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You can’t get there from here, or, Why CRM efforts fail for most companies.

by Michael Maoz  |  January 11, 2016  |  Comments Off on You can’t get there from here, or, Why CRM efforts fail for most companies.

It’s 3:00 AM in Manila City, and you are walking through neighborhoods with names like Bel Air and San Antonio and San Lorenzo. Manila Bay and the Pasig River are close, but you will not know it. What you will know is that it is like Paris or Manhattan or Tokyo at noon. Tens of thousands of workers are on break from the customer service centres where they are on shift. Their salaries are pretty good by local standards, and they are treated very well. They are exposed to cultures and ideas that their peers who they left behind in Mabalacat and Batangas will never have.

But how hard should they work to delight your customers? Standing in a sea of agents, over 1,000 of them with their headsets, animated and handling all kinds of calls, you realize that the total compensation of all 1,000 of these people is less than 65% percent of the CEO’s of the company they represent. And they do not work for that company. That CEO is the one who has the homes and access to the corporate jet, who has ghost writers and paid promoters write their books extolling their companies virtues.

It is nothing short of amazing. Sometimes they are WeChatting with a customer as though it was a friend in need, or speaking in the kindest of voices, sounding empathetic. Yet beneath the veneer are turnover rates of up to 85% on average. A constant flow and flux of workers churn in and churn out, like so much tidal flotsam coming ashore and then pulled down-beach.

The answer of raising salaries and creating job advancement is a non-starter. It is just too expensive. What, then, is the future? More self service, more automation, more advanced analytics to anticipate emerging needs, more connection with devices and more digitization to sense the issues that later drive contact, better voice-driven knowledge management to surface answers, and better interfaces, and equal treatment of mobile devices, exploiting their haptics and biometric capabilities fully.

We are not even 12% into the race to leverage advanced technologies. What other investment could improve your bottom line by 10% and your top line some unknown, but definitely better percentage (if you believe, as you should, the data from ACSI ( ).

In the next month we’ll be releasing a report on the five key customer service technology investments 2016 – 2020, and how to prioritize their introduction – and why. Because without more digitization, we cannot get to our goal of a superior customer experience.

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Category: business-intelligence  cio  contact-center  crm  customer-engagement  customer-service  digital-humanism  innovation-and-customer-experience  it-governance  leadership  mobile-and-endpoint-technologies  strategic-planning  technology-and-emerging-trends  

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

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