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. 8, August

8 Enterprise Strategies That Stick: CRM Can Be a Tough Animal to Tame. We've Gathered a Handful of Tunes That Actually Soothe the Sometimes-Savage Beast
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] When searching for big CRM ideas that can stand the test of time, the phrase "easier said than done" comes to mind. Customers, analysts--even vendors--say there really is no "secret sauce" to CRM--and if there were, a business...
All Lines Are Not Busy: British Telecom Sees Massive Turnaround in Its Contact Centers Thanks to Knoa
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Who's to blame when contact center handling times slow to a crawl? This sort of question gets asked a lot, and it sets off rounds of finger-pointing with an attendant lack of problem-solving. British Telecom (BT) was able...
Calling It Quits
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Keeping employees motivated is important in any environment, whether it be in a roundtable discussion with executives, among battle-weary troops, or on the court with an underperforming basketball team. If you can't get your...
Connect High Tech Customers to Information and to Each Other with Web-Enabled Customer Service
Helpstream is a brand new customer service application built for the Web from the ground up using innovative Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) technology. Helpstream's collaboration technologies and tight integration between case management, customer self...
CRM Class Is in Session: More Colleges and Consulting Firms Are Offering CRM-Specific Certifications
CRM in education is often discussed in terms of solutions to drive student recruitment, retention, and fundraising (see Market Focus: Education, page 20). What many have missed, however, is the rise of CRM-specific curricula. Yet CRM education isn't...
CRM Magazine Best Practices Series: CRM Solutions for Vertical Markets
In the old days--well, the 1990s--several CRM software providers were once end-user companies that had developed proprietary software to fit the particular needs of their company's specialized business processes. At some point, each decided to monetize...
CRM Searches for Search: The Technology to Locate Information May Be Readily Available, but Can CRM Systems Uncover Their Own Buried Treasure?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Oz Benamram, director of knowledge management at Morrison & Foerster, an international law firm with more than 3,000 employees and 17 offices worldwide, describes the latest iteration of the CRM applications it's using...
Do You Really Know Why Your Customers Buy? Use Customer Feedback and Attitudinal Data to Unlock Massive New Growth in Vertical Markets
Doing business in a vertical market is unique. That's because vertical market customers are unique, and they should be treated that way. You can take advantage of this fact to beat out competitors and create higher levels of loyalty and engagement....
Even Contact Centers Have Room for Improvement: France's Groupe B2s Boosts Productivity with Altitude Software
Acommon misperception holds that successful companies don't need to change any aspect of operations because--well, everything's going wonderfully. When that mindset seeps into the heads of upper management, it can lead to stagnation--and operational...
Forming the Platform: Now's the Time to Decide upon a Business Process Platform
If a vendor tries to sell you a business process platform (BPP), what should you do? Be very wary, suggests Gene Phifer, managing vice president with industry research firm Gartner. "Right now, it's a user-adopted model and not a market," Phifer says....
Hold on to Your Customers: Why the Contact Center May Be Your Last Line of Defense
FUNDAMENTAL truth in the business world is that competitors are always looking to steal your customers, and many customers are on the lookout for a better deal. Annual customer-attrition rates range from 7 percent in some industries with high exit...
Ignorance Is the Remedy Du Jour
TOO MANY contact center managers are measuring and addressing the wrong problems. It's the equivalent of a doctor prescribing statins to someone with high cholesterol--a remedy that fails to address the plaque (or festering sores) that a heavily meat-based...
Making CRM Mandatory for University Administration: Why Higher-Education Spending on CRM Is Set to Almost Double by 2012
Many colleges urge incoming students, with their first steps on campus, to take a wide variety of courses to get a more complete education. The fear was that a student would only home in on one major course of study, and then forget about all other...
Maximum Security: You're Nothing without Your Data-So What Are You Doing to Protect It?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] They say there's safety in numbers--but, increasingly, it's the numbers (and other customer data) that need safekeeping. Infusionsoft, for example, a provider of marketing automation solutions, announced in June that its Web-based...
Money Lying around? Targeted Sales Calls Connect Better with Clients Who Invest More
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] When all you hear are woes about the economy, it's hard to imagine anyone's in the position to make big investments. Barclays Global Investors (BGI), a subsidiary of United Kingdom--based Barclays Bank, has a unique retail...
Random Acts of Customer Kindness: Delivering a Rewarding Experience Requires Doing a Lot of Things Well
THE CONSUMER MARKET is becoming more global and fragmented every day. Reaching and appealing to buyers in ways that capture their attention, satisfy them, and motivate them to become repeat customers requires a concentrated, coordinated effort. Certainly,...
Re:tooling
Business Problem: Subpar email response forces unhappy customers to live agents Tech Solution: Email management tools In an effort to be responsive--and remain cost-efficient--many companies are allowing customers to email questions. However,...
Ribbit for Salesforce: Integrating Voice into Vertical CRM Workflow: CRM Solutions Have Become the Backbone of Business Process for Sales Professionals in All Sectors and, Increasingly, in Vertical Markets
Although CRM tools continue to evolve, the requirement for sales professionals to spend time face-to-face with customers is increasingly critical across industries and significantly in real estate, financial services, health care, high tech media sales,...
Seamless Customer Conversations: Driving Intelligent Interactions in the Contact Center
As the leader designing the customer experience for your company, you struggle to keep up with the basic processes necessary to ensure continued growth and profitability--processes such as managing the sales cycle, providing quality customer service,...
SocialPrise: Leveraging Social Data in the Enterprise
I. SOCIALPRISE APPLICATIONS: GETTING THE WHO, WHAT AND WHEN OF BUSINESS WHEN YOU NEED IT MOST As the amount of data available on the Internet has exploded, magnified by increased convergence of previously disparate "professional" and "personal"...
Supercharging Your Aftermarket: Transforming Costs into Profitability
INTRODUCTION For all too many manufacturers, after-sale activities have traditionally been viewed as a source of cost, complaints and complication. But that is changing in today's more competitive globalized economy. Now, forward-looking organizations...
The Digital Client Is Older Than You Think: A Three-Phase Approach to Reaching Social Media Maturity
IN MY RECENT FOCUS on the Digital Client--defined as any individual who utilizes online services--I've received a lot of thoughtful emails from CRM readers. A 57-year-old executive writes: "Social networks are as much for my Baby Boomer generation...
The Hosted Contact Center: A Paradox No Longer: Vendors Were Waiting for the Market to Pick Up. End Users Were Waiting for Enhancements. Both Waits Are Over
HE HOSTED contact center infrastructure market is coming on strong. End users can now acquire feature-rich contact center solutions from traditional providers selling premise-based solutions, or they can tap into the offerings from the emerging hosting...
There's a Sucker Born Every Minute: The One from My Birth-Minute Is No Mystery
I LIKE TO THINK OF MYSELF as a tough sell. If I'm window-shopping, or doing in-store research on something I'm thinking of buying, I'm not going to be swayed by the first knucklehead in a polo shirt who sidles up and asks if I want help. When it's...
Training for Success
Customer-facing employees have a lot on their plates. That can take a toll on health and mental wellness--a fatigue that can impact the quality of service they provide and have an adverse effect on customer experience. In Executive Stamina, father-and-son...
Tuning in to Customer Demands: A Cable Provider's Path to Better Service Is Laid through SinglePipe Communications
* Tell us about your organization. CMA Communications is a leading independent cable-television company based in Dallas. As a small-to-midsize multiple service operator, we own and operate over 40 cable systems in Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and...
Wouldja Look at That? Vendors and Users Both Now Have an Unprecedented Degree of Control over What a CRM Application Can Look like. How Should That Power Be Used?
When business productivity and information accuracy are desirable goals, few things are more cringe-inducing than a bad user interface. We've all seen them--whether it's a flat, boring DOS prompt or a crowded, multitabbed application, one look and...