If you don’t know who Alan See is you really should. He is one of the people who has helped build the CRM space over the years. In a recent tweet, he caught my attention with the comment that CRM has become all about attention; getting it and giving it. This comment got me to thinking,
To be sure, firms have always worked hard and spent big to get the customer’s attention. Marketing and Sales are all about standing out to potential customers, i.e. getting their attention. And as the attention span of individuals has become more fragmented, more and more money and effort has been devoted to those efforts.
But the other side of the coin has not been emphasized as much, namely how does the customer get the attention of the firms they do business with? Contact centers have supposed to help with that. And indeed their has been a proliferation of channels designed to supposedly allow the customer to get the attention of firms they deal with. But do they really accomplish that goal?
It would seem that if companies really built their CRM strategies around helping their customers get the firm’s attention, there would be more emphasis placed on the central idea of CRM, namely building a relationship. Yet the sad reality is that most firms still treat customers as transactional entities, not relationships. They try to streamline the transactions, not build the relationship.
If CRM were really about the latter, and about allowing customers to get our attention, we would emphasize knowing what the customer was really saying, not what they are asking about in this transaction. Where are they on their journey? How can we remove friction in our interactions, and build on them? How are they feeling about the relationship? And that would mean more than a voice of the customer survey that asks how they are doing on a 5 point scale.
It’s something to think about. Attention. How do we get it, and how do we let our customers get it from us?