In which Jill and some friends debate the value of CRM, and the only winner is the bartender.
Responses to an informal CRM survey,âŠ Okay, wait a minute.
See, it wasnât actually a scientific survey. It was more like a, um, poll. A poll done by me. At a pub called Paddy Oâs. (Get it? Thereâs a PATIO there, which is part of the problem.) And the focus group was a bunch of product managers and data analysts from the Marketing department of a large automobile manufacturer. And if this wasnât enough of an intoxicating cocktail, we were drinking Captain Morganâs and pineapple juice. âNuff said.
Anyway, we all knew a fair bit about CRM and a bunch of us were users of a major enterprise software vendorâs CRM tool, and some of us were using the data to assemble targeted customer lists, and a handful of us had been featured in a magazine as a CRM case study, and one of us had actually written a book on CRM, so we were sitting around talking about CRM and somebody actually said, âIs this boring?â Then everyone said, âYeah" and we ordered a round of Mojitos.
Then we realized that we werenât really discussing CRM at all. We had been talking about the vendors, the market consolidation, whether one toolâs marketing automation capabilities surpassed anotherâs, whether you can really do targeted marketing without data mining (me: âNope. No way. Uh, can I have another Cuba LibrĂ© please?â), and what the move the market leader would make next. Utterly boring stuff.
Someone ordered a Caipirinha with lime and said, âOkay, but is CRM changing the customerâs perception of our company?â and an argument ensued over whether the automaker had truly leveraged the newfound customer knowledge it had gleaned from its CRM program. Were the customers logging on to the web site? Were they getting better service? Were the dealers on board? What was the impact on supplier relationships? People weighed in on their perceptions of CRMâs value, not as a packaged application or even as an infrastructure, but more as a corporate-wide program that was (or wasnât, depending on who was talking) delivering quantifiable and sustained business value.
Now THAT was an interesting conversation. In fact, itâs one we should probably all be having, plus or minus the Mojitos.
Posted January 26, 2008 7:22 PM
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