Stories by Greg Stack

Beware the eCRM Pink Pill

The difference between setting up a business-building customer contact system today and just 10 years ago is about as great as the difference between checking an order status on-line and visiting Mr. Drucker at the General Store. And what's at stake is more important than ever -- building customer satisfaction and loyalty in a world where service is increasingly becoming the greatest competitive differentiator. Customers stayed with the General Store because it was the only game in town. Today, anyone with an idea and a URL can make a bid for your customers. As companies realize they need to update their customer contact strategies and systems, many are tempted by the idea of a "little pink pill" -- that one-step, shrink-wrapped system that will deliver the ideal electronic Customer Relationship Management (eCRM) solution. But the pink pill for eCRM simply doesn't exist. An eCRM solution should give you a single, enterprise view of each customer, so that every interaction builds on the history of previous interactions. With this single view, you can anticipate customer wants, needs and expectations; each interaction works to strengthen your relationship and improve loyalty. That's why today's enterprise-wide eCRM architectures are complex. Companies need to apply expertise in multiple technologies and system integration to obtain a single view of the customer and apply emerging rules and actions, so that each customer interaction, regardless of the contact channel or the area of the company contacted, delivers a consistent experience that leads to the outcome you and your customer desire.