On April 19, 1775 the Minute Men on the Lexington Battle Green fired “the shot heard ‘round the world” that began the American Revolution. This week another shot was fired that may start another revolution.
That event related to Amazon’s announcement of their new Kindle. A key new feature is the “Mayday Button”. If you need assistance, press it and you will be connected to a video contact center agent within 15 seconds. Amazon has already set the standards for on-line shopping and for the creation of the E-book reading experience; have they just created a new benchmark for customer service?
How can they do this? Jeffrey Bezos says that the "hardest and coolest" services such as its "Mayday" service lie at the intersection of "customer delight" and "deep integration through the entire stack." It starts with their commitment for delivering excellent customer service and their long standing commitment to having the infrastructure to support that.
When Bezos says deep integration through the entire stack he is referring to an enterprise commitment to leverage everything they know about their customers to ensure a great customer experience and long term profitability. This combines all types of customer data both experiential (CRM) and transactional (ERP) and delivers it to an Amazon employee instantly so that the customer who only need to press a button for help, has access to all of that information at their fingertips.
This shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to emulate. There is no reason that CRM and ERP data should be housed and accessed with two different processes. Some companies combine the two and refer to it as their Master Data. Nor should it be difficult to access this master data with communications technologies whether it is video and audio like Amazon or some other type of communications mediums. With the right infrastructure, this is what it means to communications enable your business processes.
Whether this is the start of another Revolution remains to be seen. Many important questions will be raised in the next few months, among them is how does your organization leverage valuable customer data, how does it provide for a great customer experience and how can it be accessed?