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. 5, May

CRM Gets More Professional: Service Providers Respond to Changing Market Conditions with Greater CRM Deployments
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In the professional services arena, large and small firms alike are finally abandoning spreadsheets in favor of CRM systems made especially for them. In fact, commercial CRM adoption among professional services providers...
Game on! Games Aren't Just for Kids Anymore. Companies Are Adopting Gamification Strategies to Motivate Customer and Employee Behaviors
If you want better results from employees and customers, let them play. At least, that's what industry experts are saying about gamification, or "gamifying" business processes. Using game mechanics to influence behaviors has emerged as a viable means...
Giving a Voice to the Contact Center: With Their Direct Access to Customers, Service Departments Can Offer Valuable Strategy Insights
THE TRADITIONAL VIEW of the contact center (and that of customer service in general) has been as a mission-critical operational department: When it's working properly, no one should notice it, much less involve its managers in questions of corporate...
Going against the Grain with Gamification and NLU
SOMETIMES it pays to go against the grain. But organizations shouldn't do it just for the sake of doing something different. Customer strategists must evaluate new technologies and determine if there is a good business reason for deploying them. And,...
Greater CRM Adoption Predicted: A Surge in Cloud-Based and Multichannel Customer Interaction Contributes to the Uptick, but Obstacles Remain
The year ahead appears strong for CRM solutions, in categories from marketing and sales to customer service applications. According to the latest Forrester Forrsights Software Survey of 556 North American and European enterprises, 50 percent have...
Hiscox Leaps into Video: A Specialty Insurer Drives Brand Awareness through Its Web Series
If you can tell a story that resonates with consumers, you increase the chances that they will remember you. Hiscox, a specialty insurer for small businesses, believes its online sitcom, Leap Year, does exactly that. Entering its second season this...
Integrate Marketing and Sales for Revenue Results: Create a High-Powered, Unified Revenue Engine
With the common overarching objective of growing the business, one would think that the workflow process between sales and marketing would function like a well-oiled machine. However, if that really were the case, then why is it that, according to...
In the Air Instead of on the Line: A Natural Language-Based IVR Connects US Airways Passengers to Better Service
US Airways operates more than 3,200 flights per day to more than 200 cities in North, Central, and South America, Europe, and the Middle East. The fifth-largest U.S. airline, it serves approximately 80 million passengers each year. As a result of...
Knowing Your Customers in the Digital Age: New Technologies Mean New Challenges
CONSUMERS have never been easy to figure out. Recently, they have been displaying even more puzzling behavior as they shop and seek service in the digital age. New Accenture research finds that while consumers today claim to be more satisfied with...
Making Sense of the Hosted Contact Center Infrastructure Market: A 2012 Buyers' Guide
IT'S BEEN an amazing couple of years for hosted/cloud-based contact center solutions. Vendors from most of the contact center technology sectors have entered the market. End users can now acquire all types of contact center solutions and applications...
Marketing and Advertising Agencies Blur the Lines: Third-Party Partners Are Broadening Their Roles. What to Consider for the Perfect Pairing
From the establishment of the first American advertising agency (reportedly in Philadelphia in 1841) to today, advertising agencies have come a long way, baby. Putting together an effective advertising campaign is an art and a science, which is why...
Marketing Guarantees the Goods to Sales Service-Level Agreements between Marketing and Sales Improve Everyone's Performance
Automating marketing activities can increase productivity within your marketing organization. But applying marketing automation with the specific goal of improving your department's service levels to salespeople and sales channels delivers even greater...
Meeting and Managing Social Customer Expectations: 5 Best Practices for Effectively Marketing and Managing Social Media as a Customer Service Channel
Though social media engagement has been identified as one of the top priorities and most exciting opportunities for companies in 2012, many brands still aren't actively engaging with the millions of consumers using social media to make purchase decisions,...
Natural Language Understanding Grows Up: The Bar Has Been Raised for Technologies That Not Only Hear, but Understand Too
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] THANKS TO APPLE'S voice assistant, Siri, natural language understanding has become the buzzword du jour not only in the enterprise, but in the consumer market as well. Interest in natural language understanding (NLU) exploded...
Next-Best-Action Marketing: A Customer-Centric Approach
CMOs and marketing organizations are under extreme pressure to bolster marketing's contribution and deliver a better return on investment. Simply automating outbound marketing is no longer sufficient in today's customer-driven world. To succeed, marketers...
Rethinking CRM: Drive Greater Sales Performance with Fusion CRM
Sales executives are faced with the never-ending need to increase revenue with the same or fewer resources. Increasing headcount is rarely an option in the current cost cutting environment. This means businesses must re-evaluate how they sell. Sales...
Sales Enters a Brave New Social World: Three in Four Companies Plan to Use Social Media as an Enablement Tool within a Year
In the case of daily deals site LivingSocial, internal social collaboration has spelled success. LivingSocial has experienced "a hyper growth environment if there ever was one," said Michael Gerard, vice president of the sales advisory practice...
Service Lessons from the Front Line: John Ragsdale, TSIA's VP of Technology Research and Former Analyst, Tells All
To get better customer service--as a consumer and as a provider--it helps to have an insider show you the way. In his new book, Lessons Unlearned, John Ragsdale, vice president of technology research at Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA),...
Switching on CRM's Immense Potential: By Automating Information Delivery, Data as a Service Is Enhancing the Value of Sales Systems
As CRM systems have come into wider use in recent years, and especially with CRM being delivered via a software-as-a-service (SaaS) paradigm, there has been a surge in optimism about potential improvements in sales productivity. At least theoretically,...
The Cloud Effect: Don't Give Customers a Reason to Jump Ship
WE ARE ALL AWARE of the profound effect the cloud is having on the way technology solutions are purchased. But we are only just beginning to see the impact it has on our customer relationships. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In his book Consumption Economics,...
The Customer, the Missing CEO, and the Miracle That Will Not Happen: There Are No Shortcuts to Customer Strategy
AN INTERESTING issue emerged during my recent presentation of the results of customer experience diagnostics to a B2B company. Top clients of the company indicated that, unlike other vendors they work with, my client does not have executive sponsorship...
The Missing Link in CRM: Adding BPM to CRM Improves the Customer Experience
If you're an executive involved in sales, marketing, or customer service, you know the benefits of CRM software. Less well known, however, is the power of business process management (BPM) to improve your CRM strategy and implementation. According...
There's Value in the Simple Things: Customers Not Only Appreciate Simplicity; They'll Pay More for It Too
In an increasingly complex world, consumers have indicated that the brands that win their loyalty are those that keep things simple. According to a recent survey by branding consultant Siegel + Gale, consumers are willing to pay an average premium...
Train Your Customer Muscle: If Business Tasks Are Not as Natural as Breathing, Your Business Will Suffocate
MUSCLE MEMORY is an interesting concept: Do something over and over again, and eventually your body does it automatically, without you having to even think about it. Any coach or drill instructor will tell you how important it is to repeat an activity...
Two Easy Tips to Help Sales Crush Their Number
Sales is simply not what it used to be. More than ever, organizations and their sales reps need to apply best practices to achieve sales success. However, reality shows that the best practice approach to sales (in a traditional sense) is not strictly...
Vermont Gets a Boost in Organ Donor Registrants: Social Lift Helps State Harness the Power of Social Media
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Organ donation plays a critical role in saving lives, but like many states, Vermont struggled to educate the public about its importance and the ways residents can become registered donors. Two years ago, Vermont had the...
White House Unveils Blueprint for a Privacy Bill of Rights: Proposed Legislation Is a First Step in the Process to Strengthen Online Consumer Protections
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The Obama administration on February 23 unveiled the blueprint for a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights to improve consumer privacy protections online and give consumers more control over how companies and data aggregators use...