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Business & ICT Trends, Applied to Your Organisation

OCO – Setting up a social db

Posted on January 23rd, 2012 by TimClaes

OCO – “Online Channel Optimization”

Today, enterprises expect Web Content management to provide measurable business benefits, not just to improve productivity. Thus – according to Gartner – enterprises have to replace older WCM applications that can’t meet the new demands. WCM achieves its greatest value as part of a wider strategy of online channel optimization – OCO – for maximizing the value of customer interactions across all channels.

Well, I couldn’t agree more, although I don’t understand why Gartner tries to put both WCM and OCO players in the same magic quadrant, because for me these are 2 different things. OCO is about orchestrating the customer touch points across multiple online channels, it is about making the dialogue relevant to the consumer and engaging no matter which online channel is used and it is about addressing the individual needs at the right time even if he is switching between channels to communicate with your organization.

So in order to make Online channel optimization – OCO – possible you should centralize all the consumer interactions in a social database, picking up all the ‘micro-decisions’ an online visitor leaves behind when he is navigating through the web. (e.g. which search words did he use to reach you, what were his clicks on your site, on which topics did he interact through social media…)

BlueConic - Customer Journey

A tool in the market that is possible to do this is BlueConic from GX software. Basically it continuously listens to all the online channels you want it to listen to (such as facebook, twitter, websites, splinternet, mobile apps, e-mail…) and it collects all the relevant information both from anonymous as from named users. The online profile information is stored in a social database. And now it becomes interesting, it allows the marketeer and/or the eBusiness manager to set up real-time dialogues that are personalized and orchestrated across all online customer touch points, based on the information from the social database.

You could look at this social database as an extension of a typical CRM database. To explain this I’ll use a picture from Peter Hinssen from his book “Digital is the new normal”.

Customer Engagement Management

CRM is becoming more and more a ‘middleware’ solution allowing you to store all the ‘macro-decisions’ of a customer (e.g. orders, complaints, sales visit reports…). CRM could be considered as the hub between all the front-end channels and the rest of your organization to deliver end-to-end integration. At the same time CRM allows you to store all the relevant customer information. This customer information can be used by any front-end channel to allow cross channel consistency. It is there that a social database comes in – to allow cross channel consistency – on a ‘micro’ level instead of only on a ‘macro’ level, as visually explained in the next picture from BlueConic.

micro & macro decisions - CEM

So a CRM solution, extended with a social database, is capable to capture all relevant customer information, both on a micro-level as on a macro-level, giving you insights in both the CRM profile as the online profile. This will become key for organisations to establish efficient OCO programs in order to get true Customer Engagement Management in place.


The Power of Customer Engagement Management (CEM)

Posted on May 3rd, 2011 by TimClaes

Topic of the week – The Power of Customer Engagement Management (1st article)

This week blog posts will be all about the customer and our view on the customer. A trend is popping up, customer behavior becomes rapidly important for an organisation to truely understand. More and more the customer dictates the law and chooses his/her own way to communicate with your organisation. So questions arise like how can we make it personal and how can we make sure that the customer is engaged. On top of that many front-end channels become available (both on-line & off-line) and the need arises to orchestrate sales cycles across all these front-end channels. This results – as you can see in the picture below – in many new challenges for your organisation.

Shift  to Customer Behavior - Customer Engagement Management - CEM

But once you have recognized these challenges, it allows you to actively work on them and to come out stronger by defining new ways of interaction with your customer. One thing to keep in mind when setting up these new ways of interaction with the customer is that you need to respect the customer journey. First you need to listen to the customer (behavior) by progressively collecting reliable data. Then you can try to understand the customer (behavior), distinguishing individual needs and dynamically segmenting over time. And only then you can start engaging the customer (behavior) by pro-actively proposing interactions in real-time based on the gathered information. The last step is to improve the customer journey, by optimizing & tracking efficiency of the front-end dialogues across channels.

“The basic difference between being assertive and being aggressive is how our words and behavior affect the rights and well being of others.”
(Quote from Sharon Anthony Bower)


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