by Ric Merrifield

Just as it’s hard to remember what life was like before the iPhone, it can be hard to remember business before there was CRM software — back when you still had to explain that it stood for “customer relationship management.” Today, CRM pervades the way many companies track and measure how they interact with other organizations, across many departments: marketing, sales, customer service, support, and others. CRM made it possible to determine precisely who responded to a specific marketing campaign and then who became a paying customer, which customer called the most for support, and so on. It gave companies some overall measure of revenue compared with marketing spend — something described in this 2007 article in The New York Times.

But now that Big Data and the Internet of Things have come along, we can go beyond the transaction to every little detail of the customer’s actual experience. You can know when customers enter your store, how long they are there, what products they look at, and for how long. When they buy something, you can know how long that item had been on the shelf and whether that shelf is in an area of things that usually sell fast or slowly. And then you can view that data by shoppers’ age, gender, average spend, brand loyalty, and so on. Today, this sort of thing is possible not just for online experiences; it’s possible for physical experiences as well — and not just retail shopping. This vivid view of the end-to-end experiences is rapidly changing the way people think about, measure, and manage their customer relationships…


To read more on this article: