I seem to be having more conversations these days that suggest using a system that includes everything, is not necessarily practical.
When I started working with my husband in the software development business, I found that if I needed some additional functionality, all I had to do was ask and a button magically appeared!
Literally ANYTHING is possible – in my view, the real question is can you really create a one-size-fits-all system?
The seamless functionality between devices that has been delivered to the world by Steve Jobs and his team has brought with it an expectation that everything should connect up, and everything should be able to be automated.
Don’t get me wrong, we LOVE automation – it’s a cornerstone of our systems.
However, in an effort to streamline and automate all things, what can happen is that a fresh layer is added, and some jobs become harder for the system to do, making it cumbersome and unfriendly, and ultimately resulting in jobs that are done poorly.
In my view, the reality is that you’re better off having numerous systems that do their job REALLY WELL, and accept that there will be some manual intervention required on your part to integrate and use the data.
Case Study: We have a pub as a client. The Manager has loads of experience, having been in the industry for around 20 years.
Their Management System is sophisticated, can store immense amounts of customer data, and includes the capacity to send text messages.
When the Manager and I chatted, the initial discussion was to do with our Auto Responder System where people can text in to register for updates or enter competitions, and to register for updates and offers - thus providing the Pub with Express Permission from their customers to contact them.
He liked the idea, and they went on to implement the system for their upcoming Melbourne Cup event, ongoing Trivia Night updates, and into the future, will use the system to generate leads and look after their existing customers around other events and offers.
What was interesting to me was that one of the things that attracted him most was the independence and simplicity of our system.
Yes, the CRM was gathering all of this data (much of it unused), yes it was all integrated, and yes, they could send text messages to their customers.
But their CRM also made it cumbersome to use text messaging easily for their Marketing, Customer Service and Engagement, and it had no functionality beyond the most basic.
Our system, by virtue of its specificity allows them to use SMS in a really targetted way – both Inbound with the SMS Auto Responder System, and Outbound with the 2-Way Text Messaging for their ongoing interaction with their customers.
So, the take out for me is that whilst a fully integrated and automated system may work in some areas, it may not work in others.
Be prepared to think outside the box, and be prepared to accept some manual intervention - you might be surprised with the results.
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