Event summary: CRM in one day

This week, I visited the event "CRM in 1 Day" in the Netherlands. If you want to excel with your online or multichannel shop, a good CRM strategy is a critical factor.
A lot of things were obvious, but I will share some insights and my opinion below.

The presentation of the keynote speaker is available at slideshare.

Social CRM: where's the money? from Clo Willaerts

The keynote speaker referred to a TED talk  from Pattie Maes. It's from a few years ago. When I watched the video, I already noticed that it is only a small step before parts of the examples given become reality.
Offline and online integrate. When buying a book in a bookstore, see the reviews at your phone immediately.
Project and share information everywhere.
Albert-Heijn supermarkets in Holland now started a test, with scanning and paying products with your cellphone. Next step is of course to add marketing, reviews and personal advice. Just like in the TED talk.

It is important to have a good CRM strategy. Don't just start building a CRM and think about a strategy afterwards. CRM is NOT anymore just a tool that you implement to register your orders we are way beyond that time now.

Always start with a vision and mission in a CRM plan

It all starts with a customer vision and mission and a customer strategy.

Often companies still think that acquiring customers is the most important. But don't forget that it is way cheaper to keep customers then to acquire them. CRM, social CRM, customer touchpoints they are all very important to keep customers. The whole day, various examples of customer touchpoints, customer journey's  were discussed. Make a map of all your customer touchpoints, and change them with your new vision. If there are to much, shortlist them and start with the most important ones.

In a research presented during the day, more then 66% of the customers will switch from company when the customer service they experience is not satisfying. Note that this is about your CURRENT customers. Not about acquiring new ones.

In the past many customer reports said that price and quality is the most important thing. But quality is equalizing upwards. Everybody needs to have good quality goods and services. It is common now. If you do not supply quality, social media will make sure you cannot survive. Price is equalizing downwards. Everything is getting cheaper. The crisis, price comparisment sites etc, make sure this trend is accelerating. 
It is more and more difficult to difference at price. Only differentiating at price is also not what you want. Your customers will demand more and more reduction each year. And even big retail companies as "the bijenkorf" have this problem. I saw a presentation a few days ago about retailers and their promotion strategy, so I think it is a common problem for many retailers.

Runner up finding in customer research reports is : companies have to understand what I want. This will be the most important factor in customer satisfaction reports the next few years and will be above price and quality, because everybody is competitive at these two area's. 

It's is also logical that people want companies to understand what they want. People are getting used to it because of the marketing strategy of some large internet players and because they more and more realise they (can) give a lot of information to companies.

It is easy (especially for those large internet companies) to give tailor made product or service suggestions in a webshop. But I think it goes beyond offering products based at shop or click behavior. We must not only think in products, when we are talking about "understanding what the customer wants". When we do so there is a danger, a customer will never buy anything from another category or service from you, if you do not offer it. So keep this in mind when you use personalised promotion tools in your webshop. Think about your product or service lifecycle and all service and communication moments you can build around it.

Integrate social in your CRM for improved service and to prevent negative escalations.

If you sent a tweet to a company, they have to recognize you without asking contact details first and they need to have your complete history with this company.They can use the open social graph to optimize the service for customers.  

The key to succes is the centralise the expectations of the customer and to know his wishes and demands
I think especially for traditional companies that are making the shift from traditional to online this is very difficult. New or only online companies know about social CRM and how to deal with this massive data explosion. Traditional companies have already a big pile of data, an IT architecture that might be not flexible and will have many integration challenges. 

KLM did so, by delivering happiness. Not information that is in their database, but the usage of open social graph data to give presents to customers. 

The case is already from 2010: 

Look at this KLM example and think creative for your own organisation. How can you deliver happiness?

Imagine a good customer is having contact with a company and besides that he is asking for information for a digital camera that he wants to buy, you see at his social data that his hobby is not photographing people, but wildlife. You can then give him more information about photographing wildlife and upsell a special wildlife telelens. You could not have known that before the age of social media.
Or an angry customer calls with a complaint, but you can get information from his social profiles that make it more easier to satisfy this customer again. A person is calling about a digital camera that is not working. It takes a week to fix it, the customer is very angry and thinks it takes to long. But in his social profile you see that he is marrying in 3 days. Now it is understandable and you can find a specific solution for his marriage.

Use social data to understand what your customers want. Improve service, sell more!

Social graph data is evolving daily, hourly, or even per second. This is a big challenge, you cannot make selections and do something with it weeks in advance. The data is constantly changing. How to deal with that? A big challenge for the near future.

Social Graph Data is not owned and constantly changing. A challenge.

UPC Business differentiates with a customer intimacy strategy. They really want to put the customer centric. They have some challenges with it, like many other companies have.

- what is the ROI, when is it going to deliver us money.
- multichannel approach. UPC business is just a small part of the UPC group. Negative associations with other divisions of the UPC group will also affect the UPC business division.

Interesting to learn that UPC also recognizes that you can only have a good customer service if you have employees that are satisfied. Therefore they have setup the "Customer Wow" programme. A programme to keep their employees satisfied. One of the management's KPI"s is also to keep the employees satisfied and involved and customer satisfaction. 

Your brain when reading a book (above) and when using Google (below)
The way we make (buying) decisions is changing. See our brain activity when reading a book vs using Google. It is a total different way of "thinking" for both the user and the marketers. Your online presence, your online service, customer touchpoints, vision, mission and proposition, it will be totally different then your old strategy.

Technology and social graph change buying behavior
There are nowadays more examples, but Kiddicare in the UK decreases support costs by letting customers or brand advocates help customers with problems.

Decrease support costs by use of social 

The customer lifecycle for modern marketing by Forrester. Looking at this model, also confirms my thoughts that the customer touchpoints and communication moments are getting so much more important to keep your current customers and to attract new ones.
A lot of these contactmoments can be automated, but you have to be ready to identify them, to test them, and most important, to add value with these contact moments.
Don't forget to think commercially.
Every promotion you have, every contactmoment can evolve in a commercial transaction. Don't stop communicating after the sale. That is what most companies nowadays do. Don't stop, add value after the sale and this will reward in the end. I buy a lot online and the only follow up after a sale are the "we recommend you these" e-mails. But that is not adding value!

Customer lifecycle for modern marketing by forrester

New for me was that there is also something like a "customer effort score".
How much effort did it take to get the answer to your question.

In the sheet (below) they only mention offline behavior, like how many times did you had to call before your problem was solved, and the average waiting time, but this can also be perfectly measured online by constantly testing your FAQ questions and interaction design, thinking about FAQ positions (shopping cart), live chat etc.

A new KPI for me, the customer effort score
So my summary of the summary:

  • Add value for your customers
  • Have a clear CRM strategy 
  • Deliver happiness , excellent service or an experience to your customers
  • You can earn money with customer centric thinking. But the ROI time is longer then with normal marketing promotions. Value for the customer/ Value from the Customer. Make sure you are in the middle.
  • Improving and expanding your customer touchpoints is what it is all about the next few years. And this is fun, I think!  Think service, Think Creative, Think Commercial. A nice project but start with a vision and then implement it in your customer touch points.
  • Start using social graph data
  • If you are in an international environment, think of local differences and embed it in your strategy. (legal, technical, but especially also in terms of service)
So I think, big online retailers like Zalando, Amazon, Rakuten, offer a very broad range of products and this is not the end. They will extend their productrange massively. Customers will more likely turn to these big players for their online shopping in a broad way.
So where smaller online retailers can differentiate with, is delivering this excellent service, giving a great experience to your customers and get to know your customers far better then the big ones can.

It was a nice event to visit. Nice speakers. I especially liked the Forrester presentation and Egbert Jan van Bell's presentation.


  1. These are mighty great ideas you got here. The author really put some thought into choosing the right words for the bigger impact. I'm sure other readers will appreciate this a lot.

  2. Thank you for taking the precious time to write this post!!


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