Last week I had the chance to discuss with some people belonging to the high management of a large company. The subject was a possible project that Enterprise Concept would perform with them; that was focusing a set of needs and the investigation was approaching a very controversial subject: the problem of customer relationship management (CRM). I would name it the “tragedy of CRM”. In spite of the $11bn spent on CRM software all over the world, the so-called customer relationship management is no more than a customer management; in reality is no more than a contact Database. The relationship is missing. About three years ago, Enterprise Concept issued a document that drew the attention on the subject proposing a concept of identifying the possible relationships with the customers that may be eventually processed. The truth is that companies do not have any relational intelligence because they do not understand the structure of the relationships with their markets. Knowing the possible relationships and processing them accordingly, can avoid a lethal trap that is treating a customer as an anonymous as long as she wants to be treated as a friend or a partner.
Note: the relational intelligence is used and extensively defined by Jill Avery, Susan Fournier and John Wittenbraker in Harvard Business Review (July-August 2014).