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360DegreeViewwithSocialCRMandWatsonExplorerIMW14640USEN

360DegreeViewwithSocialCRMandWatsonExplorerIMW14640USEN

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Published by Friedel Jonker

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Published by: Friedel Jonker on Mar 20, 2014
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07/19/2014

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Information Management
IBM Software
 
 A better customer experience
Why CRM alone is insufficient for competitive differentiation
 
 A better customer experience: Why CRM alone is insufficient for competetive differentiation
Executive summary
 A superior customer experience is the critical competitive differentiator in today’s hyper-connected marketplace. Consistently positive experiences keep customers loyal.  And those customers are willing to pay extra for superior service – which means you will maintain healthier margins.On the other hand, customers will leave you in a heartbeat if  you don’t treat them right – even though they may like your product. And they will probably let their social network know about your bad service. That kind of negative word-of-mouth  will cost you future sales and erode your brand value. Customer relationship management (CRM) applications are essential for delivering quality experiences across all customer-facing touch-points. With CRM, you can maintain up-to-date customer records, effectively handle active customer issues, and generate historical data that helps you understand both individual customers and broader market trends. And perhaps more relevant to CRM systems, your Sales Management will benefit from enhanced sales reporting and roll-up reports.But a CRM application alone is insufficient for ensuring that  your company is more rigorously attentive and responsive to  your customers than your competitors are. To achieve that kind of competitive differentiation, you need to empower people in  your company to act on any and all information that relates to  your customers – not just the data sitting in your CRM database. When you think about your customer experience, think about getting the exact right piece of customer-relevant information to the right customer facing professional in your organization at exactly the right time, no matter where it exists in your company, or even outside your company. Two capabilities are especially important for achieving this differentiated customer experience:
Giving people ready access to the specific customer-relevant information they need, when they need it – regardless of its form or location – and without having to remember to reach out and look for it 
Enabling people to quickly and easily search and socialize that information so they can collaboratively deliver the best possible customer experienceIn other words, your company’s competitive differentiation depends on much more than CRM – especially since your competitors all have CRM, too. Differentiation requires something different. And that something different is the information access and socialization that Vivisimo CXO can enhance and complement existing investments in CRM with information access and socialization.
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Information Management
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“But we have CRM!”
Every company has made substantial investments in CRM technology during the past decade. This was good andproper, since CRM is essential for optimizing interactions with customers. CRM applications enable companies to respond to customer inquiries in a timely manner, detect trends in customer behaviors, and improve the efficiency of service-and-support operations.CRM applications, however, do not do everything that companies need to do in order to achieve a superior customer experience. Two deficiencies in particular stand out:
CRM applications are not very good for aggregating all the information customer-facing professionals (CFPs) need to do their jobs exceptionally well. Instead, they are primarily designed for exploiting the information stored and managed in the CRM system. Of course, it is possible to import data from other structured databases, such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, into your CRM application. The problem with this is that such integrations tend to be both functionally limited and expensive to maintain. Every time you upgrade either  your CRM environment or any of the structured database sources from which your CRM is drawing data, your integration canbreak. So the more sources of data you integrate, the more you spend and the more you expose  yourself to the risk of a glitch.  Worse yet, CRM applications provide little or no means of effectively incorporating the rich range of unstructured data sources within and beyond the enterprise – including content management systems, documents and other content stored in Microsoft SharePoint, Lotus Notes, emails, web content and social media – into the CFPs workspace. This means that CFPs who depend exclusively on CRM are invariably cut off from much of the insight they need to better understand customers and anticipate their needs. And this approach assumes 100 percent of the information your CFPs need exists in your CRM + ERP system, which is not the case. CRM applications are not very good for searching, socializing or contextually filtering large amounts of diverse structured and unstructured information. Instead, they are designed to populate pre-defined screens with predefined data for pre-defined workflows. CFPs don’t actually need more information. They need the right information. So they need their desktop tools to do more than just aggregate all sources of potentially relevant information. They need it to quickly guide them to the right piece or pieces of information for a given situation or context. CRM doesn’t do this. CRM applications can’t find all of the emails your salespeople have received from prospects explaining why they’ve chose a specific competitor’s product over yours. They can’t tell you if someone in another business unit has already done a distribution deal in Brazil that you can use as a template for yours. CRM applications can’t locate the right collateral piece from your Marketing database, the right service report from your SharePoint, or the right sales opportunity buried deep in a field service report.

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