Enterprise Irregulars: The Concierge Age

ATN-300InsightaaS: Leading CRM analyst Denis Pombriant, in the excellent Enterprise Irregulars blog site, observes that CRM is in the midst of a significant transition: “from supporting transactions to supporting business processes.” Current products (and their vendors), he argues, focus tightly on transactions, which is a poor match for “the customer experience tree,” since customers start not with a purchase but with a recognition of a need or problem. Innovations like Amazon’s Mayday button or Salesforce.com’s SOS button extend functionality to a customer’s mobile device – and in the process, create an opportunity for CRM to integrate data in ways that provide support for “almost any business process…as a process and not a transaction.” Pombriant believes that this shift offers new potential for “dowdy” platform-based CRM technologies that can integrate front and back office systems with “customer-interrupt driven” process support. His one nit? Pombriant dislikes the reactive, panicked implications of the names “Mayday” and “SOS,” preferring the notion of “concierge” – “expert assistance only when asked, leaving the customer with an elevated feeling of success and gratitude” – as a means of conveying the nature of the support.

It always happens this way. A market erupts or transitions to something new or it goes the way of the Dodo and you miss the key turning point. But looking back you can always spot the telltale signs of disruption. People like me, who try to forecast these great events, have the reliability of a dartboard. Nonetheless, I feel like doing it again.

I think, and am declaring, that CRM is in the early phases of a major transition because business is making that transition and CRM has to keep up. The change I am watching moves CRM from supporting transactions to supporting business processes. Now, reasonable people can disagree on this and many will say what about the Sales Process or the Marketing Process, and the Service Process we already have. Transaction, Transaction, Transaction, I say.

How so?

Vendor supported processes all focus on the transactions at the end of the real processes that can involve many steps and require interaction between vendor and customer. My rule of thumb is, not surprisingly that vendors think about transactions but customers think about processes…

Read the entire post: http://www.enterpriseirregulars.com/75959/concierge-age/


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