The theory and business practice of CRM has always been about presenting the right offer to the right customer at the right time, which means understanding critical customer events and responding as quickly as possible (right time, if not real time). Unfortunately, most of the CRM products have focused on collecting and managing routine customer interactions, not recognizing and delivering what customers want. This has left event management to specialists such as PAR3, Envoy Worldwide, and Adeptra. Early examples of real-time event coordination are in airlines (flight cancelations or gate changes), entertainment (ticket availability), and B2B (pricing, lead delivery, service renewals). Real-time (and right time) event coordination has a place in CRM, but is likely to get subsumed into larger mobile or application server platforms (or CRM or ERP applications) rather than remain a standalone system. While most of the true real-time event systems are rules based, we also expect customer intelligence vendors to (finally) deliver on the promise of closed loop analysis to translate upsell opportunities and retention risks into operational actions, using a combination of real-time mining, pattern matching, and business rules.
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