Recently my wife and I were able to attend the U2 360 tour held in the MSU football stadium with 64,338 other fans. WOW is the best word to describe it. We enjoyed the music, the people and the "show". As I soaked up the sounds and visuals during this wonderful experience, I captured this knowledge in my mind and in my iPhone (pictures and sounds).
Now that I have some time to reflect on this memorable experience I find similarities between the U2 360 concert and CRM - customer relationship management systems.
U2 uses the word "360" to describe the full view and set of experiences that are possible for the attendee. A core belief found in CRM - is being customer-centric focused and having the ability for a 360 degree view of a customers' business. This holistic view is valuable to providing knowledge about the customer to the entire company. The 360 degree view provides management with information to make better informed decisions.
So what does a U2 concert and CRM system have in Common?
#1 - Prior strategy and planning
To create success there is strategy involved in who your target market is and where they are located. Having over 60,000 people to show up on a specific day and time involved lots of strategy and planning. During the concert the big screen would flash various statistics about our world and the concert specifically. This concert has over 420 people involved in the road crew and it takes 4 days to set up the stage area. But WOW what an area.
A CRM system is part of your business relationship development strategy. The successful implementation of CRM takes up front planning to fulfill the strategic decisions.
#2 - There is a strong foundation and supporting structure.
Along with a sturdy foundation there are 4 pillars that support the massive light and sound system that rests above the stage area. There are thousands of wires that link together with over 20 cameras that capture the performance. The system is flexible with the ability to have the stage rotate, the huge video display changed and the U2 performers could interact with the fans.
Similar to CRM is this connecting of people, the linking of a person's likes and preferences to a core relational database system. A good CRM system has a configurable and modifyable database structure- the foundation. It is adaptable. It has the ability to provide a personalized user interface- to provide a unique experience.
#3 - Ability to see a holistic big picture or drill down and focus on a specific person.
For the big picture view you could see the mass of fans from all walks of life but all with the purpose of experiencing a U2 concert. The big screen showed up close the specific performance of various U2 performers. Also it was personal, as you could focus on the people around you and those you met during the concert. We met a couple that is a 1976 alumni who drove up from Florida and we sat by another couple from Tennessee would were experiencing the state of Michigan for the first time. They were returning in 2 weeks for more...
The successful CRM system will provide business intelligence by way of a useful and configurable dashboard that provides a company view of the business with the ability to drill down into the details.
#4 - The 'experience' is a building block and can be captured.
Parts of the U2 concert can be captured and later remembered and processed. There was a remarkable number of people with mobile phones that were recording parts of songs and snapping pictures or video throughout the concert. These fans, myself included, will be able to re-live the experience over and over.
A CRM system is also a place that captures the conversations from phone calls, meetings, email and so forth. Later as a CRM user I can access those notes and past history to re-live that former experience whether by me or a co-worker. I foresee the future use of CRM also capturing video conferences and conversations with easy to enhance the experience and jog the memory.
#5 There is a cost and there is an Appreciating Value:
Yes this was by far the most expensive set of tickets we have purchased. We also knew that prior review of the 360 tour were rewarding to the fans and having the capability for this life long experience generates a solid appreciation of a quality performance.
A successful CRM system is a company wide knowledge database and becomes an appreciating asset, valuable to the business and its employees.
#6 Multiple levels of Integration and Collaboration
Several times Bono mentioned the positive effect of working with progressive campuses such as Michigan State University. Not only for this type of entertainment but the more life affecting philantrapoic causes U2 is engaged with.
To pull off such a large 360 tour and the 100's of concerts over the years takes multiple levels of integration and collaboration. Additionally there are all the technologies involved in such productions.
Likewise a Customer focused strategy and a CRM implemented system is successful when integration and collaboration occurs.
Having a CRM professional beside you just makes the whole process simpler and more successful.
Have you tried integrating 64,338 customer fans into your CRM system lately?
Are your customers' experiences remarkable and memorable?
Are you providing your staff with the tools to be superstars in the eyes of the customer?