Creating An Integrated Customer Experience
Here are some excerpts from an excellent, insightful post I found on the MTS Blog, Who Owns the Customer Experience. Be sure to check out this blog. It's new, but looks like it's going to provide a nice stream of thought provoking information.
The advent of marketing automation brought to fruition the notion of a customer dialogue-a multi-step interaction between company and customer. Campaign designers began to use the power of marketing automation to move beyond a simple promote and response model to one that was much more customer friendly. Single step campaigns became multi-wave campaigns which eventually evolved into multi-step dialogues. Marketing entered an entirely new era where customers have a significant say in how they were approached and wooed.
But this dialogue paradigm is giving way to something much more strategic and more in line with the vision of the 1 to 1 customer relationship that was envisioned at the dawn of the CRM era. Leading CRM practitioners are now looking at designing customer experiences that cross marketing, sales, customer service, and e-commerce. Thanks to advances in technology-marketing automation, sales force automation, real-time decisioning, and web analytics to name a few products in the mix, delivering an integrated customer experience is now a real possibility.
So what are the biggest barriers to making this happen if the technology is readily available?
In working with major corporations who are grappling with this challenge, we see challenges that can be much more challenging than implementing the proper technology.
First, this expanded view of the customer experience crosses significant organizational power boundaries. When defining a broad customer experience, CRM visionaries must work with a variety of channel owners who have their own agenda and incentives to maximize their own success.
Ironically, many organizations have constructed a silo around their e-commerce activities. While the company website is a powerful marketing tool, it is also a major source of direct revenue. Owners of the e-commerce channel may have little interest in partnering with their counterparts in marketing if it leads to reduced revenue recognition for their online business. Similarly, sales management is always interested in closing a deal in the shortest possible time. While marketers are focused on customer engagement and relationship building, they have to work through a sales function with a more immediate focus.
The second big challenge to the creation of an integrated customer experience is the increasing importance of inbound customer activities in the marketing mix. As customer response to traditional marketing continues to erode, the importance of customer initiated marketing continues to increase.
Rather than designing a multi-step dialogue, marketers must work to define "the next best action" given a wide variety of customer behaviors. Doing this well requires a mastery of predictive analytics, business rules, as well as traditional campaign design. This is a major challenge, but one that has been shown to increase marketing effectiveness by an order of magnitude.Comments
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About the Author:
Jim Berkowitz is a seasoned executive with more than 30 years of professional services and project management experience related to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Financial Management (Accounting & ERP) software solutions for small, mid-sized and Fortune 500 companies. As a Sales Force Automation and CRM Consultant, Jim has assisted more then 100 companies with the design and implementation of custom CRM solutions.
Mr. Berkowitz is the founder and President of CRM Mastery, Inc.; a company dedicated to serving small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) by offering affordable tools and guidance to help them plan for and succeed with their CRM initiatives.
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