Customer self-service (the problem)
Don’t get me wrong, but I believe that some of the aspects of SCRM are somehow “exotic” for the average SMB. Let’s not forget that some of them don’t even know what CRM is or they have placed it low on their priorities! I know this because I have conducted my own research on the matter. Don’t get me wrong: I could go on and on about the benefits of CRM and SCRM, even for the SMB (let alone the big enterprises), as a large number of other bloggers have already done, but this is not my purpose today.
If we accept the basic definition that “CRM is a tool and a methodology to help the Business create and further grow relationships with its Customers”, I would like to propose another way of doing this (building and growing). I want to tell you right from the start that this will not replace the CRM “virtues”; it will work side by side with it. Let’s go:
In a typical CRM or SCRM situation, you’ve got users working with the system to register prospects, customers, leads, “to-do” actions, problem tickets etc. These are examples of functions that YOU are doing. Imagine a “toolkit” that is offered to YOUR customers to let them work with you or for you. I am sure that you can find a number of customer-related functions that you are doing everyday, which are part of your business, yes, but you would very much like to “throw away”. I am also sure that such functions exist not only for your customers, but for other kinds of co-operators, too, such as suppliers etc. I can imagine some examples:
The above are only a few examples of actions and tasks that YOU are currently doing, but I think, could be shifted to your co-operators. Therefore, while CRM is perceived as “exotic” and time-consuming by some line-managers, I am sure that they will appreciate ways that workload is taken off of the shoulders of the employee and moved outside the enterprise. Today, I described the problem. Stay tuned to find out the solution.