the difference? I discussed differences as I do saw them at that time. My view has slightly evolved since, but this is another side track.
Let’s have a look …

Social CRM for Retail – Threats and Solutions

Brick-and-mortar retail businesses face a combination of ever-increasing customer expectations, customers being “educated” to expect and receive promotions, and of course an ever increasing competition in the market place for their customers’ share of mind and share of wallet. On top of all this they need to realize that they do not control the communication to their customers anymore, let alone being capable of controlling the communication in between their customers. As many bloggers, including myself, and analysts already stated, the advent of extremely user friendly and ubiquitous mobile devices and web applications essentially decoupled retailers from communications between their customers and even led to their marketing messages becoming part of the “background noise” for lots of consumers – just something one filters out when it comes to getting serious information.
Of course there are exceptions, especially considering that retail businesses reacted to this threat.
For retaile…

Some klout musings

Today I’d like to present some musings about the klout score. Now, mine is not particularly high – actually it is pretty low – as you can see below; but the curve is interesting, if set into a context.

So far I only followed my klout score pretty idly, till I started to do some minor experiments on 16.02.2011. You see some immediate effect on the day after. This is mainly due to me posting a blog entry and communicating this via Twitter and LinkedIn. There also should be a communication via CIBER’s Twitter account. This usually leads to a few clicks and one or two followers on Twitter. 
However, the real point I’d like to draw your attention to is the 22.02.2011. This is the day the 6.3 earthquake struck in Christchurch downtown and caused severe devastation. 
As you may know, I normally blog about CRM and social CRM on the CIBER site, so that event is clearly outside my usual activity. Now the catch is: I do live in Christchurch and quite some of my network friends do know this. So I di…