Thursday, February 11, 2010

Could Twitter become a great VRM tool ?

I like the idea of Vendor Relationship Management. The first time I heard about it, it made so much sense that I knew it had a bright future ahead of it. Vendor relationship management aims to reverse CRM, meaning that the customer claims its need of a product, and companies need to get in contact with him.

This looks like too very traditional business to business process:
• Calls for tender: This is when a company sets requirements of its needs, and hence allow companies to develop an appropriate solution that will match these requirements.
• Reverse auctions: This is a time where the buyer sorted out a short list of potential sellers. Then, these competitions participate to a reverse auction, where in a limited time, they are going to battle to provide the best price to the customer.

The ultimate goal for customers is to get a product that suits their needs and at the best price. For the company, it is to focus its commercial and marketing effort on the “first moment of truth”, the moment where the customer has decided to purchase the product. This VRM solution is suitable for long decision making process, such as buying electronics, real estate, cars, or mobile phone plans.

Now the question is how could we set up a VRM process. What tool could you use? I believe Twitter could be a great way for customers to reach companies and exposes their needs. Indeed, more and more brands have created Twitter accounts, and dedicated some community management effort to interact with people.

Hence, a Twitter empower with great search engines capabilities could become the ultimate VRM tool, allowing customers to reach the largest number of companies able to suit its needs.

What do you think about CRM? Do you think it has a bright future ahead?