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EVERY year seems to have its favourite theme topic. Over the last couple of years, I have noticed the subject of customer relationship management (CRM) appearing in increasing frequency, and I suspect that the topic will continue to run through part of this year as well.
I am proposing and predicting a new topic in the coming years: customer knowledge management. This is invariably related to organisational knowledge. One can speculate why this could be a hot subject.
Perhaps it is a fallout of the realisation that with the recent wave of rationalisation and de-layering, much knowledge has simply been kicked out of the door. Most companies are reporting a shortage of people able to innovate, develop and launch new products and services, as well as the associated processes that will deliver customer delight.
Waiting in the wings are the IT companies with software and systems to capture, analyse, and disseminate organisational knowledge. Likewise, service companies are ready with organisational improvement to develop and motivate staff to acquire, share and use appropriate knowledge.
Not wanting to repeat past mistakes, one of the aims this time around will be to capture and secure in a usable form the knowledge that is embedded within the organisation.
While companies may have lost knowledge when they "let their employees go", hopefully they have managed to retain most of their customers.
These customers will have knowledge. Knowledge about how well or not so well the company's products and services meets their needs, …