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Originally published 15 December 2005
In past articles, I have maintained that no enterprise has yet created a 360-degree view of their customers that contains all of the structured and unstructured communications between them. In addition to knowing which communications are from the customer, it is just as important (if not more) to know the demographics about that particular customer.
While understanding communications is relatively easy to examine when the customer is an individual, this is significantly more difficult when the customer is an organization. Since there is less demographic information when the customer is a corporation, knowing all about these communications becomes even more important. When two corporations talk to each other, it’s never as simple as tracking a single phone call or e-mail.
When corporations communicate with each other, there are numerous variables that must be considered, besides the text of the communication. These variables include:
The sequence of the communications
Without a sequence of communications, there will usually be confusion. One communication by itself that is out of context often makes little sense.
The date of the communications
Similar to the sequence of the communications, the date and time of the communications must also be considered. Often, external events must be correlated to the communications. Activities such as press releases, marketing announcements, management changes and product positioning have great relevance to the meaning of the communications that have occurred.
The people participating in the communications
Obviously, it is important to know who is involved in the communication. Communications come from all levels of the company. When placing the communication in context, knowing who is saying what can make all the difference in the world. It is also important to identify the channels that are used for the communication. Communications can occur over the phone, via e-mail or through other channels. For coherency, communications across all channels must be included.
The relevancy of the communications
When two large corporations have communications, it’s often necessary to sort them by a specific system. These communications can be done by groups of people or by projects. If multiple projects are occurring simultaneously, then it might be advisable to sort out communications by project. This will reduce confusion when discussing communications about different projects.
The frequency of communications
Sometimes the number of communications between the corporation and the individual indicate a high degree of significance. This becomes even more critical when we examine the number of communications between two corporations.
While corporations should consider each of these issues, another important consideration is monitoring the security and sensitivity of communications. Naturally, some communications will need to be protected.
These examples effectively illustrate why capturing and the monitoring of the communications between corporations is essential for corporate CRM.
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