Are we “getting” our Customers and Jobs right?

I have been thinking a lot lately about the why, who, what and how of Social CRM. Since we have passed the top of the hype-curve (did we?) we are increasingly seeing discussions on how we should not forget about the “old jobs” companies and Customers are trying to do, and that we just added some new tools to perform these jobs. I see argumentations that we should not overemphasize on these new tools, since it is still all about the Customer and his “old” jobs.

I also see argumentation for and against the existence of the Social Customer. (please check the good discussion on all of this at Mike Boysen’s post and Mitch Lieberman’s post). Last, but not least, in the solutions vendors are offering or developing I also recognize that Social CRM is currently implemented as nothing more than Social Media + CRM, regardless of what I and others have been arguing against this.

I just can’t help thinking this cannot be it. Something inside me tells me we did not yet “crack the code”.. Why? Here are some of my random thoughts and questions:

  • If it’s all about Customers and the jobs they are trying to do, are vendors focusing on the right Customers?
  • Are vendors not only focusing on their Customers and what they are trying to achieve?
  • Should they not be thinking more about their Customer’s Customers?
  • Are we focusing on the right job-to be done?
  • Should vendors not be thinking on how their solutions can help align their Customer’s job with their Customer’s Customer job when using the product or service?
  • Should vendors not be developing solutions that help their Customer’s Customers create more value with the products/services they buy?
  • Or even better: solutions that help Customer’s Customer create value with Customer’s Customer?
  • Does this not seriously change the job of the Company from selling & retaining Customers to helping Customers (co-)create value in use?
  • What resources, data, information or actionable insights should be captured / created / pulled / made available to all stakeholders (in real time?) to make this possible?
  • Are we focusing on the right tools to get the (new) job done?
  • Do we really want to visualize the Social Networks to see how people are related?
  • Does sentiment analysis of chatter on the Social Web really matter?
  • Do we not need (real time) visualizations of the Customer’s Customer Experience?

To summarize: Are we getting our Customers, our Jobs and our tools right?

Let me know what you think? Share your thoughts and idea’s, examples, or just what comes to mind after reading this. I’m sure we’ll figure it out, somehow and sometime. Although going downhill on the hype-curve could still be a long way. Or can we get ahead of it?

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4 thoughts on “Are we “getting” our Customers and Jobs right?

  1. I especially like your post because it has more questions than answers, which is exactly what SCRM brings.

    No one really knows what SCRM is besides the integration between social media and CRM, but one thing’s for sure: the way we manage customers today is changing and the old tools and strategies need to be re-defined.

    SCRM can be exactly what’s needed to address the shift in customers’ behavior but for now there are two types of SCRM vendors:

    – CRM software integration with Facebook, Twitter, etc
    – social media solutions integrating with CRM

    I’m working on a series of blog posts and articles on what SCRM should be and what it should do for companies and their customers. In order to do it i will try to involve software vendors, industry experts, CRM users, etc. Please let me know if you would like to collaborate on this.

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  2. Wim – Great post.

    It is so true that we all too often suffer from “Shiny Object Syndrome” and SCRM is the latest Shiny Object.

    The need to focus on the basics still exists and we must not lose sight of the forest for the trees. Understanding the customer, the jobs they want to do, the value they perceive in the product/service we offer to support that job and the value in use they get from the product/service we offer is still the basic foundation for any organisations existence and survival.

    To the extent that new tools help support that effort, that’s great. If it does not, then it’s just another (albeit cool) shiny object to distract us.

    Sentiment analysis, like NPS, is merely descriptive, and not prescriptive. As I have always said, it’s a great start, but will not help your customers needs or the actionable insights you need to support delivering the value in what you offer.

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