François Laurent explains why it is so urgent to implement a real Customer Relationship Management strategy.
In this article, François Laurent explains why it is urgent to implement a real Customer Relationship Management strategy.
Could you introduce yourself in a few words?
I am the copresident of Adetem, the number one marketing association in France (adetem.org). I am a blogger (MarketingIsDead.net) and author of several books about marketing and social media (published mostly by publishing house Kawa). I am also a speaker, teacher, consultant, etc.
I worked in a communications agency, a media agency, a research institute and at Thomson, before I finally started ConsumerInsight.
How has Customer Relationship Management evolved over the last few years?
Customer relationship has deeply transformed since the Internet 2.0 took off and afterwards took on the name of social web: customers have taken back the advantage when exchanging with brands. When they are not satisfied, they can have the whole community as a witness.
Does my insurer make the price of my annual fee rise in a manner that I think exaggerated? I can call out to them on Twitter or Facebook and they can come back to me with new offers.
What are the 3 good habits to have and the mistakes to avoid for a company?
There isn’t 3 right habits or 3 mistakes: there is only 1 main one…
Brands do not dominate their clients anymore, we are today in a situation of equality, which means we have to provide more transparency, honesty, sincerity… And be faster to take action, because customers do not want to wait.
How must Marketing Directors change their methods?
They must be able to be attentive to their customers wherever they are: blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
It has become impossible to ignore customers wherever they may be… and wherever they may complain!
Moreover, they have to accept the fact that they are on an equal footing with their customers, and renounce all the privileges vertical communication was giving them: superiority, possibility to dissimulate, etc.
The concept of customer centric companies is getting more and more attention. What does that change?
Customers should never have stopped being at the center of company preoccupations.
The problem is that companies are fields for battles of power: engineers, R&D departments, salespeople and above all financiers do not wish to share their power with marketing people… And to be at the service of the client.
Customer experience is crucial, you have to be able to satisfy your clients not only during the purchasing process, but also afterwards, during the whole lifespan of the product and the service.
What are the evolutions to come in the next two years for Customer Relationship Management?
With the advent of the Internet of Things, customer relationship will become more complex.
Thanks to beacons, we will be able to follow the customer’s progression step by step as they are shopping in a mall, a shop, a city, an amusement park… Until they turn their phone off, tired of receiving promotional offers they do not care about.
So the key word for the next years to come is Respect.
Respect and ethics, because the bashing our profession suffers from stems mostly from inadequate customer relationships.