Thursday, September 6, 2007

CRM 2.0: Creating a Win-Win Scenario for Your Customers

As a company who embraces Web 2.0 applications like blogs, wikis, video, RSS, widgets, etc., as a good way to enhance communication with our valued customers -- and future customers -- we were happy to see this article on what Rick Enrico, Founder, President & CEO, Juice Media Worldwide, LLC, refers to as CRM 2.0.

Enrico argues that traditional CRM doesn't really work -- and maybe never really did work. The problem? People prefer to have a choice over how direct marketers reach them, what products/services are marketed to them, and who markets to them. The concept of CRM 2.0 takes all of this into consideration by allowing companies to "engage and involve their customer in order to create a truly collaborative customer experience that makes the customer feel as though they are an essential element in the entire business relationship." Thus, CRM 2.0 truly puts customers into the driver's seat.

This concept is becoming very widely talked about and accepted into the business community. For example, there is a very interesting CRM 2.0 wiki that has the sole purpose of creating a community which will gather insight from the brightest CRM minds to design and shape the definition of CRM 2.0. This site challenges all of us to really think about CRM as it exists today:

"Classic" CRM is no longer viable - a one dimensional corporate interaction that provides processes, services and technology to the customer facing departments - sales, marketing and customer service. It is time to recognize that there is a customer ecosystem (or is there, participants?) that provides empowered customers who are increasingly interested in making their own choices in how they interact with companies that they do business with. That means that not only does the company need to provide the goods and services, but the tools and culture to make the experience of that customer one of paramount and unparalleled value to that customer and thus to the company in return.

Both this wiki and Enrico are right on target. As direct marketers, we understand the constant challenge of attempting to reach those customers who are most interested in what we have to offer. We've learned that you can't really direct market without having a good understanding of your target market. Thus, we always integrate analytical intelligence with the best data to drive the best response for our clients. However, embracing CRM 2.0 means we have to stretch ourselves (and our clients) to do more than that. We have to help our clients engage with their customer base by becoming involved in Web 2.0 just as we have -- then integrating those tools into their overall customer relationship management platform. Think of it as another channel, or re-think your existing paradigm. This really calls for a change in mindset.

We will be noodling around good ways to start this process with our current clients. If any of you have success stories of how you've integrated CRM 2.0 into your business (or your clients' business) please comment here and share with all of us. Consider one of the success stories that Enrico relates in his article: "Sun Country Airlines was able to improve their customers’ flight experience just by getting a deeper understanding of its customers’ behavior- what they responded to and what they wanted. Sun Country monitored how prospects and customers interacted with their website, emails, PPC campaigns and landing pages as well as several offline advertising channels. They were able to track specifically which elements of their marketing campaigns were driving the revenue. By combining these analytics with their flight and reservation information, purchase history (both direct and channel) and Affinity Program, Sun Country established a series of highly effective “super campaigns” throughout multiple marketing channels. The results? An increase in overall customer satisfaction and return customers."

See, not only can it be done, it is being done. We look forward to hearing your thoughts and experiences on this exciting new concept!

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