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Welcome to my CRM software and sCRM blog.
This online forum and dialogue shares the experiences, lessons, learning and insight about the real world uses of Social CRM (sCRM) and traditional Customer Relationship Management software (CRM) systems.

 

 

 

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Using Social CRM To Predict Customer Demand

Todays Customer Conversations Create Tomorrows Customer Demand

There's a lot of discussion about how the social customer and social conversations are changing business. As the means to communicate have accelerated, the customers expectations to be heard, to be responded to and, perhaps most significantly, to have companies turn their ideas into products which they then buy have grown, creating both a challenge and an opportunity.

To accommodate these social customer demands, businesses will have to do something that was once considered near impossible: to understand what the customer will want tomorrow based on what he's saying today.

One of the SugarCon 2010 sessions spoke to this topic. Jeremiah Owyang of the Altimeter Group spoke on "How Social Media is Changing Customer Behavior." Part of his presentation defined three types of data: asynchronous, real-time and intentional. Asynchronous data is what businesses have depended on historically; like a magazine subscription that's mailed in by a customer who will await the delivery of his magazine. The magazine seller has to act on the order in a timely manner but at a time of its choosing.

Real-time data is more of what we have today: customers expressing their desires and businesses then moving as quickly as possible to fulfill their wishes. Think of Amazon.com's ability to take an order, then get the order ready and on its way in the most expeditious manner possible.

Intentional data is quite different. It's the data that helps businesses divine what it is that the customer may want in the future. It's data that requires the business to be proactive instead of reactive. It also suggests an environment where it's not enough to just deliver products in a catalog in a timely manner. Customers will want products ready and available for them at the precise time when they realize their need for them.

Satisfying these customers requires companies to understand customer data so well they can know which pieces of data are relevant, analyze them and draw inferences to influence the direction of their future business. That's a pretty complex business problem to solve, but clearly has a tremendous upside if accomplished.

Several things have to happen for this vision to be realized, including an awareness of conversations and an understanding of what ideas are important before they really coalesce into the concept of a new or upgraded product or service.

Right now, the idea seems a bit like a holy grail. Software technology vendors have begun their race and I can imagine someone accomplishing it in the next few years, perhaps not with 100% accuracy but frequently enough to give them an edge in their market space.

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 Social CRM (SCRM) & Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software