Posted by: pauditore | July 27, 2009

CRM is Dead: Customer Experience Management is The Future

CRM is dead and its history as the most popular shelfware product of the 1990’s helped seal its death in the annals of small business and enterprise software solutions. CRM emerged from the book The One to One Future, by Peppers and Rodgers and created a huge technology industry segment strewn with data warehouses, data marts, query and reporting tools, OLAP solutions and of course the famous business model. In many organizations, CRM failed miserably primarily because of the cultural differences between line of business and IT professionals and their inability to focus the enabling technologies on relevant business initiatives to understand the basics of customer intimacy. LOB and IT professionals are still like the odd couple in many companies, Oscar the messy sales guy who just cares about his next deal, and of course Felix the neat freak who has to have everything in order.  Sound like an IT guy? In this week’s personality of fish we go prehistoric and look into the life of the horseshoe crab, Limulus polyphemus and the amazing role it plays in medical science.

Some Customer Intimacy Basics

  • Who is the customer and what are their demographics, location, male, female, age group, peer group affiliation and social network membership?
  • What do they buy, when, and how much do they spend?
  • How loyal have they been to your company and products?
  • What mediums do they respond to, email, traditional adds, magazines?
  • What conferences and events do they attend?
  • What is their social status, married, divorced, single, how many children do they have and what is their sexual preference?
  • What devices or channels do they prefer to receive information on, smart phone, PC, TV or snail mail?
  • When do they take vacation and where do they go?

Customer intimacy will be king in the future especially with the massive adoption of smart phones and the rapid evolution of social media. Smart and successful companies will understand customer intimacy and make the experience pleasurable, thereby greatly enhancing their brand experience and crushing their competitors. Remember that nothing has really changed in the social dynamics of customers, other than the social media tsunami. In the good customer and bad customer experience ratio and model of predictivity: prevailing rule number one, the one customer that has a bad experience will tell ten others, vs. the one good customer only tells on two.  The only thing that has changed today is that thanks to social media, they can now tell hundreds vs. ten and now they can do it in seconds.

Blitzed By Bose

I bought my Bose noise reducing headphones three years ago (which I love on airplanes) and I have been getting blitzed regularly with Bose emails soliciting my business. To be honest I think the company sends out too many emails, and they have never once asked me how I like their products in a traditional customer satisfaction survey. (Remember this is what I called the first step in CRM in an earlier post this year.) When was the last time you received a customer satisfaction survey from any company? The email from Bose that bothers me the most, however, is the “Mothers Day” email that I get every year. I have responded to this email for several years telling the company that my mother is dead, but they keep sending them. I think Bose makes great products and I applaud their Internet marketing but they should know more about me, in fact all companies should know much more about their customers these days including your company. The technology is there, its affordable, and now there is even Facebook to check out my friends and network. Bose does have some Facebook pages, stating that it has 22,000 members; however there are no posts on its wall, curious. I will be tweeting this soon after it is posted to see if I get a reaction from Bose. I am guessing that I may get a response along the lines of; well you can easily opt of our email list server. Remember that great TV show of the 1990’s, Cheers and its theme song lyrics, every one want to go where someone knows your name? This should be the mantra of all companies selling us products today; there is no excuse anymore for not knowing your name.

The Personality of Fish: The Horseshoe Crab, Limulus polyphemus

Horseshoe crabs have not significantly evolved over the last 250 million years and are only found on two coasts of the world, the Eastern US and Japanese coasts because of plate tectonics. Before the breakup of super continent Pangaea, the Japanese and Eastern seaboards where actually very close to each other. If you recall one of my previous posts featuring Hammerhead sharks, you will remember that I found them partially digested in the stomachs of the Hammerheads.

In spite of massive disruption of their habitat along both coasts, Limulus perseveres and it has not evolved it eating habits and or morphology since the time of dinosaurs. Limulus was harvested by early settlers for fertilizer and chicken feed, until it was discovered in the late 1980’s that its blood (hemocyanin) was extremely sensitive to bacteria endotoxins and coagulated on contact. Hemocyanin is sensitive to a picogram (one trillionth of a gram) of endotoxin, and it actually replaced chickens and mice in the testing of medical serums and fluids. Little did you know that if you were injected with any fluid during your last medical visit it was tested with the blood of Limulus.

Limulus is an arthropod with a tough and large chitonous carapace that has five eyes, two prominent insect like compound eyes and a series of three eyes down the middle of its shell. In addition it has photo receptors on its tail or telson. When you first look at Limulus you think that its telson is the front of the beast, but actually it’s the back, and the two large compound eyes sit on the top sides of its carapace.

Limulus spends the winter in deep water off our coasts and we most often see them during the early summer when they come near shore to reproduce. As a young man I collected Limulus for scientific research and spent a lot of time in their habitat, the marshes. Limulus spends most of its time with its mouth down in the tidal muds searching for food and likes to feed on small clams and virtually anything else living in the tidal flats. By early August, its eggs hatch into perfect little horseshoe crabs no bigger than your finger nail. In 1974-1975 I participated in soft shell clam research in the Essex river basin of Massachusetts. I remember vividly how hundreds of Limulus descended on the young clam beds moving along like motorized eating machines, slowly finding and munching their way through thousands of young clams, much the dismay of the local clammers. Until next time great selling and marketing in the millennium and don’t keep your face down in the mud like Limulus, evolve and know your customers.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: