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. 12, No. 2, February

2008 Contact Center Challenges: Before Managers Can Tackle Primary Goals, Obstacles Must Be Overcome
AFTER MORE THAN 30 years of treating contact centers as "call-handling departments," enterprise senior managers are beginning to appreciate the range of contributions that these customer service organizations can make to the greater enterprise. In...
Always On: The New Generation of Consumers, Clients, and Customers Is Perpetually Connected-To the Internet, to You, and to Each Other. What Can Web 2.0 Do for You?
WELCOME TO THE NEW DEMOGRAPHIC REALITY: The purse strings of the future are controlled by the digital client. I've written about that digital client quite a bit in these pages lately ("The Rise of the Digital Client," August 2007, page 12, and "Web...
Analytics-Driven Workforce Optimization: Greater Insight for Enterprise Customer Service
As customers, we've all been there: What starts as a great buying experience spirals downward quickly because of the poor service we receive after our order is placed. Or perhaps the opposite occurs--a bad experience is suddenly redeemed at the...
Are You Ready for SaaS? You May Think You Are, but the Truth Is This: Size Matters
SOFTWARE-AS-A-SERVICE (SaaS) seems to be everywhere lately, especially in the CRM space. For small and midsize businesses (SMBs), SaaS has been a popular option for a number of years; now larger enterprises are beginning to adopt it in meaningful numbers....
Burning Up the Paper Trail: Origen Financial Turns to Automation to Minimize a Mountain of Mortgage Paperwork
Mortgages are the most paper-intensive aspect of a still-very-paper-oriented financial services industry. Mortgage lenders operating across states need not only to be able to create all the documents for producing, closing, and servicing a loan, but...
Consultants Adapt to Changing CRM Landscape: On-Demand CRM Remains an Ongoing Challenge, but Social Networking Promises to Be the Real Wild Card
CRM has been a boon for the professional services industry almost since Day One, a chance to deploy a fleet of consultants to implement new systems and charge handsomely for the service. Many consultancies had gotten used to the idea that it would...
CRM Drives Down-Market: SAP and Microsoft Make Big Moves to Embrace Smaller Customers
December was a busy month in the enterprise software field, with acquisitions, stock offerings, and new products galore. Two events in particular, however, signify big enterprise's blossoming interest in providing smaller businesses with purpose-designed...
CRM Gets Serious: With Customer Loyalty an Ever-More-Fleeting Commodity, Businesses Must Deliver Consistent-And Consistently High-Quality-Service. in the Five Stages That Define CRM Maturity, Is Your Company among the Leaders? Not Knowing Means You're Not There Yet
Customers today are in control of your company-whether you realize it or not. When visualizing an ideal business model, a well-oiled machine might come to mind: intricate parts running in harmony, tended to and maintained by a skilled chief executive....
CRM Magazine Best Practices Series: Contact Center Solutions Doing the Right Thing Often Yields Multiple Rewards
In the following special section of CRM magazine you will find best practice recommendations from nine leading vendors serving the contact center industry. As you might imagine, several focus heavily on improving the productivity, efficiency, and morale...
Customer Insight 2.0: Managing Unstructured Data Brings Brilliance to Voice of the Customer Initiatives
It seems ironic: Despite enormous investments in market research, surveys, and interviews, more than 65 percent of new product introductions fail largely because companies fail to understand and meet customer requirements. Some companies have...
Doing More with Less in Contact Centers: Strategies and Best Practices
Customer service has emerged as one of the few sustainable differentiators in today's hyper-competitive markets. The companies winning in this environment are those who provide "standout" customer service, while controlling costs. eGain has been...
Do's and Don'ts: Best Practices for Survey Success from Vovici
DON'T ... Ask too many questions It's easy to ask too many questions or include questions that are very complex. Avoid questions that are too granular and try not to incorporate topics without a clear focus. You can easily scare away or confuse...
Essential Managers Guide to Extraordinary Customer Service
What your customers think about your company is often a result of their experience when they contact you. Whether or not they remain customers is often a result of the quality of service you provide. Through Extraordinary Customer Service, Avaya...
"Going Green" in the Contact Center: Reduce Costs and Improve the Customer Experience While Making a Positive Impact on the Environment
"Going green" has increasingly become a hot topic of conversation. At every level of the business community there is a growing desire to reduce environmental impact, from reducing CO2 emissions to improving energy efficiency. Yet even as many business...
Grow Up!
SCOTT NELSON, a vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, has once again left an indelible mark on the CRM market and on the pages of this magazine. More than five years ago, his concerns regarding high CRM failure rates prompted our July...
Increasing Agent Productivity & Satisfaction: Winning Strategies to Improve Agent Effectiveness, Increase Profitability and Ensure Customer Satisfaction
Many companies acknowledge the value of a customer-centric business approach, but only truly savvy companies recognize that their contact center functions as the backbone of any customer-first strategy--and that the contact center agent plays the central...
Maintain Your Competitive Edge with Interaction Analysis
Whether clients are contacting businesses through a website, emails, or the customer service center, organizations are constantly being held to higher standards. Ensuring optimum service requires all divisions of the organization to maintain focus...
Monitoring the Quality Monitors: What You Need to Know about Quality Management and Liability Recording Solutions
THE QUALITY management/liability recording technology segment--considered part of workforce optimization (WFO)--continues to be one of the strongest performers in the contact center market. Even more impressive, innovative functionality from this market,...
Multiplicity Means More: Customers Want It. Technology Allows It. the Digital Client Demands It. So Why Have So Few Companies Mastered Multichannel CRM?
MULTICHANNEL CRM seems simple enough, on its face: Allow a customer to start her experience in one channel and to complete it in another. The reality, though, can be complex: After beginning a purchase at a company's Web site, the customer may call...
No More Bumps for BlueRoads: Marketo Smooths out Pay-per-Click Campaigns That Were Costing More (and Producing Less) Than They Should
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] When it comes to managing partner relationships, BlueRoads drives in the fast lane. A provider of partner opportunity management solutions, California-based BlueRoads aims to help its clients work with their distribution channels,...
Out of the Gate: Marketers Rate '08 Traits: Though Marketing Seems Committed to Its Customer-Centric Approach, Opinion Is Divided on Which Specific Trends Will Dominate This Year
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Marketers are blessed with a bevy of cost-effective techniques to reach customers, but cursed with too much data and too many ways to deploy those techniques. According to Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council study, 2007...
Redefining High Definition with CRM: Silicon Image's HDMI Unit Used Oracle iStore to Handle a Growing Licensing Business
* What is HDMI and how is it related to Silicon Image? Silicon Image is the core of our business. We build chips but we look at ourselves as an innovative tech company trying to change electronics. High Definition Multimedia Interface or HDMI was a...
Re:tooling
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Business Problem: Marketing needs to manage the back end to free up time better spent delivering relevant creative material and addressing individual customer needs. Tech Solution: Marketing resource management software...
Rumble in the Office: Your Sales Force and Your Technology Staff May Not Respect Each Other's Turf, but You'd Better Broker a Truce If You Want Your Business to Thrive
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Think of the two most different people in your organization, the ones whose personalities are like night and day. Chances are, one of these is a salesperson, and the other's a technologist. It's a fairly established fact that,...
Solve Customer-Related Challenges and Achieve Operational Efficiency: Streamlining Processes from the Contact Center across the Supply Chain Moves Retailers from Multi-Channel to Cross-Channel-Providing an Optimal Customer Experience
Today's retailers understand that supply chain visibility is vital to the success of selling and fulfillment solutions, allowing customers to purchase, track and return any product anywhere. By enabling customers to have the same shopping, purchasing...
Strategic Minds Think Alike
Many CRM problems are borne out of a lack of communication between sales and marketing. Zoom out, and you'll find that the same problem exists higher up between senior executives and project managers. Approximately 80 percent to 90 percent of business...
Sunny Skies for Knology: Impact 360 Helps to Forecast Warmer Service for a Southeastern Telecom's 'Snowballing' Contact Center
Knology, a telecommunications provider, supplies interactive communications services to the sunny southeastern United States. Dark storm clouds, however, were looming over the company's contact center in Augusta, Ga. Knology's commitment to customers...
The Bold Flavor of Brand: There's Smoke, but Maybe Not Fire, in the World of Product Image
BRAND AIN'T WUDDIT USE TA BE, or so the current lament goes. (The Brooklyn dialect is optional.) I've been doing a lot of reporting lately on social media and how the power of the mob (lowercase "m"--not the Mafia) has usurped business' ability to...
The Loyalty Riddle
Customer loyalty is one of the first things on executives' minds, and certainly first on their lips when asked about top business concerns. Studies indicate that customers will go to a competitor after just one or two bad experiences; there are few...
The Smallest Slice: A Pristine Customer Database-Names, Addresses, Phone Numbers, All Neat and Clean-Is Only the First Step. Now You Have to Market to Certain Parts of That Group: How Do You Carve out Just the Right Piece of the Pie?
SEGMENTATION. Sounds like just another fancy word for knowing who your customers are and knowing what they want. But it's more important that that: Companies are expected to expand beyond a mere customer list, to take it a step further. The good news...