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. 16, No. 3, March

Are the CRM Wars Really over? High Usage Doesn't Equal High Satisfaction
AS PART OF CSO Insights' annual Sales Performance Optimization (SPO) study, we ask firms if they have implemented a core CRM application. Over the 18 years that we have been conducting the study, we have seen the number of companies answering "yes"...
Being Hospitable Means Being Social: Hotel Chains Open Communities to Communicate with Guests
In these financially sensitive times, travel is more of a luxury than ever. Consumers are opting for stay-at-home vacations rather than elaborate trips abroad, and businesses are turning to video conferencing as an alternative to flying executives...
Contact Center Best Practices: Five Steps to a Lean, Customer-Centric Organization
The strength of a company's brand and its business performance depends to a great degree on how well it understands and responds to customers. Those who are forward-thinking implement technologies that automate transactions, improve productivity, generate...
Contact Center Requirements for Building Customer Loyalty
Gone are the days when organizations can dictate how to interact with their customers. The emergence of mobile devices, messaging and other channels of communication have tipped the scales, changing customers' general expectation to "always on" access...
Contact Center Success in the Cloud: A Better Response to Customer Expectations
It is obvious to everyone that customer expectations have increased dramatically, placing a far greater burden on contact centers to succeed. Every customer interaction is critical; while every customer may not have equal value, every customer does...
CRM Magazine Best Practices Series: The Intelligent Contact Center: Listening to the Voice of the Customer for Competitive Advantage
Whenever someone tries to define something, especially if it has to do with technology, they run the risk that their all-encompassing definition will be so expansive that it will cease to have any meaning at all. So I choose a simple description to...
Deliver Personalized Experiences with Production Line Efficiency
Technology has fundamentally changed the way companies interact with customers. But is it for the better? In the 1950s, you walked into your local bank or store and conducted business through a conversation and a handshake. It was a personal experience,...
Demand More from Your Contact Center: How Optimizing Performance Can Help Achieve Corporate Objectives
Widespread use of the Internet and social networking sites by consumers over the last decade has led to vast shifts in the way companies now do business. With increased competition from global and online retailers, many businesses now rely on contact...
Differentiate Your Business in the Cloud
The globalization of business means that today you need to outsmart and compete against businesses around the world. The global marketplace also means that you have the added worry that competitors will potentially commoditize your products and your...
Five Ways to Survive Thrive in a Tough Economy
"Things'll go your way, if you hold on for one more day."--Wilson Phillips "Hold On" WHEN I THINK about business challenges in today's economy, I sometimes think back to "Hold On," a song sung in the early 1990s by the band Wilson Phillips. The...
For Better Service, Try Exploitation: With Social Media, There's No Excuse for Not Knowing Your Customer
EVER-CHANGING and maturing digital technologies empower your customers, allowing them to find what they want, at the prices they want, anywhere in the world. Digital technologies put substitutes in easy reach, and social technologies and online reviews...
How Intelligent Contact Centers Do Better in Sales and Service
eGain has been enabling multichannel customer service and sales excellence for blue-chip clients around the world for over 15 years. Over time, we have compiled many innovations and best practices that intelligent contact centers leverage to stand...
How to Achieve Uncommon Service: The First Step Is Accepting the Fact That You Can't Be Good at Everything
Every customer knows that all companies do not provide equal customer service--some excel at it whereas others fall flat. Those that provide excellent service tend to follow certain patterns, according to Frances Frei, UPS Foundation professor of service...
Keeping It Natural: Social Streams Are What You Put into Them-For Better or Worse
I'VE BEEN SPENDING more professional time lately on the various social networks and related media, which is a bit of an improvement from all the personal time I usually spend on them. To wit, I can claim to be doing research and actually mean it. The...
Leadership Changes for Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Dennis Michalis Takes over as General Manager of the Product Line from Brad Wilson
After six and a half years as general manager of Microsoft's Dynamics CRM product line, Brad Wilson has transitioned his responsibilities to Dennis Michalis, who officially took over as general manager of the product line January 6. The transition...
Prepare for a Multichannel Support Environment
THE SOCIAL MEDIA eruption has had a profound effect on the customer service and support market, which is reflected in our ninth annual CRM Service Awards (coverage starts on page 17). At the very least, it emphasizes the importance of connecting with...
Social 2.0: Higher Expectations Demand a Cultural Shift
IT'S BEEN over a year now that I've been studying the social CRM landscape, and lately I've noticed a number of blogs and articles suggesting a waning enthusiasm for social CRM and social media in general. To counterbalance the drumbeat from the pundits--myself...
Social CRM off to a Strong Start 2012 Could Prove Favorable for Capital Investments and Growth in the Social Sphere
Investors are recognizing the growing clout of the social conversation with enterprises, propagating several investments in social enterprise applications at the beginning of the year. Lithium Technologies banked $53.4 million from New Enterprise...
The 2012 Rising Stars
ANY BUSINESS THAT HAS SURVIVED--and even grown--in the past year's difficult economic climate deserves recognition and no less than a few kudos. The companies we honor this year have done that and then some, by helping their clients improve customer...
The 2012 Service Elite
STRIVING TO PROVIDE quality customer service goes with the territory in our industry, which is why it was so difficult for us to choose four winners in this year's Service Elite category. In the process, we were forced to omit numerous companies who,...
The 2012 Service Leaders
THE EMERGENCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA has highlighted the importance of connecting with customers via their preferred interaction channels. It also underscores the importance of integrating customer service and support channels for better customer insight...
The Argument for Desktop Analytics: This New IT Sector Offers Visibility, Real-Time Guidance, and Process Automation
DESKTOP ANALYTICS (DA) remains an emerging and not yet well-known application that is rapidly evolving from its tactical heritage into a strategic capability that addresses three important challenges. It captures, measures, and analyzes all agent desktop...
The New Social Contact Center: Integrating Social Media into a Seamless Customer Experience
The explosion in social networking and other online communications channels is changing the way customers interact with companies, products and brands, creating demand for a new generation of contact center solutions to help companies keep up with...
Turning Business into Pleasure: As Enterprises Turn to Gamification, Measurable Action, Reputation, and Incentives Are All Part of the Equation
By 2013, it's estimated that more than half of all enterprises will include gamification as part of their social business initiatives, according to a report by Constellation Research, a specialty research and advisory firm, which surveyed 55 early...
Unstructured Customer Data: Problem or Panacea?
Unstructured data--emails, documents, Facebook comments, tweets, videos, call transcripts, etc.--cannot be logically stored in a database and is overwhelming most organizations as it continues to multiply at staggering rates. And yet, this data has...
Who Benefits from QR Codes? 2D Bar Codes Are a Great Marketing Strategy, at Least in Theory
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Quick response (QR) codes let marketers and advertisers make virtually any flat surface--from ads in magazines to billboards on subway platforms--interactive. The concept is simple: Consumers scan the codes with their smartphones,...