The Future of Customer Relationships: notes on where they are going


I’ve just finished a teleconference on The Future of Customer Relationships (follow the link for an overview), hosted by and Brian Vellmure.

The panellists were:
Ross Dawson
Dr. Graham Hill
Dr. Michael Wu
Denis Pombriant

Our discussion will be available shortly as an mp3. For now, here are a few quick notes I took from the discussion. We certainly didn’t have the time to cover the full scope of the future of customer relationships in our 45 minute discussion, but we did get across some very interesting issues.

We started by talking about the big picture, where I covered a few of the themes from my map of the ExaTrends of the Decade.


Other major trends mentioned were fab labs, big data, rise of global middle class, co-production, and peer to peer commerce. The critical trend of collaborative commerce is about creating value with customers, suppliers, and partners.

Without trust there can be no influence. Your customers’ voice is becoming more powerful and is already more influential than yours.

Influence is having an impact on people’s thought and behaviors. Influence has been democratized, meaning now anyone can become influential. However the key issue is how influence flow through social networks, rather than who the influencers are.

We are still quite far from having a good measure of influence. Twitter metrics do not indicate credibility or impact within a particular domain. Vendors are gradually evolving their algorithms, but they need to go beyond social media as indicators of influence.

CRM systems are in the early stages of integrating indicators of influence and reputation. This will drive the development of new analytics that support

Many successful organizations of the future will be distributed, but be hybrids of hierarchy and social structures, facilitating external co-creation. They may start to emulate better the structure of the human brain, creating adaptive, responsive companies.