Customer centricity is the epicenter of disruptions, expectations of customers transform with influences of consumerism and hence the acquisition and retention also have to think beyond the traditional norms. Customer is ready to go beyond the traditional touch points of engagement as he/she sees value in adapting to newer ways of engagement.
A classic example is, during the London Fashion Week towards September end, VIP guests attending Henry Holland’s show were able to make purchases from the catwalk by tapping NFC rings against payment receiver tags attached to clothes and accessories. Customers walked up to the models and tapped their smart rings to smart brooches attached to their favorite items.  This is an example where the overall engagement and experience gets amplified by adopting technologies that enables physical and digital world convergence.  Burberry is another example where the convergence of virtual, online retail and real-world shopping experience happen at a changing room mirror.  A mirror could do clientele and do upsell with RFID technologies integrated.
Customer is ready to experiment newer channels as long as there is a value in making the engagement efficient and interesting.  Almost in all of the significant transformations in the world we see the physical – digital convergence happening in some form or other.
A traditional customer acquisition methodology,  at the  point of engagement, can adopt  digital transformation approaches that can add a significant value eg : the smart devices  and things enabling customer data , context learning in an efficient way for acquisition . Customer’s social presence itself is a great communication channel for meaningful interactions – the social crm, enables analysis of customer sentiments with the enterprise and helps make more outcome driven conversations.  Customers are already hooked to service environments where there are contactless engagements; yet there are delight factors – the Uber, Airbnb models.  The critical learning from all of these facts is that, CRM can be enriched to derive more meanings equally in  physical and digital engagement models.
Behind the scenes of these delightful engagements, there are engineering elements that integrates heterogeneous systems with agreed schemes of information exchange.  The key aspects of problem solving covers

  • Continuity in workflows from one channel, one system to another
  • Ability to integrate heterogeneous systems and  provide unified workflows
  • Agility to source data from various systems of records hosted by various paradigms; consumable for decision making
  • Analytics to learn and predict the customer from a wide range of  customer touch points and provide meaningful outcomes

Data is becoming the center of digital transformation and all the data centric innovations are complementing each other,  with data as the key enabler for business growth. The following is a simple  integrated view of how the data centric transformation is a reality by integrating traditional, social, sensed, analyzed approaches coming together.

Customer data on social and physical arena is learned , analysed and pattern adapted  to create predictions and recommendations to provide more clues for customer engagement. Data driven approaches form the core enabler of transformations of CRM systems. CRM technologies are evolving to integrate advanced analytics, predictions, multi-channel friendliness, context awareness by IOT etc. Digital strategies are aligning to integrate multiple value addition elements to create meaningful acquisition and retention approaches for businesses. The future selling will involve technology assisted range of clues that enables sales personnels to understand and service customers thereby creating win-win scnearios for businesses and customers.