Saturday, July 21, 2012

Vendor Relationship Management

In the Saturday issue of the Wall Street Journal and the section "Review" there's a wonderful article about "The Customer as a God." The key point the author is making that with the advent of social media the customer is becoming stronger and stronger and, in fact, there may be a movement away from CRM which is Customer Relationship Management to VRM which is Vendor Relationship Management. The idea that companies will manage the customers may be evolving to the point where customers will be managing their vendors.

The time is quickly arriving when the availability of information on the Internet about companies will be so comprehensive that individual customers can quickly and accurately determine the best place to make purchases. The author of the article Mr. Searls is the author of "The Intention Economy: When Customers Take Charge" which was published by the Harvard business review press. The implications of this idea will ultimately have a profound effect on what we currently mean by customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. No longer will companies be the dominant force in the company/customer relationship. The customer will become the dominant force and will make decisions based on a greater set of data but also instantly available data.

It is not clear what the bottom line is for this perspective of changing the customer/company relationship. Perhaps the limiting factor for the time to make this transition will be the customers.

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