This is one of those thoughts that I think we all feel – but rarely gets talked about from a vendor perspective.
From a social CRM perspective, one of the biggest hurdles is not the “monitoring” or even the act of engaging with customers – we should be doing that regardless. Instead, where I see CRM companies falling down from a technology perspective is in being able to really promote cross-company, cross customer, and inter-customer collaboration around sales and support – as well as around the whole lifecycle of being a company (product development, corporate policy management, etc.)
Esteban Kolsky does a great job of summing up how E2.0 and SCRM come together (I wont re-post his cool graphic) – but just as we need to be together as organizations: work together seamlessly to collaborate ion all phases of the business – the same is true for our customer-facing operations. Our customers need to have the same information, and access to people and data – as internal employees.
In the CRM world, this can pose a problem. The reliance on per-seat sales models perpetuates this. The more we size deal vale on the number of seats we can sell – the more we sell the true value of social CRM short – or at least lock ourselves out of truly offering huge value opportunities to our customers.
Take Salesforce.com’s Chatter concept – in theory a potential game changer in terms of bringing employees together with customers. BUT…Salesforce does not seem to be making this readily available as a free addition that brings customers in the loop but rather this is a way to sell more seats in the old model. Bummer.
I do not have all the answers. heck…I don’t have any answers, other than to hope that we all as CRM vendors begin to think about more innovative methods of bringing our users’ customers inside the CRM system without feeling like we are leaving money on the table.
I think by loosening the artificial firewalls, creative some cool access control tools, and simply putting ever more “C” into CRM, some of us might just have the opportunity of a lifetime to break new ground here…