Magazine article CRM Magazine

Technology and the Digital Client: A New Reality for the People-Process-Technology Mix

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Technology and the Digital Client: A New Reality for the People-Process-Technology Mix

Article excerpt

A HEATED exchange--about the role of technology in a Digital Client/Web 2.0 world--took place during the closing session of the recent destinationCRM 2008 conference in New York. One side took the position that a quality customer experience requires the appropriate technology. This results from the always-on, always-connected Digital Clients' dependence on technology--increasingly, mobile devices--to connect to the Internet and to one another. Moreover, the Digital Client expects technology to support her multichannel requirements. The other side took the position that Digital Clients really don't care about what technology is in place; technology doesn't drive the customer experience, they said.


I've been saying for decades that CRM initiatives require 50 percent focus on people, 30 percent on process, and 20 percent on technology. You need to start by optimizing customer-facing business processes; then secure commitment to these processes from your employees and customers (the people side); and, finally, utilize technologies that support the optimized processes that employees and customers have bought into.

Has the role of technology in the Digital Client's world changed this 50-30-20 mix? I don't think so--and I'd like to turn to Walt Disney Parks and Resorts to explain why.

At Disney, CRM stands for creating relationship magic, and during a recent presentation Tom Boyles, the senior vice president for global customer managed relations, explained that the company defines CRM as "know me + be relevant to me." For the Digital Client, though, this has evolved to "know me well enough at any place or point in time + be relevant everywhere in every transaction with every guest." Executing against this definition allows Disney to drive a unique and customized experience at each customer touch point. How does the company pull it off?

Disney starts out with enormous knowledge--demographic, transactional, and lifestyle--of each existing and potential customer. It's amazing the effort that the company expends to know, for example, that December 6-13, 2008, is the best week to promote a vacation to the Goldenberg family in Bethesda, Md. Next, Disney triggers its comprehensive Guest Engagement process (aggregate, coordinate, influence, manage, own) aimed at securing the Goldenberg family's December business. …

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