Please listen carefully to this menu as the menu has changed. Your call is important to us but please leave a voice message. If you need more information go to www – dot – whatever dot com…

Sound familiar?

The intentions were good – yet the results are telling us we made huge mistakes. Automation didn’t really bring any progress in our business processes but alienated our most important asset – our customer base. Read more

I am finally replacing my old website and merge my personal Blog that resided on since 2005 with my Social Relationship blog I recently started.

Why “End of Automation”?

No I don’t envision moving back to caves or living in trees (nice idea though) – No, I’m taking tangible business results. I’m talking about the consequences we suffer from an overly automated business relationship development.

Since 2003 I’m on LinkedIn, blog since 2005, tweet since 2007 and do this all while running a business as a CEO. I’m neither a blogger nor a twitterholic. But what I learned from the past experience of 5 years social media – businesses alienated their most important assets: CUSTOMERS – through total automation.

The day we may tell our family: “Sorry I can’t go on vacation but I outsourced my role as father and here is a friendly guy joining you…” that day I trust is the right time to outsource your customer engagement to call centers, automated voice systems, email blasts….

I’m the first to admit I’m as guilty as everybody else. The only difference, I had the opportunity to learn for the past 5 years how much different and at the same time more effective it is to stop automation and find smart ways to personally engage with an even larger number of people.

So under the new umbrella

The end of Automation – The beginning or Relationships

I will continue to post about thoughts, experience and my vision on Social CRM, Social Relationship Management and Customer Experience.

This week we introduced our first Social CRM solution, Xeesm/Edge!. A powerful social relationship management system with a touch of sales process. Are you confused? I guess so. And to be honest I’m not sure where the market will take us. Xeesm is a crowd source based product. And as such I’m sure the crowd will come up with a definition that is right for the product and understandable for the user.

Now let’s look at Edge!. It has all aspects of a CRM system. There are customers, there is the concept of an account, sales process, forecasting, closing deals… But architecturally the system and the way it is used are VERY different.

Xeesm/Edge! is Social Relationship Management at its best. The system is architected around people – not accounts. It is structured in a way that an opportunity can easily be shared with partners outside the four walls – even with customers to truly collaborate. And while there are still processes a person or team may consider following. the engagement and the system is dominated by relationship strength. The relationship strength then goes into forecasting in form of a predictive model. And if somebody is saying sales is all about relationships – here is your system.

So far so good. Now lets look at a B2B sales process: First of all it is more than ever before dominated by the buying process. In addition, not only sales people but project managers, engineers, experts and all kinds of people may be involved. This is where your traditional CRM system begins to rumble and steam and is just no longer good at it. A Social CRM or Social Relationship Management system is now firing on all cylinders. Xeesm/Flights! is a unique technology we developed that allows all involved people to work on a project, stick to objectives and ensure a great social connection.

In other words the line between SRM and sCRM will become very blurry. I guess only time will tell how this all will develop.