Overzealous CRM

30 March 2009

A colleague of mine had a recent example of what I term "overzealous CRM". He was surfing a website and had logged in to his account with a view to purchasing some technical equipment when a phone call interrupted his purchase.  Finishing the call, he was distracted onto other things until a second call interrupted him. It was a salesperson from the website company asking whether he was having problems with their checkout process as they had noticed he had logged on to his account and had stopped half-way though a purchase.

Presumably the marketing department at this website thought this phone call was, in terms of Kano analysis, a "delighter". Rather than be delighted with this "customer service", my colleague found it off-putting, to say the least. Outside the CRM area, an interesting recent analogy is that of the recent UK-launch of Google Street View. Many applauded the neat software but others had privacy concerns.

So; if one person's delighter can be another person's annoyance – how do you play it? I think the way is to recognise that boundaries exist – the boundary where a potentially-useful feature encroaches into other areas, for example, into one's personal physical space, using the example of Google Street. I think of the boundary as a sort of reverse HCI where the "stakeholders" have not been consulted. An interaction in this area needs extra awareness; just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. Occasionally it can work spectacularly well but, as we have seen, it often can backfire.

Success Stories

"Agilier's experience in managing business processes made them an ideal candidate to manage functional integration thereby reducing a significant risk to the business. This involved them working with the workstream leads and developing a high-level integrated businesses process against which we planned our programme."

Chris Davies
Programme Manager, EADS Defence and Communications Systems


"I was extremely happy with the professional and complete way that Agilier performed their work and would not hesitate to use their services again."

Mike Haynes
Senior Project Manager, Cogent Defence and Security Networks


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