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High Tech CRM needs EDM

I saw an ad today for a session on the specific problems and issues of CRM in High-Tech companies. This made me think about Enterprise Decision Management and why it is so relevant in the solving of CRM problems faced by High-Tech companies.

  • Technology-literate customers want self-service
    High-tech products have tech-literate customers. They want to be able to use the web (or mobile technologies or...) and serve themselves. They don't want to wait for you to be available when they have something they want at 2am. Oh, and they want self-diagnostics and self-configuration too. They don't want to talk to you, they want you to make it easy for them to look after themselves.
  • High Tech products are often more complex to order, diagnose and repair
    The first point is made more complex by this one. Everything to do with high-tech products can be more complex - how to assemble them, how to diagnose them, how to repair them, what to order to upgrade them, what's compatible with them. Not only do your customers want to do this themselves, but when you do send staff on-site they had better know what to do. What's more they had better have a good idea of what they are going to need to take with them as your parts inventory probably does not fit in the truck. Of course you would like to avoid visits all together by providing good on-line support but how do you make sure they know what to do?
  • High Tech companies are often multi-channel
    Most high-tech products are sold through a complex network of agents, VARs, stores, web channels, phone and so on. Managing pricing and assigning leads to channels are just some of the things that get more complex with all these channels.
  • Contracts for support can be complex
    Many suppliers of high tech products sell to companies and have complex, custom support contracts with them. How long can a problem be open? How should this call be routed? What is the price for this part for this customer given delivery to this location by this day? All this means lots of complex support decisions made every day.
  • Risk-based pricing
    Lastly, for today, some companies want to start applying risk-based pricing, offering lower credit rates or bigger discounts on low risk, higher margin products and worse rates and higher prices on high demand, high risk, low margin products. This makes pricing decisions really complex.

The net result of all this is that a high tech company has to make more, and more complex decisions faster and with less manual intervention than anyone else when it comes to CRM. To make this work you need to apply business rules and predictive analytics to automate these key decisions - EDM.

I wrote some more on this for Montgomery Research as part of their Defying the Limits report. There also some case studies in my case studies section - here and here.

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