Crowdsourcing in an Open Source CRM

We’ve been talking about the power of Crowdsourcing for a while and how it applies to Customer Relationship Management.

This recent article in CRM Buyer addresses the undeniable fact that the customer clearly now “owns the conversation” and is more empowered than ever. CRM needs to be approached from a totally different perspective. That’s what we’re working on with Zurmo. That’s what gets us up in the morning.

SocialCRM has become the norm. Gamification is about to be, and we are fully on that bandwagon. But does it end there? What comes next? What about Crowdsourcing and its ability to open the floor to innovators and early adopters?

Here is an excerpt from an article published by Information Weekly that offers up some examples of how Crowdsourcing is being used to give customers a greater voice.

With crowdsourcing, businesses get timely information from a community invested in the product, campaign, or market, said Plug. While respondents often are motivated because they want a particular item to succeed, companies also can add incentives ranging from gift cards and prizes to non-monetary benefits such as status symbols like stars, preferred user rankings, a prominent position on the Web site, stars, or Foursquare-like badges, he noted. [This sounds a lot like Gamification]

The government, for example, is beginning to embrace crowdsourcing. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is crowdsourcing its challenge to design the eXperimental Crowd-derived Combat-support Vehicle (XC2V), a next-generation combat support vehicle.

New York City also turned to residents and city workers when it sought ideas about how to improve the day-to-day life and business in Manhattan

This all sounds pretty cool, right? The second sentence of the quote above looks a lot like Gamification to us. That’s a good thing because it means that concept and Crowdsourcing are a couple of peas in a pod.

But our question for you is this. How can Crowdsourcing be integrated into an Open Source CRM like Zurmo? Let’s face it, in a way, everything about Zurmo is Crowdsourcing. Our contributors are what makes the application. But how can we harness this concept and really integrate it into our development roadmap.

In the true spirit of the concept, we’re asking you. Should we pursue this?

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