If you could design a 360° customer view, what would it include? Has a CRM vendor asked this question of you? Or, does your provider decide what works best in a 360° view, and therefore decide how to define it?
I’m not saying that CRM providers don’t have good intentions. They absolutely do – but CRM systems alone cannot and will never provide that all-encompassing view. Not even if all the information you need for that view resides in the CRM system or its various modules.
Let me explain:
- Even with the information that’s available in the CRM today – and there is a great deal of it – users must scroll, tab, cut, paste, remember and conjecture, just to get an overarching understanding of the customer they are either trying to sell to or support. Try to conduct one search across your CRM and its various modules to get a full view. It’s just very cumbersome.
- CRMs can’t federate information required from outside the CRM into it, as through an advanced indexing engine. They can provide the fields that you decide you need, in some way that is pre-organized for a handful of user types. Yet CRMs cannot correlate dispersed information in real time to present important relationships – key to uncovering experts that can help, as well as similar work that has been done before.
- Individual system admins and users should be able to define the dynamic 360° view that will help them accomplish their goals – selling to or supporting the customer. Their needs will change depending on the stage of interaction, type of customer, product, industry, season, the list is endless. No CRM can predefine the needs of a user at every point in time – they can only provide a view that works across all users, or a handful of predefined use cases.
In order to be effective and provide insight into important relationships, the 360° view must be:
- Inclusive – information from across CRM modules
- Inclusive – information from many systems outside the CRM (such as social media, email, customer interactions, intranet, files shares, etc.)
- Correlated and normalized
CRM will never be able to provide all of this in one single 360° view. But don’t give up the hope of a personalized, dynamic 360° customer view; it’s coming.
What would you like to see in a complete 360° view, directly in your CRM?