The three intertwined imperatives that make CRM work, by Gary Stocks, BSG Executive, and Mickey Hariparsad, Terrence Naidoo, Mark Tew and Derek Martin, BSG Business Consultants.
Connected CRM- The customer relationship management (CRM) capability of a competitive business in South Africa today needs to be a connected business platform. It must deliver continuous insight on customers and agents, supported by a data foundation that spans multiple technologies and organisational boundaries.
To explain why, we trace the trajectory of three intertwined imperatives: connected customer data, connected customer channels and the connected CRM platform.
Connected customer data and the death of the Rolodex
Leading South African organisations are not only managing customer data to interact effectively, they are using insights from that data to personalise engagement at an advanced level. And they are trying to do this in real-time, for example, by providing customised offers to customers when they connect in-store, at a branch, or online.
Though most organisations have invested heavily in enabling CRM systems, many are still not meeting their KPIs.
What is preventing them from doing this?
The problem originated 20 years ago, when we first delivered CRM projects. This new category of software promised to enable increasingly complex organisations to present one face to their customers. As organisations grew larger and expanded globally, customers became increasingly frustrated with their inability to simply recognise them. CRM offered the potential to solve this problem by centralising customer records across organisational departments.
But, deal-makers who kept track of relationships with Rolodexes of key contacts were reluctant to give up their ‘little black book’ of treasured contacts in favour of a system that wasn’t available when they were out of the office and which exposed their contacts to others. The IT function struggled to extract customer data from disconnected systems into a central CRM system and then deliver that to staff at the customer interface.
Instead of being solved, this problem has increased in complexity as the volume of customers, the number of interaction methods, and the frequency of interactions has increased.
A connected customer data platform is required to create the ‘single view of the customer’ that has been so elusive for so long.
This data platform needs to be secured for customers to trust organisations with their personal information, a need shared by industry regulators. Without the willingness of customers to share their data and the ability of organisations to connect it (in real-time), actionable customer insights are not possible.