Category Archives: internet
My last blog discussed how smartphones will soon suprass PCs as the main way we surf the ‘net. In turn this access gives vendors a whole new way to personalize service to us as consumers. Using GPS, CRM and unified communications we’ll be able to shop smarter and vendors will be able to pinpoint personalized offers to us based not just on our past buying history or our demographics (where we live, our age, etc.) but actually by knowing where we are and what we are doing.
Big brother is watching!
So how does Disney tie into this? Disney is working on new technology for its theme parks (Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disney Resort and Disney Hong Kong) . Disney has not announced this, but a former executive is on record as stating that Disney is working on wireless-communication technology to tailor theme park offerings to the likes of individual visitors. This same source claims that Disney is spending $1 billion to $1.5 billion on this project, so it is considered a “game changer” by them.
What types of things does Disney plan to do with wireless technology? CRM of course! They will offer Disney visitors all kinds of enhanced services that will shorten waits on line, customize the “experience” of a Disney vacation all the while they are compiling information on you and your family. . .what rides you went on, what restaurants you visited, where you stayed. . . this information is then used to offer you knew vacation offers tailored to your likes.
The person in charge of this herculean effort is Nick Franklin, head of global business and real-estate development for Disney’s theme park division. Franklin has had an exciting career with Disney Franklin as well as serveing as a member of the Executive Committee for the Parks & Resorts segment overall. “This is not the typical opportunity that gets described in business school,” he said. “My job is to help envision the next generation of Disney experiences around the world, which is pretty cool.”
I’d say so!
I’ll bet back in his days at the investment banking at Goldman, Sachs & Co. Franklin could never have dreamed he’d be working in the “House of the Mouse” working on new generation entertainment venues!
But I digress. The rumors (and that is all we have at this time, rumors) say that Disney’s NextGen (code name) CRM technology push will include keyless hotel-room doors to rides and shows in which the experience varies based on an individual guest’s preferences.
The main source of information on this oh so secret development project is Michael Crawford, publisher of Progress City USA. Crawford writes that Imagineers (Disney’s name for engineers) hope to use RFID technology in concert with their new Fantasyland attractions. RFID stands for Radio frequency identification. RFID tags can be incorporated as a chip in a Disney park pass (for example). RFID can track your ID on your Disney “passport”, it can be your room key to your hotel room and even be used to enter mass transit like the monorail or be used as an in park credit card. All the while Disney knows where you’ve been, what you’ve done, and where you are now.
Disney could even use the personalized card to allow attractions to access personalized information about each guest, thus personalizing your “experience.” This was somewhat tested out last year with Disney’s Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure at EPCOT in Walt Disney World Resorts. This features an interactive experience where guests are given a “Kimmunicator” (Kim Possible is a Disney cartoon about a girl who is a spy) found at kiosks in Epcot. These interactive devices use technology which gives clues from the Kim Possible characters to find “villains” they cna track as they wander around the theme park.
Each adventure is unique, personalized. CRM, right? Right!
RFID should be used to make each vacation to a Disney theme park totally random and new — thus removing the “we’ve already been to Disney and it’s boring, can’t we go somewhere ELSE this year?” argument moot. At least that is the hope of Disney.
It just struck me as interesting that this news hit the Orlando Sentinel today, the very week I blogged about Smartphones and CRM. As I mentioned in that blog — the world is moving at a very fast clip these days!
My last blog focused on how Unified Communications (UC) can empower the contact center by directing nontraditional call center calls to the center. Most people think of UC as a way of combining multiple contact points for one person to a single point of contact (thus John Smith’s office phone, cell phone, email, IM, etc. can all be directed to “ring” on his cell phone). This is the common way UC is explained, and it can be very valuable — but it can also result in TMI (too much information).
Everyone may be created equal, but we can’t give all of our customers, peers, bosses, and the world at large equal access to us or we’d never get any work done. We need to prioritize who can contact us and how. Thus with UC we can identify specific people (our boss, our spouse, our key customer) to reach us at our #1 end point (maybe that cell phone) while other important people get directed to voice mail — or as I pointed out in my last blog — this is a perfect opportunity to now direct those folks to a contact center where an inside sales rep or pool admin can hopefully handle their needs in one call (OCR = one call resolution).
So there is a natural marriage between UC and CC (contact center).
Where does CRM come into play?
CRM (customer relationship management) has become such a muddied term. It has become far too generic. To some it does mean contact center software (and it can be that), to some it means the software or software as a service (SaaS) that outside sales reps use to keep track of their accounts, where they are in the sales cycle, etc. — and that is a good definition. . .but CRM is much bigger than that.
CRM is really broken into two broad categories: “front office CRM” and “Back office CRM.”
Front office CRM are the applications that actually touch the customer directly — the voice on the phone in the contact center, an internet interface where they can place an order, customer service (again online or over the phone) or the live customer service rep (CSR). Any part where the customer is directly interfacing with your company is a form of “front office CRM.”
And a logical touchpoint for UC and CRM to link.
The holy grail of the contact center for years has been OCR – one call resolution. Any problem that isn’t resolved in one call, or any sale that can’t be closed in one call (“we have an internet special where for the same price you are paying today you can add XYZ. . .”) costs lots of money. Any customer service call that takes too long or requires “follow up” also begins to alienate your customers making them more inclined to leave you for another firm.
UC can dramatically improve the goal of OCR — whether that “one call” is a phone call, an internet access or even your face to face outside sales rep.
It all has to do with the “hand off.” Inside a contact center this can be done with intelligent routing (which is really what UC is in a larger scheme of things). We route the call to the most logical, not the first available, agent. With UC we are now moving beyond the barrier of the contact center and able to route the call to best person no matter what department they work in, or even WHERE THEY ARE physically.
Setting up skills routing takes time, but the rewards are immense both in customer satisfaction and in cost reduction.
All of this so far focuses on the connectivity between front office CRM and UC, but back office CRM can increase this cost reduction by quantum factors. Using a data warehouse (or perhaps data mart) to identify your most profitable customers you may choose to always route them to a specific department or person — not blindly treating all customers the same but giving platinum treatment to platinum customers.
By contrast your lower value customers (in margins) can always be routed through an IVR (interactive voice response) unit and routed to newer agents. . . The dirty little reality in sales is that there are some customers that are not worth having because the amount of work they require (and work = expense to your company) may mean you actually lose money by having them as a customer. Back end CRM identifies who is profitable and thus worth retaining.
One to one marketing is a myth. We do not market to all of our prospects and customers in the same way and we shouldn’t. Back end CRM’s information on customer profitability can help determine who we route to whom in our dynamic, unified communications world.
This blog is speaking in generalities — as if we had all the money and time in the world to link all of these disparate systems together. The good news is that many of these systems are already begining to be linked — Cisco with Salesforce.com, Aspect with Microsoft, Avaya and SAP, Nortel offers integration to Microsoft Dynamics CRM and implemented Dynamics internally. The idea is to take advantage of the technologies you may already have in place such as a legacy Siebel implementation maybe using AT&T’s Siebel Solutions offer) to improve relations with your customers and business partners through a streamlined “one call resolution” that goes far beyond the silos of “outside sales,” “engineering,” “customer service” across your business.