How Sound SFA Now Equals Solid Field Service

I’ve always had the attitude that solid service is just as good as any sales pitch or deal a company can throw your way. So when I was working with our customer Bright House Networks this week about a case study questionnaire, I found they were doing a nice job of putting that initiative into action.

BHN is leveraging Sugar Enterprise for a lot of the SFA basics, such as lead management, opportunity and pipeline tracking, and sales forecasting. That’s all fine and good, but it’s how they’ve tied that functionality with their construction, engineering, and service delivery teams that’s allowing their salespeople to track permit and work progress to ensure service assurance and delivery for each customer.

In that way, I think BHN has done a nice job of bringing CRM back to its roots (and taking it a step forward) and viewing it the way it should be viewed – not strictly as a function to support sales but to extend that reach across into support.

And by that I don’t simply mean “breaking down the silos,” a concept long endeared by CRM. CRM applications, Web 2.0, community-driven feedback, etc., has finally reached the point of maturity where even a salesperson is becoming a CSR in the sense that they’re just as capable of tracking customer service metrics and feedback to improve them.

BHN is doing a nice job of embracing the newer generation of CRM systems that are designed and built to integrate multiple Web and wireless-based channels and data points, making it easier to start with the basics and then add and improve touch points. Sound, multi-channel field service is a great example of that.

In that sense, a lot has always been made about spotting dissatisfied customers on Twitter, but not nearly as much about putting enough effort into service to solve their problems quickly and easily – and thus keeping them from using Twitter or a personal blog as an alarm mechanism.