I can suggest that over the last 20 or so years 25 years, this type of customer profile has become the key for any successful intelligent CRM initiative. Those who do it well have a fighting chance of great success, and those who don’t do the profile well do not usually succeed in their CRM efforts. So the problem with the profile, I cannot keep kind from thinking about this the last years, it’s three fold.
Number one is we look at this information. It’s static information. It might change daily, but as large an information database we can gather about the customer, the better. Maybe we can get some demographic or trends data, some type of behavioral, or maybe psychographic type of information. But to a large extent it's pretty static information.
And one of the problems is in today’s world where 60% of the people depend on other people to tell them what they think about a company, versus the company themselves, in that world where 60% depend on others, we need to capture what people are saying about our company, which is the piece that is lacking in today’s customer profile, and we will address that in a little bit.
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If the information is out of date, if the information is incomplete, there is nothing that upsets personnel in the field or a customer facing person at a call center, than getting on to the profile and finding that the information is not complete or incorrect. So those are the pros and cons of the profile, but because of its importance in driving intelligent customer interactions, I wanted to just go through four thoughts about how to make sure you do your profile well, and then we will talk a little bit about how to leverage that profile to drive those intelligent customer interaction.
I am going to talk about these individually. The first one deals with the four kinds of the making the profile a process discipline. You know, what information should we store in the profile? How often should we update it? Who has the right to update it? If two people update it with the same piece of information, which person gets the right to update? What are the heirarchical rules of the profile?
Who gets to modify the structure of a profile? How do we manage the process of updating a profile because we don’t have a process in place, we are not going to keep it up the date. We are going to keep it timely, or we are not going to keep it dynamic, which is what we need so that we are really quite conscious of what’s going on with that particular customer at any point in time.
So I put that little thing in parentheses. It's called the three X factors. If you want somebody to put something in a customer profile, preferably one piece of information that you ask the user, if you say put in a call report or put in information about a customer incident report, you ask them if the customer profile is not giving them three pieces of valuable information back to them.
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They are going to reluctant or hesitant to put in one, so the three x factors says may be when I ask you for one, I have got to give you three back. That is not only for internal users. That’s also for customers. So if I say to a customer, would you be kind enough to come in and self service your name, address, or change whatever you are allowing them to in order to provide self-service.
That’s something they are giving to us. Well, if the changing of my profile isn’t opened up, it allows them to get three valuable piece of information. Probably one is that they are going to be hesitant or reluctant to use the profile. So I believe that a good process discipline backed up with the three X factor rule for each type of user of the profile, this is a critical success factor for building a healthy customer profile.
The second thing I think is important about profiles is the real time concept. Information really has to be up to date. If we focus on the far right hand side of this chart, A, B, C, D, E, F are the users, the customers, ultimate customers, and they will come in via any of your particular distribution channels whether it is a branch or a store or the website or the call center. After these visits, whatever it may be, and they may ask questions such as can I get on a cruise to Alaska next week? You know that distribution will go back into the company inventory to find out if you have cruises and that individual who is querying about the cruise expects an answer now, right? That’s a part of knowing me and knowing what I like. The rep has to be able to respond to me in a timely and a ensure a good customer experience.
The company might say might they have to connect to its suppliers, the cruise lines and the cruise ships. If you are a tier 1, tier 2, or a tier 3 supplier, if you are in a manufacturing industry, to make sure when somebody queries about a product or a service you can answer them as to when it's available, if it's available, and if it's not available, when will it be available. So we have this whole concept of keeping a profile up to date in a real time by connecting company from distributors to the channel to customers and suppliers, and in this way information flows from supply and demand in real time.
The third way I would like to kind of lock in on is how to enhance this profile. It's so important to drive intelligent customer interactions. You need to capture the interactions across all relevant channels. We are done with the idea that one type of channel such as the call center is separate from the Web channel, or the Web channel is separate from the visiting the stores.