thomas.wieberneit@aheadcrm.co.nz
Customer Service is a changing – finding the logic in support

Customer Service is a changing – finding the logic in support

Customer service is in the middle of a transition. Not only is technology capable of doing far more than it was, say, ten years ago, but also are customers expecting far more. That has a consequence for businesses. Automation and conversational AI are one thing. These technologies already help companies serving their customers more effectively, efficiently, and the customers way.  But this is not enough! The same technologies that allow this, allow it for every company. Which means that one needs to elevate the game.  How this elevation can happen using unstructured data to improve the customers’ service experiences by e.g. leveraging unstructured data to avoid escalations is something that Martin Schneider of SupportLogic has good and very interesting stories to tell about. He argues that systems must become more intelligent and that purpose built AI is the way ahead, of course fuelled by the demands and learnings of Pandemic times. In a nutshell he says: For years, people wer not harnessing the insights inside the unstructured data inside support interactions. Today we have the power to do so – in a sense, finding the logic and the trends etc. in support interactions that help guide the business, all driven by these support interactions. It is very worthwhile listening to him.  And entertaining, too!...
How SugarCRM is setting out to become a Titan

How SugarCRM is setting out to become a Titan

The news On November 2, 2021, SugarCRM held an analyst summit to share what is going on at the company and to get some candid feedback of the participants. As usual for this type of event, there is quite some information that is still under NDA, so I will be able to cover some of it only in broad strokes rather than the detail that the matters deserve. After a business update by CEO Craig Charlton, the event itself revolved around two themes: customer success stories, including customers describing how they are using SugarCRM to improve their own business by better serving their customers in an interview style formatSugarCRM business development, technology, and its future trajectory. Naturally, this part is largely under NDA. There were breakout sessions covering Sugar Sell, Sugar Service, and Sugar Market As usual, and with the notable exception of the customer interviews, the event was slide-driven with giving the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the respective agenda items plus offering a brief Q&A with the executives. Last, but not least, part of the event is a 1:1 session with a SugarCRM executive a few days after the summit. After a short opening by Sarita Kincaid, Craig Charlton offered a business update, showing how SugarCRM developed in the past twelve months. The company is focusing keenly on the mid-market. Craig painted a bright picture that shows a very high customer retention combined with a good growth rate. Noteworthy are a steep increase of the recurring ARR. He quoted a nearly doubled number of new logos, combined with a more than doubled new/upsell ARR...
Zohonomics: How to make a difference by creating resources

Zohonomics: How to make a difference by creating resources

What does it take to make a company sustainably successful? Why is it so important to combine the global and the local view? And what is Zohonomics about? The CRMKonvos team had the chance to discuss with Vijay Sundaram, Chief Strategy Officer at Zoho about these topics – and some more. As one of very few global companies, Zoho has made it its strategy to not build locations in tier one centres, but to go to smaller towns. According to Vijay, this is highly beneficial. The company is also doing some other things different. As one example, Zoho does not look at resources as something that is constrained, but as something that can and needs to be created! Another interesting view is the one on core competencies? What are they? And why? Will they stay static? What to do if one does not have a competency? Why does all this matter? Vijay explains this in the CRMKonvo.  tl&dr? The CRMKonvo is totally worthwhile following. In case you want a shorter version of some key aspects: Vijay Sudaram explains Zohonomics and how the avoidance of fads in favour of sustainable principles is beneficial....
How to do great Customer Journey Orchestration

How to do great Customer Journey Orchestration

Following the great discussion about Customer Journey Orchestration that we had with Graham Hill it was obvious that this topic deserves and requires more attention. We had a lot of points and different terms, starting from customer journey management, customer managed journeys, customer journey analytics, customer journey mapping and so on. Provocative statements like “customer journey mapping is utterly useless” popped up and were discussed. Is this tool utterly useless? Well, the discussion shed some light! So, we asked the most active participants of the chat conversation whether they would be up for a panel discussion. Graham Hill, Ray Gerber and Kristy Tupper agreed. So, here we are with a panel discussion about this exciting topic. The three of them have different views that help in furthering our knowledge. The CRMKonvos team is really excited to host this discussion, which is cut in three sections. Interested in the leading questions? Have a look at the next three short videos. Or dive right into the discussion, which is at the end of this post. What is customer journey orchestration? Who benefits most of Customer Journey Orchestration? How do customer journey orchestration and customer journey mapping relate to each other? These good questions and points of view opened up exciting and well received discussions. Enjoy watching...
The Platform CAN Do the Work. Let it!

The Platform CAN Do the Work. Let it!

On June 15, 2021, the CRMKonvos crew had the chance to chat with Andreas Schuster, Customer Success Director for SugarCRM in Europe, about the company’s evolving vision and goals. He did not disappoint. Schuster has filled a variety of roles over the years, both in the software industry and outside of it, and has developed an appreciation of what well-administered CRM can do for a business and its customers. “I have been able to get to know CRM in the industry and in sales, and I keep getting to know it again and again,” Schuster said. “I never get bored watching companies actually supporting their sales management with software, but also just the way they work together with the customer and with the customer. And it is always exciting.” One important thing that Schuster believes, though, is that CRM is more than technology; it is behavior and culture which technology can enable to be better. “CRM is not so much a technical tool; it really is an approach,” Schuster said. “It’s a strategic sales approach, and there’s a lot that goes into it now, but it’s still the same.” The technology is an important starting point though, especially with larger and more complex businesses. Schuster added: “I keep coming back to this: the software that’s used has to work great, it has to be intuitive, it has to look good. But taking this CRM approach is first of all a strategic thing in a company. You have to want it. You have to prepare for it. And you also have to set an example for your company from the...
Why privacy is not an option

Why privacy is not an option

Data breaches, ransomware, stolen identities, collecting of data for no benefit of the customer, are only some of the things that we do see every day. There does not seem to be any privacy anymore. This makes privacy and data protection hot topics not only for customers, but also for software vendors – or at least should make it hot topics. Apple put in some privacy controls and got chided for it by Facebook and the rest of the adtech industry. Google, with FLOC, tried to establish a technology that aimed at being able to track users in a post cookie world. To adapt a quote of the Asterix books: The whole world tracks users and customers. The whole world? No, there is one brave company that doesn’t. All this is reason enough to have a #CRMKonvo with one of the most accomplished and outspoken protagonists of privacy in the enterprise software arena and we were very excited about the opportunity to have an intense and interactive discussion with Raju Vegesna of...