HP’s Dhore Discusses CRM for 60 Million Customers

When it comes to Customer Relationship Management, Hewlett-Packard has its hands full. The company gets 600 million calls a year from its customers and ships about 500 million products. The task is complicated by new forms of customer interactions, such as blogs and social networking applications. At the helm of all this data management is Prasanna Dhore, HP’s vp of customer intelligence. Dhore joined HP last year from Dreyfus, where he focused on reducing churn. At HP, Dhore has more tools at his disposal, but also a lot more data. Last week he discussed HP’s CRM program with Brandweek’s editor Todd Wasserman. Here are some excerpts from that conversation:

Brandweek: How long has HP been executing a CRM program and how has it evolved to the present day?
Prasanna Dhore: HP has been executing some type of CRM program for many, many years, but as you can imagine with a company that operates in more than 170 countries and last year we did $104.3 billion in revenue, we’ve been doing it in silos. It’s important to have a holistic view of your customer. At HP, that’s easier said than done. We have three business groups that focus on selling different products to different audiences. That’s a lot of customers in different segments. And some customers buy from more than one group. To give you another idea of scale, in the year before I came to HP, HP shipped 500 million products! Our customers can buy from us via hp.com, they call us and our call center support averages four and a half minutes on the phone with them, and often customers buy from a retail store. We typically have about 2 billion customer interactions a year. HP receives 600 million calls a year from consumers that say ‘help.’ So my challenge in coming to HP about a year ago was to bring all that customer information together. We were doing a good job in the individual groups, but the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. We’ve made great progress in the past year and now we’re doing it across the company.

BW: What is cutting edge for CRM in 2008?
PD: It’s also an evolution. Ten years ago you used to push information, now it’s all about unstructured data, collaborative data