August 25th, 2009 by Christopher Musico

It’s been just more than one year since we kicked off our blog in conjunction with last year’s conference, destinationCRM 2008. One of my first posts had to do with a keynote address at that time which talked about CRM and customer experience management (CEM). Namely, whether or not the CEM acronym would take over, as the customer experience was — and still is — becoming an essential goal for companies.

As I stated a year ago, and will again, we have no intentions of changing the name of our magazine anytime soon. But, in today’s keynote address here at CRM Evolution 2009 by Jeffrey Rayport, founder of Marketspace, LLC, he concluded by saying he felt in a couple of years we could expect to be talking about CMR — customer managed relationships — moreso than CRM.

“In a couple of years, it will not CRM Evolution, but CMR Evolution,” Rayport said. “Not customer relationship management alone, but how to put the tools and friendly interfaces — speech, voice, natural language — in the world where brands must play a new game. I’ll argue that’s CMR, for customer managed relationships, as [consumers] are at the center of everything we do.”

Are we just getting caught up in the details? Is it that important to coin another acronym to recognize that the customer is in fact crucial and essential to the business landscape today? I’m curious to know what those attending the conference, as well as our faithful readers back at home, think about this topic.

We’re dealing with concepts here. The reality is that we live in an opt-out world, and opt-out does not feature the customer in the driver’s seat. Many CRM engines are fine tuned to generate short-term opportunity. We’re lacking the measurement and reward structures to drive customers, which are by definition long-term. Will CRM morph to CMR? Dunno. What i do know is that there’s a lot of opportunity once the customer becomes the measure.

Comment by Scott Hornstein — — August 25, 2009 @ 5:56 pm

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