At our last CRM Acceleration event in Boston, CRM analyst and friend of mine Denis Pombriant made some interesting points about adding a “customer module” to traditional CRM systems.
This is much different than your existing “Accounts” module – and does more to gather more free flowing data rather than exact transaction details. There’s a decent explanation and argument for it here.
It makes sense – storing the “voice of the customer” (for lack of a better term) inside your existing system. It simplifies the transition to social CRM (again, for lack of a better term) and requires little incremental IT investment. Heck, with SugarCRM, you can create a customer module easy with Module Builder – this is exactly the kind of stuff the 5.0 platform was meant to do.
I just did a webinar with CRM expert Paul Greenberg. We discussed a lot of the need for more social media awareness in enterprises and a new understanding of what CRM can be. But I think the customer module is a good start – it an bring in data from all of those sources where your customers are talking, and allow organizations to keep a finger on the pulse of customer activity in a system they already know how to use.