If your voice comes from a company, you don’t have one

Got this in my email today:

Oracle pitch

I’m sure Oracle Service Cloud is good at what it does. Such as:

  • Deliver an integrated customer experience while equipping employees with the right tools
  • Drive and meet consumer expectations in the new omni-channel world
  • Adapt their service to customer needs by researching and considering their demographics

The problem is that this assumes customers have no voices of their own, and need to be given one. And, since every company has its own way to give customers voices, the customer turns into a Tower of Babble, speaking with many different voices to many different companies.

For example, today at a medical center I had to give exactly the same personal information to two different systems operating in the same office — and this was information already known to countless other systems with which I’ve had dealings over the years. Why? “Because we’re using two different CRM systems.”

You can look at the problem here as one of scale. Systems such as Oracle’s give companies scale: one way to deal with many different customers. Likewise, customers need one way to deal with many different companies, regardless of what CRM systems they run. This is a fundamental VRM challenge. And it’s one that should be good for CRM too. Win-Win.

You can see how it would work if you imagine being able to  change your phone number or email address, for every company you deal with, in one move. Lots of VRM developers are working on that, but we aren’t there yet.

It helps that we already have the Internet, which bridges many networks (why it’s called internet), along with email, phones and other things that give us one way to deal with many different entities.

But we don’t yet have voices of our own (meaning scale), or we wouldn’t see headlines like the one above.

Giving our voices scale isn’t a CRM job. It’s a VRM job. It also has to be done in a way that speaks directly to the Oracle Service Clouds of the world, engaging what they already have in place.

I know people at Oracle and its competitors who are ready and eager to see VRM developments that speak — literally and figuratively — to their corporate systems. They know VRM is going to make their jobs a lot easier and cause a lot more business to happen and improve.

Conversations are happening, and that’s good. But we also need more development in the direction of convergence. Expect to see reports on that in coming months.

1 Comment

  1. White Label Personal Clouds provides a way for our customers to have a voice by giving them access to what they have already said so they can easily repeat it. Our customers (businesses and other organisations) in turn can provide their customers with voice by remembering what they have already said. Most applications already do this.

    The challenge is to provide a way so that something a customer says to one organisation in one application can be reused by a customer with another organisation for another application.

    That is what the Welcomer products from WLPC provide.

    WelcomeAboard http://welcomeaboard.me is an example.

    With WelcomeAboard our customers (small businesses) can reuse their identity supplied by another organisation. (OpenID logon). They can reuse the information held in their files about employees to help their employees fill in forms.

    Employees can reuse the information they have entered in one form in another form. They can reuse the information they have filled out for one employer with their next employer without breaching commercial in confidence conditions with their previous employer. Employees can also reuse their information to help them get loans (by proving they are employed and get a salary). We know there are other uses for the data when the data is put in the hands of the employees.

    This arrangement turns out to enhance privacy because employers know the commercially sensitive data about a person is protected from their competitors and so they have an incentive to keep all data private. If they don’t provide this service they know that employees will find other ways of providing the information, including commercially sensitive data, that is completely out of their (the employer’s) control.

    The same logic applies to all personal data – including intent data for making a purchasing decision.

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