Social CRM meets Customer Equity Management

During my run today I passed a home whose appearance made it look like an antipodean group of internationally renowned architects had competed to design the world’s ugliest building.  I forced my mind to focus on something else, like why the US has yet to invade Canada.

I enjoy writing as do many of us.  However, I have come to believe that most of us have the ability to write a sentence in some semblance of English.  What seems to separate the good writers from the less gifted is their ability to blend disguise the joins between the sentences in such a way that they do not show.  Worse yet, there are those writers whose attempt to communicate is a pox in the same unrestrained style of prose put into play by a Chinese man selling used Volkswagen Beetles along the back streets of Puerto Rico.

Judging the literary skills of some, it would appear they are wrestling with the parts of speech and fighting a losing match.  These are the same individuals who were they to write about a famous religious figure would name the Flying Nun, unaware of the non sequitur.

Oh well, enough of that, back to the business of changing business.  There may be a few dozen firms that ‘get it’…Amazon, Apple, Ebay.  The rest of them, yours included, are still busy trying to change their customers and prospective buyers to make them buy things according to their notion of how the selling and buying process works.  These are the same firms who think CRM, customer relationship management, is a valuable management tool.

CRM is everything it never was.

When a customer or prospect walks into your facility, or sees your organization online, everything you thought you knew about your business and about them is over.  The thing most firms miss is understanding that the market power has shifted from the business to the customer.

See if you can answer this question.  What is an iPhone, or a Kindle Fire?

They are shopping carts.  The moment a customer picks up the device they begin thinking about what they are going to put into that shopping cart.

The same process works whether a customer is walking into an auto dealer, a patient is walking into a hospital, or a subscriber turns on their television.  They are ready to make a buying decision and most firms are trying to manage them—good luck.

These people—customers—have done their homework, their due diligence on your firm and you offerings.  My sense of that if you were to segment customers by those who did their homework and those who did not, those who do are going to be the customers who spend the most.

The smart firms have stopped trying to manage their customers.  The very smart firms are using the social web to facilitate their customers shopping experience.

Customer Equity Management.  What is one customer or patient or subscriber worth?


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