When I wrote about dumb companies and smart CRM last month, one surprising concern I heard is that the CRM would be interpreted as spam by customers. The value, however, of smart CRM is that customers consider it relevant and value it.
My definition of spam
What most people consider spam is communications (primarily email but it can be push notifications, SMS messages or even robo-calls) that has not meaning to the user and the user easily sees that. It is communications that is sent to thousands or millions of customers (or potential customers) with the hope that a fraction of a percent will respond to it.One element that does not define spam normally is frequency. I met only get one message from a company (say a Canadian pharmacy selling cholesterol medicine) but because the message is undifferentiated and clearly not written for me personally, I consider it spam. Continue reading “Smart CRM is not spam”
I recently read an interesting book, Smart Customers Stupid Companies by Michael Hinshaw and Bruce Kasanoff, that made an excellent case on why you should make your CRM (customer retention management) systems more sophisticated. The underlying idea is that customers, players, users, etc., are very connected, they regularly use mobile devices and tablets, have easy access to a computers and thus can find almost any data quickly (ever hear of Google?). As customers have and take advantage of instant access to information, they thus expect the companies they deal with to be equally sophisticated.
Consumers and businesses alike research, connect, and purchase online and over their phones. As Hinshaw and Kasanoff write, “[w]ith these tools come radically higher customer expectations. Higher expectations of experience. Greater demands for personalization and customization. Lower tolerance for mistakes, for running through inane hoops, or for interactions that require mindless repetition.”
What are smart customers?
Customers these days have immediate access to almost all information, with Google, Wikipedia, Angie’s List, etc., literally in the palm of their hands. Customers can outwit salespeople, easily spot misstatements by customer service reps, and have near-instant access to the accumulated knowledge of human civilization. The trend is continuing to accelerate; with each new generation of devices people have access to more information.
Customers are also getting less patient, and younger customers never had much patience to begin with. Anyone 20 or younger has never known a world without the Web. The oldest of this generation are now adults, soon to graduate from college and start households of their own. Continue reading “Use smart CRM to avoid being dumb”