CRM Magazine

A monthly magazine covering news, issues, profiles, and trends in the field of customer relationship management. Focuses on the integration of technology and organizational strategy to develop and maximize the potential of the relationships between organizations and their customers.

Articles from Vol. 13, No. 2, February

An Opportunity in Chaos: Customer Retention Is the Best Use of a Bad Situation
THE ARCHITECT, futurist, and philosopher R. Buckminster Fuller has been widely quoted as saying, "Don't fight forces, use them." Bucky was a smart guy; sometimes very strange, but usually very smart. And his admonition from the 1930s applies as much...
Breaking Customer Service Tradition: More Companies Are Realizing That Delivering a Great Experience May Not Require a Contact Center
Recessions are a difficult time to improve--let alone start--a traditional contact center. Companies of all sizes are looking for ways to serve consumers while remaining mindful of cost. When Microsoft Live Labs launched its Photosynth product in...
Constructing a Virtual Customer Experience: Wagner Equipment Co. Digs Deeper into Service-And Saves Hard Cash-With Siemens
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Some companies are fortunate enough to provide a product or service easily consumable by the masses. Wagner Equipment Co., an Aurora, Colo.-based Caterpillar dealer, doesn't have that luxury. "Everyone needs a toothbrush,...
Contact Centers in the Web 2.0 World: Web 2.0 Technologies Can Support Your Customer Service Processes
THE WORLD of customer service is changing. The accepted wisdom used to be that for every unhappy customer, you could count on 11 more customers (or potential customers) hearing about the unfortunate situation. But now, without even picking up the phone,...
Cutting Costs, Not Cutting Corners: D-Tools Tries Riding out the Recession with Low-Cost, High-Quality CRM
* Tell us about your organization. I started D-Tools in 1998 as a company to install electronic systems for residential and commercial clients--basically anything with boxes that hooked up with wires. Then, I learned how to link Microsoft Visio with...
Express Service: American Express Wants to Cut Spending as It Enters 2009-Nearly $2 Billion Worth-But What Happens If Its Customers Do the Same?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Late last October, the American Express Co. publicly outlined its cost-cutting initiatives for 2009, intended to achieve total savings of approximately $1.8 billion. Of that, $125 million will come from reductions in general...
Finding a New Path to Customers
It's no secret that customers are more cautious now about how they spend. Likewise, gone are the days when marketing and sales got by with little insight into operations. Aiming to help companies determine what works, what doesn't, and what should...
Focus on What Matters Most
THE GLOBAL economic chaos has been severe enough to shake even veteran executives to the core. Shortly after the holiday season, Adolf Merckle, a 74-year-old German billionaire--ranked by Forbes magazine as the world's 94th-richest person in 2008--took...
From A(erospace) to Z(oology): Technology Provider National Instruments Caters to a Community
The second annual Forrester Groundswell Awards highlighted eight organizations with exceptional social-technology efforts. From Starbucks to Mattel, the award winners each focused on a respective community--and yielded fantastic results for their customers...
Hold: Onto Your Customers! in a Recession, Making the Most of the People and Technology You Already Have-And Maintaining the Service They Provide-Should Be Your Top Priority
For years companies viewed their customer service hubs as cost centers, simply a piece of the organization that tried its best to soothe angry callers, answer their product questions, and keep them happy enough to not leave the company. There was no...
It's Showtime! Cobb Theatres Makes a Blockbuster Move to Combine Dining and Moviegoing
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Image is everything in the movie business, whether you're in front of the cameras or putting filmgoers' butts into the seats at the local multiplex. Realizing this, Alabama-based theater chain Cobb Theatres has gained an online...
Make Marketing Your Megaphone! When Budgets Are Tight, It's Your Job to Calm Skittish Customers and Capture the Few Viable Prospects. You Can't Be Everywhere at Once, So Be Where You're Most Effective
The game's winding down and you've got a 30-point lead. The home-court vibe only adds to your confidence. "What the heck," you say. "Let's give the fans a show." You dribble past the defense and pass the ball over your opponent's head to your teammate--who,...
Next Customer, Please! Adobe Increases Conversions with the Help of Behavioral-Targeted Live Chat
For many of us, our interaction with Adobe is limited to its free offering, Adobe Reader, which accesses high-quality documents with names that end in ".pdf"--denoting the PDF file format created by Adobe in 1993. But it's not for this that Adobe sought...
No Credit Where Credit Is Due: The Rebirth of Layaway in an Age of Automation
RECESSION TALK brings numerous prescriptions for recovery, and nowhere is this truer than in sales, where everyone seems to have a solution. While many of these ideas are good, they might miss the point on one of two counts: On one hand, it's a recession--by...
Outsprinted: Telecom Giant Sprint Cuts Telecom Contact Centers
Telecommunications vendor Sprint Nextel recently noted a drop in calls to its customer service lines, and that, in response, it will close some of its contact center locations. As first reported by TradeTheNews.com, Chief Service Officer Bob Johnson...
Running on Empty: Will Detroit Get the Help It Claims to Need, or the Fate Some Say It Deserves?
Not to mix transportation metaphors, but Detroit's Big Three automakers--General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler--are clearing their decks in a desperate attempt to stay afloat, or rather, hoping someone (that is, the government) will throw them a lifeline....
Spend Your Way out! Counterintuitive as the Notion Seems, Sometimes the Only Way out of a Financial Crunch Involves Spending More to Make More. but How Do You Make Your Spending More Strategic?
"How's business?" Let that be the question of the year--or perhaps of the recession. Ask it aloud and you're sure to be greeted with an "ehh," an "ugh," and maybe even a guttural growl or two. The fact is, the business landscape has changed due...
Strategies for Tight Budgets: Constrained Spending Is No Excuse for CRM Stagnation
DON'T DESPAIR: You can still drive efficiencies and effectiveness in marketing, sales, and service, despite constrained budgets. The key is to select a strategy that adapts to short-term imperatives while also serving longer-term needs and objectives....
That's (Not) Entertainment: Playboy and Other Entertainment Companies Make Cuts-But Hope to Keep the Brand Alive
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] You know times are tough when Playboy cuts its entertainment and travel budget. The mid-October announcement of budget restructuring involved other penny-pinching measures, including spinning down its porn-to-DVD business...
The Numbers Tell the Tale
Statistics can be scary stuff. Absent of context, stats--like the ones scattered across this spread--can stymie strategic thinking and wreak havoc on your company's short- and long-term planning. Your challenge is to keep that from happening. But...
Web Conferencing: Calling Your Conference to Order: No Longer a Brand-New Technology, Web Conferencing Continues to Expand Its Reach as Its Capabilities Continue to Mature
THE DAYS when your entire team had to physically gather in one room, at a costly offsite center, or around a single desk to shuffle papers and sift through pie charts are largely over. Thanks to geographically dispersed organizations and the increased...