Category: Collaboration

Google Chrome & Customer Experiences

Let us say, you are reading a long article from your favourite website. It goes on and on, you like it, but there is no time, you need to leave NOW. Otherwise you won’t be able to catch the bus to reach home.

With heavy heart, you shut down the computer, leave your office, get inside the bus, find a cozy seat… Ah, Bliss!

But, this comfort lasts only few minutes. Suddenly, you are bored, really bored. It will take at least 45 minutes more to reach home. ‘May be I can finish that article now?’

So, you take out your smart phone, open the internet browser and start searching for that article. No luck. Even after many different combination of keywords, you are not able to find it.

This is crazy, just a few minutes back you were reading that article, now you are not able to locate it. Looks like you can’t read it till you reach office tomorrow morning, switch on the same computer, and use the same browser, so that you can find the article from “Recently Viewed Items”.

Oops. This is bad Internet experience. Just because I switched to a new device (Smart Phone), I lost all my internet browsing history. Not fair!

Google realized this and they have come-up with a cute little concept called “Browser Sync” across devices. This means, irrespective of where you access internet from (Your office PC, home PC, Smart Phone, Tablet PC, any other device), your browsing experience remains the same, as long as you use Google Chrome as your browser.

For example, I may be reading a long article in PC, continue reading it in phone, go home and share it with my friends via a different PC. Tomorrow, I may be sitting with a client in their office, suddenly remember this interesting article and show it to them by opening it in their laptop… All these browsers are synchronized with each other, so that I have the same internet browsing experience wherever I am.

Now, let us not worry about the technicalities on how Google achieved this. Instead, we need to focus on how this changes the way we experience internet.

Each device we use to access internet, is a new channel. All of them connect us to the same internet, we access the same websites, but the browsers installed in those machines, make it a ‘silo’ experience. Means, Browsing internet from my computer, is different from Browsing internet from my phone, they are two disconnected experiences.

With “Browser Synchronization”, Google has totally removed this complexity. Irrespective of which channel (device) I use, my browsing experience remains the same. I can start my journey in one device, continue in another, and finally conclude it in a totally difference device. Smart!

Let us take this example to a real world scenario : I open a newspaper and there is an ‘interest’ing advertisement about a new scheme where I can get better returns on my Fixed Deposits.

I like it, decide to invest some money in this scheme. I visit the Bank’s website for applying.

Surprise. There is absolutely no information in the Bank’s Website homepage about this advertisement I just saw. I search a bit, Not able to find it.

So, I call their support center. provide details on who I am, and ask for details on how to open a Fixed Deposit using this scheme. Even they are not aware of the changed rates and promising to get back to me asap.

Now, I am frustrated. These guys want my business or not?

Problem is, I am moving between channels : Newspaper, Web, Phone : Each channel may be very sophisticad, may have excellent technology backbone, Yet, they are not connected. Each has its own way of providing information and they are not synchronized yet. As a result, I am not getting a consistent experience.

Instead, Imagine this case :

  • I see a Newspaper Advertisement
  • This Advertisement has a special URL
  • Instead of going to the regular website (http://www.mybank.com/) I go to this URL (http://mybank.com/newFD)
  • It provides me all the details about the advertised scheme
  • I can fill out a form to express my interest
  • This form gives me a Unique Code, The same code is SMSed to my phone number
  • I walk into the branch, Give this Unique Code to them from my phone
  • They have a prefilled document with all my details, where I need to just sign, provide my cheque and the account is opened… All done in 60 seconds

Now, we can go a step ahead and make it 100% electronic, but that is not the point here. Even in the second example, I switched between multiple channels (Newspaper, Web, Physical Branch), still my experience is consistent, which saves time for everyone, avoides errors, and improves the overall customer satisfaction.

Google has done it with a common browser across multiple devices. Companies need to start thinking what / where / how they can “Sync”, so that the “Customer Experience” is improved.

Naga Chokkanathan

Senior Director, CRMIT

Originally Published In : http://nagachokkanathan.wordpress.com/2012/07/04/google-chrome-customer-experiences/

CEM : Customer Experience Management

Yesterday I had a casual lunch conversation with one of my colleagues and the topic of “Online Purchases” came up. He quoted a particular website and said “Their website is good, but the way they run their buses, it is horrible to say the least!”

I was surprised, because to my knowledge that website doesn’t run any buses. They just allow you to book tickets from various bus service providers and that’s it.

Personally, I have used this website many times, I know they don’t run any buses and hence I only book tickets from bus services which are highly rated by fellow users. As a result, I never had a bad experience. I would gladly recommend their website to anyone.

But my colleague, had a totally different view on this. He said he will never book tickets from them anymore.

So, I decided to probe further and asked him about the ‘bad experience’ he had with this website. His response was ‘Their buses start late, arrive late, they are dirty, Air conditioning is poor…’

‘But wait, these are the problems of Bus Service Provider, The website where you booked the ticket can’t be held responsible for these operational issues. They just act as agents and allow you to book a ticket at the comfort of your home, that’s it.’

‘I don’t care. For me they sold the ticket, and they are responsible for my travel experience. Isn’t it?’

Now, you can’t argue with this logic!

Few days back, I had a similar experience when we tried to buy a washing machine for home. We went to a super market, looked at various models, and were debating on which one is best for our needs. My wife had some additional questions about few of those models, and asked the sales person.

Unfortunately, that person was not able to answer any question my wife asked. It was clear that he didn’t understand anything about washing, forget machines. He is simply paid to stand there and tell people what models are available and how much they cost.

My wife got really upset about this. ‘Let us go to some other store’, she decided abruptly.

‘But why?’

‘These guys don’t know anything about the products they sell!’

I tried to explain her how retail industry works. ‘This super market deals with hundreds of brands, thousands of products, it is practically impossible for them to know technicalities of all those goods they sell.’

Her response was almost same as my colleague’s, ‘I don’t care. I buy from this shop, and they should give convincing answers to all my questions, Else, I am not buying from them!’

So, Consumers are not ready (or don’t want) to understand the gap between Sales and Delivery / Usage Experience. It is for companies to manage. They don’t care if you sell somebody Else’s product, they want the entire process to be smooth and you are responsible for it, end to end!

When you look at the way most companies are organized, there is a Research division which looks at various customer needs and imagines products. Then we have a production division which makes these products, we have Sales / Marketing divisions which take care of the selling process and Support division to take care of customer issues. Each one of these divisions have their own problems / solutions and boundaries.

Not anymore. A sales guy can’t say “My CRM ends when an opportunity is converted to an order”, a Service guy can’t say “No Purchase, No Support”, Whether we like it or not, we need to do everything possible to make sure that EVERY touch point a customer has with us, are giving them the best possible experience.

For example, someone coming to your website, visiting your twitter page / facebook wall, buying your product in a small store, calling the telesupport number to report an issue, talking to their friends about how your product functions … all these touch points (and more) are important, and as a company you need to make sure all these experiences are great. This is not optional anymore, one bad experience in any of these touch points can drive tons of business away from you.

Customer Experience Management, that’s where the future lies. CRM is not enough, it’s going to be CEM Era now!

Naga Chokkanathan,

Senior Director, CRMIT

Originally Published In : http://nagachokkanathan.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/why-not-manage-experiences/

Social CRM For Service Teams

One common source where people are sharing content online more than ever is certainly the social networking environment. This is the largest source of direct, honest and outspoken opinions and community assistance. While this real time social media thing is global, uncontrollable and dynamic that lets your prospects and customers talk about you online, it is definitely serving like a helping aid to Service Teams, as well.

While customers talk about issues that you may not be even aware of, using right tools you can actually uncover the posts that talk about various issues, problems or may be grievances about company products and services. This can facilitate you in enhancing your customer support and service.

Social CRM provides you an opportunity to automatically convert these customer posts into service requests into the existing support application for a better follow up and track.

Now, what kind of social media posts for customer support routine can assist you? It may be a complaint, suggestion, any positive feedback or may be an additional service or product offering.

Once you identify the kind of post that can help you further in the matter, social CRM can convert it into a service request and route it through the existing workflows. Most of the organizations answer these posts as first come, first served manner, but you can choose to answer these according to your high value customers or may be high rated products. But whatever you choose, that should be based on business needs and not social media dynamics.

With the scoring mechanisms of social CRM, efficient and timely segmentation of actionable posts becomes easy. So, while managing service requests and taking proficient actions accordingly, you can also enjoy various other benefits of social CRM like platform flexibility, greater influence over conversation, better accommodating complexity of customer relationships and achieving deeper customer engagement.

Charu Mehta

CRM Consultant, CRMIT

Sports and CRM

Sports & CRM Applications : This Works Great

Don’t feel surprised if an organization suddenly seems much more familiar with your tastes and preferences.

Yes, this is actually grabbing attention these days. Recently, a well-known professional baseball team from Boston deployed a Sports CRM app. It rolled out the application in luxury sales only, which resulted in 20% more conversions and the senior operations analysts believe that it will increase much further this year now that they have become more familiar with the system.

Features in the Sports CRM applications incorporate usual range of functionality, which can be oriented as per the needs of a sports team. It not only provides customer service in a single system but also allows users to track and manage different information including finance and sales.

For instance, the team can now easily access the inventory management module like premium seating and event venues. With the help of better customer data and predictive analysis, developing promotional material and marketing programs has become very easy for them and they can effectively target specific customer groups as per their gaming and seating preferences.

Prior to deployment of the CRM system, the team was dependent on its own home-grown databases that included excel files, but post deployment, the system gave them a better view of what could be booked when certain seats were available. But the best part is in terms of customer knowledge that allowed the team to know about the preferences of the customers. CRM systems not only make it easy to manage your customer data, but you can also maximize the amount of data that can be put in the CRM system to make it comfortable for your customers, as well.

Charu Mehta

CRM Consultant, CRMIT

Spotlight on CRM IT Social CRM++: a Web 2.0 Productivity Tools for CRM on Demand

Published In : https://blogs.oracle.com/emeapartnercrmod/entry/spotlight_on_crm_it_social

CRMIT, an Oracle ISV and one of the leading CRM On-Demand System Integrators in EMEA, has developedSocialCRM++, an efficient collaboration system for managing customer relationships and data in a well-organized and process-centric way. SocialCRM++ has the competence to bring new and dynamic methods for improving the quality and speed of interactions between your CRM On Demand users and the CRM data itself.

SocialCRM++ is built as a cloud-ready plug-in to CRM On-Demand, it allows you to seamlessly connect to broad set of data without losing any confidential information.

SocialCRM++ is a SaaS based Web 2.0 On Demand solution for Oracle CRM On Demand implementations. This changes the face of traditional, transactional CRM and makes it an information sharing platform, which is fun to use and at the same time improving productivity. Your CRM users can follow each other / share public / private messages / respond to others / form groups and interact / follow important CRM records / share URLs / Files and more. If you are having a hybrid model of deployment, you can use SocialCRM++ to collaborate between your CRM Users and Non-CRM Users too!

To summarize, SocialCRM++  incorporates all the basic features of a social app including secure interfaces to follow people, post status updates, respond, share, create or manage groups, events, post files and lots more; all with a CRM focus. So, you will be able to target all your social messages around CRM records, documents or even general topics, as per your requirement. CRMIT’s SocialCRM++ is available in multiple deployment models : It can be hosted within your premises, or in a private / public cloud.

To get a glimpse of how SocialCRM++ works, view this YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzVG7hMFobY&feature=player_embedded