In October, my colleague Brian Hopkins published Forrester’s extremely popular enterprise architecture (EA) trends research, the Top 10 Business Technology Trends EA Should Watch: 2012 to 2014. As in past iterations of this research, master data management (MDM), along with the data governance capabilities required to support it, remain among the top technology strategies that enterprise architects expect to deliver the most business value to their firms, as well as require the most change to their firm’s technology landscape over the next three years.
In 2009, the anticipated trend around MDM was that it was going to significantly mature both from a technology and architecture standpoint, but also in the skills, best practices, and methodologies used to effectively deliver MDM capabilities. I believe that the maturity of MDM practitioners has in fact increased significantly over the past two years. In August, I published a report titled Master Data Management: Customer Maturity Takes A Great Leap Forward, which analyzed about 175 MDM- and data governance-related client inquiries Forrester received between January 2010 and June 2011. The crux of that research was to demonstrate that our clients are asking much more practical and insightful questions about MDM architectures, best practices, strategies, governance, and vendor selection than in years past.
Brian’s EA trends report identifies two specific trends around data management and governance:
Your customers are using social media in their private lives. Facebook has more than 800 million users that collectively spend more than 3 billion hours a year on the site. Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn have large numbers of followers as well. What are you doing to engage your customers in the medium where they are spending their time?
You can’t add social technologies in a silo; they have to be intergrated into your customer service ecosystem so that they extend and add value to your current operations. Here are six ways to add social technologies for customer service in the right way:
Start by listening to customer conversations. These conversations can surface general issues with products, services, and company processes. Make sure you create workflows to route surfaced issues to the correct organization so they can be worked on.
Flag and address social inquiries. Understand the general sentiments expressed in these conversations, but also identify specific customer inquiries and route them to the right agent pool for resolution. Tie feedback to customer records so that agents are aware of customer sentiments so that they can personalize future interactions.