CRM Is Difficult Stuff…

by Chikashi

I admire the Accor Hotels group for having successfully transformed Sofitel, a European analogue of Holiday Inn, to an upmarket franchise. Today’s Sofitel has no resemblance to the one at which I stayed 25 years ago when I flew to Copenhagen for a job interview. Going downmarket is easy, but going upmarket is very tricky business. What makes their feat even more unusual is the fact that Accor were not born as upmarket hoteliers, but rather, as the founders of the ibis hotel chain who later acquired the Sofitel franchise. They are a healthy example of the past not being indicative of future accomplishments.

They recently sent me an email with the subject ‘6 reasons to get married in 2015’.

I know, CRM is difficult stuff. They are not alone in cocking it up. It’s not rare to receive bemusing promotional emails from British Airways. I think one of the main problems companies have in this hi-tech era is that they delude themselves into thinking that they know their customers because they have some fancy enterprise software that supposedly collects, collates and analyses massive heaps of customer ‘data’.

But they don’t know Tom from Harry.

People are not data. I suspect that things get a bit unhinged because companies like Accor are in the people business whilst the software vendors are in the data business who think they understand someone else’s business.

I know, it’s hard.

And, who dressed that groom? (That IS the groom, no? And, was that bubble strategically placed?)