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Thursday, June 23, 2005

CRM, Customers, Haystack : A New Perspective

Christopher Carfi writes,"Business is all about really putting the customer in charge".Tools should help customers take a significant steps, that allow them to explicitly define and state the types of relationships they want with their service providers. Most significantly, it should give a customer the power to navigate profiles of individuals in an organization and choose with whom they want to work, as well the ability to be matched with individuals within the selling organization based on similarity of their backgrounds and interests. The tool is called "Haystack". He thinks that with so-called "Customer Relationship Management" systems so far is that, well, they don't really focus that much on the customer. Under the rubric of "CRM," there have been three primary classes of systems: sales force automation, customer service and call center automation, and marketing automation. All of these look at the world from the seller's point of view. And all of them focus on how the vendor can crank more customers through a particular process in a given unit of time. They don't necessarily help to truly build relationships between individuals. In fact, they are more likely to commodify it.
An increasing body of data & research suggest that building this kind of "enterprise social network" has measurable benefit for both customers and vendors alike. Some key findings suggest that internal similarity [perceptions, attitudes, and values] can increase a business buyer’s willingness to trust a salesperson and follow the salesperson’s guidance, and therefore, increase the industrial salesperson’s effectiveness. In contrast, the literature also indicates that, under most circumstances, observable similarity [physical attributes and behavior] will exert a negligible influence on a business buyer’s perceptions or a salesperson’s effectiveness. Thus, the key finding is that it is more important for buyers and sellers to 'think alike' than 'look alike'."
The tool – Haystack is aimed the enterprise, that take this idea of creating real relationships between individuals and providing a means for customers to explicitly state their case, and determine with whom they want to do business at a real, interpersonal, non-synthetic level. The toll presupposes good amount of customer involvement and may find it a little less important in its absence.!!

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