CRM Evolution 2012: MultiChannel and Customer Experience Hot Topics
Last week I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at CRM Evolution 2012, held at the Marriott Marquis in New York. Coordinated by the editors of CRM Magazine, and chaired by the “father of CRM,” Paul Greenberg, this is THE conference for those tasked with selecting, implementing and getting the most value out of customer relationship management, across marketing, sales and service. The sessions were mostly driven by big name industry analysts and influencers, such as Ray Wang, Esteban Kolsky, and Bill Band, so the content was excellent and definitely pushing the envelope on strategy and vision.
One of the most interesting sessions I attended was the CRM Leader Panel, moderated by Paul Greenberg, with a panel of CRM vendor execs: Anthony Lye, Oracle; John Wookey, Salesforce.com; Larry Augustin, SugarCRM; Andrew Joiner, Autonomy’s Promote Business; Bob Stutz, Microsoft Dynamics CRM; and Anthony Leaper, SAP. Not because I heard anything really new about CRM, but because the audience questions focused on customer experience and multi-channel–two of my favorite topics but not things I usually expect CRM vendors to be experts on. There was a lot of marketing-speak in the answers; I wish they had posed the same questions to some of the multichannel and customer experience vendors in attendance.
The session with the best content I attended was “Customer Service Using Social: Trends, Analysis, and Guidelines,” with Esteban Kolsky and Mitch Lieberman, Vice President of Strategic Marketing, KANA, presenting findings from a research study they did on the effectiveness of social channels, including advice for B2C and B2B. Really compelling data, and as always with Esteban, some strong opinions.
A lot of focus on gamification. I must admit, I came to the conference thinking I just “didn’t get” gamification, but after attending some sessions on the topic, I’ve decided that if the emperor is not naked, he is at least scantily clad. As I posted on Facebook recently, adding a “like” button to a screen doesn’t mean you have a gamification platform. And the examples presented at the conference seemed to focus on collaboration, usually in communities, equating collaboration with gaming. Human beings are social creatures, and we have been collaborating for thousands of years, before gaming was invented. I remain unconvinced.
My session was the only field service topic at the event, so I was glad to represent the subject! I spent an hour discussing mobility and video in service, including impacts to knowledge management, field service and education. Great audience reaction, especially when I talked about picking the right device, and demo’d drop kicking the Intermec CS40, a ruggedized handheld computer/smartphone specifically designed for field service.
Thanks to Paul Greenberg and the editors of CRM Magazine for including me in the event!