CRM in France: What Haute Couture and Customer Service Have in Common

In France, we talk about the need to deliver “un service sans couture”, which means providing service that hides all the stitching to offer a “beautiful”, seamless customer experience.

France is renowned for its haute couture, which is characterized by the skill of designers to turn lots of pieces of fabric and hundreds of stitches into a uniquely beautiful dress or impeccably tailored suit. Managing the customer relationship is made up of lots of pieces too, as businesses must stitch together multiple channels, processes and systems when engaging with customers.

In France, we talk about the need to deliver “un service sans couture”, which means providing service that hides all the stitching to offer a “beautiful”, seamless customer experience. There are significant challenges to achieving “un service sans couture” including the need for:


  • Personalized customer engagements
  • Channel transparency
  • A seamless experience across the business
  • Adaptability to support constant change


Personalization is at the Heart of the Beautiful Experience

Un service sans couture starts with listening to and understanding the customer. However, many CRM systems deliver only a static 360° customer view. Some companies supplement this view with analytics to make predictions about customer behavior and apply these to customer-facing processes. But like the 360° view, these predictions are fixed and do not reflect new information that may be acquired during a customer engagement.

Un service sans couture requires adaptive analytics that can perceive the customer’s intent and leverage context during an interaction, such as hearing a customer’s response to an offer or discovering the customer has moved. With adaptive analytics, the process can be adjusted in real time to reflect this new knowledge, dynamically delivering the next best action suited to the individual and the situation.

Seamless Service Requires Transparent Channels

While customers have adopted digital channels in droves, companies often treat each channel independently. A conversation started on Twitter is not visible to a chat agent, forcing customers to start over if they switch channels. Talk about letting your stitches show!

Customers expect the use of multiple channels to be transparent, allowing them to switch without interruption. What’s needed is an omni-channel approach which treats any interaction across multiple channels as a single engagement, supporting a seamless flow both online and offline.

Hide the Front to Back Office Stitching

The front-to-back-office relationship is another place where the stitching often shows. The root cause is isolated systems that force clumsy handoffs. Important data and context are lost, and the customer’s overall relationship with the business is obscured because it can only be understood product by product or system by system.

Customers don’t see it this way. No matter how many accounts or products a customer owns, it’s a single relationship. No matter how many channels, systems and processes are needed to fulfill a request, it’s a single engagement. This requires technology that facilitates business process integration to automatically move information from front to back office, hide the underlying system silos and deliver a unified view of the customer across the organization.

Manage Change Seamlessly

Finally, the modern customer relationship is driven by change. Customer interests, products, competitors and regulations change constantly. When every change requires long waits for IT resources and expensive, extensive system rework, companies are forced into manual workarounds that quickly show the seams.

The solution is a CRM platform designed to support change, allowing business people to create and modify processes, rules, integrations and so forth that accurately reflect the latest reality. With the ability to immediately respond to change, you can offer customer experiences that truly achieve un service sans couture.

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