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Anti-Social Networking versus the Intent-Driven Enterprise

by Michael Maoz  |  June 8, 2009  |  2 Comments

Buyers of goods and services have certain intentions in mind when they establish a business relationship with a business. In the case of health insurance it is to stay insured in time of need. You think that is obvious as an unbiased outsider, but most insurance companies breaks the implicit promise in their relationships by failing to act on this intention. Why do they do this? Because their intention is to optimize profit, and it influences (read: dominates) how they design customer processes.

The same is true in the Credit Card business. Last month I received my monthly Account Statement and it stated as “Balance Due” a credit of $678.84. Good for them: I overpaid. I usually submit payment early for reasons I won’t go into. OK, Saturday night I opened my new statement and not only do I owe about $6,000 (business trip, mostly), but there is also a penalty for late payment. Huh? Previous statement = credit, current statement = late payment fee?

I will not bore you with the details of how this happened, because each of us has their own story. But here is my point: did a bank or Credit Card issuer ever think of pro-active notification of impending late-fee? In the airline industry you can set up an alert, just like in a half dozen other industries. Did a bank or Credit Card issuer ever think of contextual help so you could see WHY an event occured on your bill? Do they think it is the intention of someone who pays on time each and every month for 48 months to suddenly NOT submit payment on time? Do they care?

Great institutions are adopting an ‘intent-driven’ approach to process design, aligning their need for profit with your needs for goods and services, and this is a thrust of our research both current and future. In the meantime – before you design another customer-facing process, think about how it might fulfill or not fulfill the basic intentions they have in doing business with you. Otherwise all of this technology networking you to the customer is the antithesis of social: it is anti-social.

Category: crm  customer-centric-web  innovation-and-customer-experience  social-crm  social-networking  social-software  

Michael Maoz
VP Distinguished Analyst
13 years at Gartner
26 years IT industry

Michael Maoz is a research vice president and distinguished analyst in Gartner Research. His research focuses on CRM and customer-centric Web strategies. Mr. Maoz is the research leader for both the customer service and support strategies area and customer-centric Web… Read Full Bio

Thoughts on Anti-Social Networking versus the Intent-Driven Enterprise

  1. […] versus the Intent-Driven Enterprise. June 8th, 2009 · No Comments View original post here:  Anti-Social Networking versus the Intent-Driven Enterprise Share and […]

  2. Simon Morris says:

    Great Post!

    I feel the pain with regards credt card statements. The process seems to be well defined when it comes to advising you that they have issued a late payment fee. I would really start to think of myself as a valued customers if they took the trouble to give me the ‘heads up’ that I was in risk of an additional fee for whatever reason.

    From the field service world, there are similarities with the concept of “expectation management”. Essentially this is about making it easy for service companies to continually keep the customer informed as to a technician’s estimated arrival time. Skilled expectation management is critical for achieving customer satisfaction, and close communication is an inseparable part of managing expectations. By offering email, text messaging, voice messaging and Internet-based service appointment booking as the communication media, service comapnies can now take advantage of the wide spectrum of today’s anytime/anywhere communications technologies. The question is do they value their customers’ time enough?

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