Got this in my email today:
I’m sure Oracle Service Cloud is good at what it does. Such as:
- Deliver an integrated customer experience while equipping employees with the right tools
- Drive and meet consumer expectations in the new omni-channel world
- Adapt their service to customer needs by researching and considering their demographics
The problem is that this assumes customers have no voices of their own, and need to be given one. And, since every company has its own way to give customers voices, the customer turns into a Tower of Babble, speaking with many different voices to many different companies.
For example, today at a medical center I had to give exactly the same personal information to two different systems operating in the same office — and this was information already known to countless other systems with which I’ve had dealings over the years. Why? “Because we’re using two different CRM systems.”
You can look at the problem here as one of scale. Systems such as Oracle’s give companies scale: one way to deal with many different customers. We need the same kind of scale on our side: one way to deal with many different systems, provided by many different companies. This is a fundamental VRM challenge.
Imagine being able to change your phone number or email address, for every company you deal with, in one move. Lots of developers are working on that, but we aren’t there yet.
It helps that we already have the Internet, which bridges many networks (and why it’s called internet), along with email, phones and other things that address many different entities with single technologies that we as individuals control.
But we don’t yet have voices of our own — meaning scale — or we wouldn’t see headlines like the one above.
Giving our voices scale isn’t a CRM job. It’s a VRM job. It also has to be done in a way that speaks directly to the Oracle Service Clouds of the world — and all its competitors — engaging what they already have in place.
I know people at Oracle and its competitors who are ready and eager to see VRM developments that speak — literally and figuratively — to their corporate systems. They know VRM is going to make their jobs a lot easier and cause a lot more business to happen and improve.
Conversations are happening, and that’s good. But we also need more development in the direction of convergence. Expect to see reports on that in coming months.