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A Bottle of Relevance, A Bottle of Meaning

Piano Man Dance

That previous entry with the picture from high above the City by the Bay ended with a strong message. If you are going to keep your CRM program from imploding under the weight of all your customer data, you must get serious about Relevance and Meaning.

I think this is a really big deal. In fact, these two every day words loaded with big significance should be two of the foundational elements of virtually every single CRM program. So, why all the ruckus? Let me attempt to explain.

Let’s start with a brief review of the problem already raised in a prior entry – there is too much data for the average CRM user to assimilate. And, what is worse, the CRM industry is building super weapons of data proliferation, setting the stage for an impending information overload of epic proportions. And the key to survival, I postulate, is these two simple words, Relevance and Meaning.

What’s so special about Relevance? It is all about filtering the noise. Most customer-facing employees only deal with a subset of your company’s customers. The last thing you want to do is bombard them with information about all your customers. Sophisticated CRM systems can easily accomplish that feat. Relevance is the means of holding back information that does not pertain.

So, how does one go about achieving Relevance? Think “my CRM”. This is where you utilize the technology to only display information that pertains to the customer(s) at hand. Functionality such as role based views and task based views are designed for just this purpose. Software embedded scripting works well as does workflow used correctly.

Meaning is all about converting data into knowledge that can be acted on. This too can be successfully achieved with the more recent developments within the CRM software, specifically analytics. This is where the technology transforms multiple data points into more substantive information – either as trends, probabilities, or finding relationships that would otherwise be lost due to the data volume. The analytic tools provide reports or indicators that help CRM users take the most effective action with their clients.

One observation that you might make is that I am proposing that technology is a core component of foundational elements of every CRM program. Those of you who know me understand that I am often the one who cautions about putting too much importance on the technology variable in the CRM equation. This is an important example of where the technology truly is at the heart of the success.

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