One day we will stop talking about CRM, technologies, processes, digital transformation (I really hate this stone age terminology) … and finally understand the privilege to be in connection with an amazing number of souls, individuals, each one with an incredible richness of ideas, needs, personality.

That day we will understand how much we are blind, and we will start investing all our efforts building new organizations and tools to deeply connect with our customer souls and become not only Customer oriented, but 100 percent centred on the Customer. Because we will really love our Customers.

The Customer Centricity starts from a strong Customer understanding but should not stop there, and not following a slow sequence of listening, insight understanding, strategy, plans and actions.

So…how deeply connect with our Customers, and be trusted as lovers? We need to behave like we would do with our personal relations, having dialogues to exchange and understand, reaching empathy, gaining trust. In doing this, we need a superpower, we need to have a Big Brain able to cope with these one-to-many connections.

Thanks to artificial intelligence (AI), it is now possible to have a Big Brain able to listen to millions of voices, understand meanings, activate consistent interactions, guide the relation toward the correct direction. So why do not rethink the CRM as a Voice of the Customer Program, leveraging on the AI capabilities?

The Voice of the Customer program is based on 4 pillars:

LISTENING: collect feedbacks from Forums, Blogs, Socials, but also from Contact Centre, surveys and any touch point owned or not where Customers talk with the Brand or about the Brand.

• Implement a multi-source listening
• live customer comments along the journey phases
• social media/communities/groups, interactions with the contact centre,
• online surveys that collect open comments, and not anymore questionnaire based on strict and closed answers
• Assess Performance: NPS, Satisfaction, Sentiment, Intention to buy, …
• Understand Reasons: Topics, Relevance, positive and negative impacts, exogenous factors, tracking of key events, …
• Benchmarking: monitor and compare with competitors, and customer expectations

REACT: the listening is managed within real-time processes that allow the brand to react and give answers, open a request of assistance to serve the customer, raise an alert, intercept intentions to purchase products, …

• 360° view of customer experience performance
• Live customer feedbacks
• Hot topics alerting pushed to key positions
• Intercept and open requests to serve customers
• Track events, internal comments
• Customer engagement: manage the dialogue

LEARN: track trends, identify topics, monitor sentiment, support decisions, organize the internal discussion with the stakeholders, and finally bring the Customer Voice inside the company.

• Establish cross departmental reviews of the “Voice of the Customer” learnings:
• Weekly Guest Updates - operations support
• Monthly Guest Review - monitoring meetings
• Product Committee
• Ad-hoc Focus: hot topic, test and learn, …

COLLABORATE: identify customers who have a deeper dialogue and understanding; collaborate with communities and social groups on projects.

• Organize Customer Advisory board with guests on selected topics, to have an intimate conversation and learn directly.

• Identify and open a dialogue with main communities/groups to collaborate and reach positive reviews
• Identify and drive Brand Ambassador reviews on Consumer review websites (Trustpilot, Yelp, Tripadvisor, Google MyBusiness, …). Ask for their collaboration spreading correct information on channels not owned by the brand.

“Thanks to artificial intelligence (AI), it is now possible to have a Big Brain able to listen to millions of voices, understand meanings, activate consistent interactions, guide the relation toward the correct direction.”

In a nutshell, the Voice of the Customer program is applicable to the entire Customer Journey. The objective is to listen to spontaneous feedbacks shared online and through brand touch points such as contact centre or stores. These feedbacks can be combined with others stimulated with surveys. All feedbacks have to be real-time and available through a Control Panel allowing the brand to react giving direct answers, fixing, learning insights for service/product design. The same listening system can be applied also to monitor and impact the Brand reputation.

The main Voice of the Customer Goals are:

  1. GUEST EXPERIENCE MONITORING and insights understanding
  2. BRAND REPUTATION MONITORING and support for crisis
  3. INTERCEPT AND MANAGE CUSTOMER REQUESTS:   Assistance, Information, Sales  opportunities

All the CRM classic processes can be re-engineered, from surveys to the customer service. Also, the communication should be triggered and personalized based on AI capability to understand the customer and not just the usual behavioural, and socio data.

The Vision is to switch from the current processes based on Lead Acquisition, Nurturing, Conversion, to a new approach based on Dialogue, Understanding, and Answers: to questions, service requests, purchase needs. From pushed messages based on predictions of success, to the instauration of a trusted connection. This is the new perspective for CRM.