Martin Hubschneider is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CAS Software AG, which he founded in 1986. He is an Expert in the field of CRM, chairman of YellowMap AG, CEO of Leser-Auskunft GmbH, as well as on the board of directors of PTV AG. His in-depth view of the developments in CRM is worth sharing as it sheds light on its future in an incredibly „connected" world.
xRM – Any(thing) Relationship Management
xRM is actually just a logical development of customer relationship management that a lot of companies are already using for extended purposes around relationship management. xRM is not about just steering and controlling customer relations, but any relation important to a company's success. "x" means any(thing), e.g. customers, employees, partners, the media, suppliers, universities, community members and even the competition. The basic functions for all these possibilities remain CRM-like, the basic platform and database remain the same, but 10 - 15% is specifically adapted, creating a holistic relationship management solution.
Social Media – an interconnected World
Recommendations of „friends" have become crucial for buying decisions and the online relationship networks provide a platform for this. Within a few years, even a few months, numerous different internet communities developed into virtual market places with immense dynamic. Actively taking advantage of these platforms might be absolutely crucial for companies to survive in the online world.
Customer intimacy is a marketing concept in which the customer accepts the service provider as a partner, with a certain familiarity and a knowledge of the customer's needs. Amazon is a good example: the information from all previous purchases and searches are saved and used to actively offer new products to the customer - automatically! This means, the more you know about your customer as a person, including personality and life style, the easier it will be to target the customer emotionally. Advertising messages can be adapted according to personality types, for example making use of people's curiosity or need for safety. In this field it is especially important to handle privacy issues with great care.
CRM without limits
Companies can make use of a lot of data from the internet. CRM systems like that of CAS Software are able to enhance company profiles by collecting reference information from the internet. Phone calls can be identified from the first incoming call. Social media monitoring is a one-click solution, providing a wealth of information - be it a potential customer or job applicant. The CRM system is connected to platforms like Twitter and Facebook and can forecast what might be important for a customer. Even information about the potential customer's credit history may be immediately available.
xRM-cockpits – intelligent transparency
Cockpits enable an overview and control of a situation at one glance. xRM cockpits connect a lot of different information sources, giving a clear overview, and provide information about live data. New types of questions can be answered, e.g. „are there customer we are a lot in contact with, but there is a low turnover?" but also even more importantly: „is communication slowing down with high-turnover customers?" Answering such kind of questions allows companies to react much earlier to changes in the customer relationship.
The Apple app store is just the beginning of a new era of software developed according to customer needs. Lean and highly specific applications can be integrated easily in a user's working environment, e.g. xRM connectors are integrated seamlessly with applications like email, Facebook, XING or Wordpress.
IT-service from the cloud
Cloud Computing enables processing power and cloud space via the Internet, providing companies with a lot of advantages: employees are connected to customers and partners with the option of file and data sharing, hybrid solutions make efficient use of the IT infrastructure and administration and save a lot of costs and highly efficient data processing centers ensure data safety.
xRM creating competitive advantages
Extensive relationship management creates competitive advantages. Martin Hubschneider recommends getting „intimate" not just with customers, but also with employees, suppliers and partners to make use of their ideas, needs and motivation for mutual success.
By Anjum Siddiqi
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