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August 9, 2010

Using Personality & Horoscopes in enriching CRM

Let me start by asking some very simple questions to all the readers - do you believe in Astrology? or to make it more objective, let me put it as how many of you read your daily/weekly horoscope?

Do some basic traits of our personality could be attributed to our birth date and the place of birth? Though to get the records straight, even I do not follow this blindly but still I have found out that one's personality and sun-sign could be related by at least some common traits, if not all.  To validate my point, one can just browse through the internet for materials that provides a basic personality description according to a birth sun-sign. If one does not trust content on internet, one can also call on some expert to know about it. I am confident everyone would be able to relate to some personality traits described by their sun-signs.

Also, how we react in different situations and conversations are governed somewhat by the underlying traits. Though, I will also like to add that many other factors also come into play but at a sub-conscious level no one can change it even after external influences.

I believe by now everyone would be thinking that this portal is supposed to be for CRM topics and not about personality and horoscopes!! But then, I will like to say that a CRM also assists business users to know more about customers, prospects and other stakeholders. So, it makes sense if a business user can use these traits to alter their communication accordingly. How much impact this can create again will depend upon how better CRM can assist in mapping the personality traits.

Now, the main concern arises regarding what information should organizations have in the system in order to map personality attributes. I think the least any organization would already have about their contacts is 'the birth date'. This is more than enough to start mapping the traits. Since a birth date directly relates to a sun-sign, one can have a third-party application within CRM system to display the common personality traits directly on to the agent's screen.

Possible implications of having this information readily available:

a. An agent can have an assisted call text based on the personality type. For instance, some people prefer a straight talk, some like to have an informal talk and thus the communication could be altered in order to better engage with the customer.

b. Some customers would be pleased by monetary benefits while some are pleased only if basic services met their expectations. Hence, the services can be aligned accordingly to increase customer satisfaction index.

c. The traits could be a parameter to recommend intelligent offers and products. A basic working is to do an analysis on mapping already accepted products/offers with the personality type which can help in future recommendations. Since CRM systems already keep track of a customer's past purchase and the accepted offers, one can try to measure the degree of correlation between a sun-sign, personality patterns with types of product/offer.

To make a more strong argument in favor of using personality attributes, let's look at a possible scenario:
'Extroverts' are mainly those people who are more outgoing in nature and want to always stay in the limelight. Thus customers who are extroverts are more likely to play a role of a efficient brand advocate in case they are pleased with the brand. Further, they are also more likely to have more number of social contacts than someone who is introvert. For a better accuracy, a score range could be attributed to it like a score of 1 relates to absolute introverts and 5 to absolute extroverts.

Hence, if CRM systems are able to tag customers with a Extroverts/Introverts score, this can help in shortlisting of influencing customers.

To conclude, this article only gave an insight on the possible useful scenarios but it is purely upto an organization how they would like to leverage personality and horoscopes within CRM business processes. May be one can start it on a trial basis with incorporating the most basic personality types as an enhancement to existing customer data