The darkness, you know, is simply because your eyes are closed. The creaking stairs and door hinges, on the other hand, are a completely different story.
The house is large and empty. The fear started to grow the moment the lights went out and you lay down to sleep. Spectres haunt old houses and this house is old. The renovations are coming along nicely, but work must still be done before the future can hold a productive dwelling. You’ve lived and breathed this project for months and the last thing you need right now is a disheartened spirit from the other side coming back to mess things up.
Your eyes creep open and scan the room.
But just as your eyes focus and you’ve decided to push your fear aside and go back to sleep, something moves in the corner of the room. It’s definitely just a trick of the light or a coat sleeve manipulated by the air conditioning. That’s all. You’ve decided to not be afraid and look into the corner just as you see an opaque, angry face screaming towards you with eyes of fire and teeth as sharp as razorblades.
“Listen to me,” it screams.
And that’s the last thing you remember.
Scary ≠ Bad
The scariest ting about ghosts is the unknown. We don’t understand why they appear or what motivates them. If it was as easy as knowing that all ghosts prefer is a non-toasted bagel with strawberry (s)cream cheese, it would be easy to simply have that on the nightstand each night and never be fearful of the dead ever again.
But ghosts don’t work that way. If you tend to believe the stories, ghosts are malevolent or neutral energies that have been left behind in a place due to some (usually traumatic) experience or unfinished work. Because of that, ghosts appear infrequently and rarely hold in-depth conversations about their desires or business. They simply show up at inopportune times and scare things up.
This is a Halloween theme, but if you remember the classic Christmas story, A Christmas Carol, you know that not all ghosts are bad. Even in modern tales, not all ghosts are out for vengeance or harm. Some simply have a message, need to learn something or wish to stop others from making their same mistakes.
So, why in new business transitions, are we SO scared to listen to and learn from the systems and energies of old?
Ghosts of CRM Past
In the classic “other holiday” tale that we are adapting for Halloween, there are three ghosts that teach three different lessons. (Yes, I know there are technically four ghosts if you count the first one that visits and starts the whole thing, but just let that go for now.)
Let’s see what these ghosts of CRM past can teach us about where we’re going:
1. Would you put out with worldly hands the light that I bring? Don’t rest all your laurels on technology. This might seem strange written in a blog online about social CRM and Social Business, but hear me out. Even traditional CRMs were built on technology bases, but the essence and the heart of any CRM system is the use and strategy behind it. Social media platforms and CRM systems come and go, so if you’re caught too much up on the technology of the matter and not the problems it is helping you solve, you’re missing the bigger picture. Just as the Ghost of “Other Holiday” Past taught, sometimes having a myopic view of the world you live in will force you to miss opportunities that would make your future brighter.
2. Come in, and know me better man! All CRM programs should be build around the people at the end of the funnel. Businesses must be concerned with top-line growth. Develop clear goals and metrics for growing and connecting with your customer base, always looking into ways to make the system more effective. Traditional CRM tactics taught us that cost-cutting measures were often met with a decrease in customer satisfaction and this must be remembered when walking into the Social CRM realm. Many ghosts and spirits may cause harm, but the absence of any spirits of past, unhappy customers will make that feast quite lonely.
3. I fear you most of all, spirit. Just because we’re dealing in social media, that doesn’t let you off the hook for measurement tactics. Most people get a shiver of death when they think about measurement online. The avenues are so esoteric and ephemeral. It seems that just when you have a solid number, ROI or KPI, it disappears into the ether like an angry spectre. Most measurement of CRM involves internal return of a technology organization process, but you also have to take into consideration external factors like customer satisfaction, retention rates, sentiment and profitability. Fear not this spirit, but take the time to understand it’s drivers, funnels, factors and the technology needed to truly measure what you need to understand.
No need to call the Ghostbusters, these spirits won’t hurt you, although they may give you quite a fright. Not all spirits from the past are here to do harm, so open your ears and plan to use the past to improve your future.
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