CRM: Getting Back to Basics: Technology Plus Core Customer Relationship Principles Should Spell Success

By Ambroz, Jillian S. | Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management, January 2010 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

CRM: Getting Back to Basics: Technology Plus Core Customer Relationship Principles Should Spell Success

Ambroz, Jillian S., Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

CUSTOMER DISSATISFACTION can be a costly affair. Not only might poor customer relations cost you an actual customer, but it has a real impact on your bottom line. Poor customer service costs an aggregate of $338.5 billion every year, according to a study by Greenfield Online & Ovum titled, "The Cost of Poor Customer Service: The Economic Impact of the Customer Experience and Engagement." In fact, each lost relationship costs a business $243, according to the study, which was commissioned by Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories.

There's lots of talk about CRM and these days it usually has to do with a software solution. Perhaps relationships with clients would be better if publishers adhered to some basic tenets of actual customer relationship management--and then empowered them with the high-tech solutions they've been chasing for years.

Here are some of the best customer care practices and how they can be used in media publishing:


First and foremost, this essential rule of customer relationships is as critical today as it was decades ago. This principle can have several implications throughout the fast-changing world of on-demand media. Thanks to today's technology, it's also never been easier. "From a content marketing perspective, brands are using their customer databases to develop highly targeted and relevant content to customers on a consistent basis," says Joe Pulizzi, founder of Junta 42, an independent content marketer and custom publisher.


Pulizzi offers the example of airliner KLM's digital magazine, iFly. KLM has dozens of versions of it, depending on the travel habits, personal and business activities and buying patterns of its customers. "In the past, we used to have one customer magazine or e-newsletter," Pulizzi says. "Today, we can create highly targeted content that is more engaging--because the content is that much more relevant to the customer."

Buying patterns have changed which makes it all the more important to know customers better, Pulizzi says. He notes that customers are generally more open to receiving content from a brand, which opens many opportunities. "There are so many more channels available now as well--mobile, social media, a range of digital products--brands can gather more information about customers, but can use that for good, delivering better information to customers that will help them make better decisions."


Everything is automated these days and sometimes, all customers want is to hear a human voice, in a call center, for example. And for closing a sales deal, nothing compares to the in-person meeting. That's why at Hanley Wood there is no expansive CRM solution running the day-to-day show.

"Frankly, we rely far more on old-fashioned face-to-face contact with customers and direct communication between our own salespeople and executives than we do state-of-the-art CRM principles or technology," says president and CEO Frank Anton. "Yes, we maintain customer databases--approximately 27 of them--but fundamentally, we believe knowing your best customers (and the 80/20 rule applies to our business) is the key to success."

Some of the reasons Hanley Wood has resisted implementing the latest in CRM solutions is because it felt the cost would outweigh the benefits, adherence to a system would be impossible to enforce and setting the whole system up would be disruptive over a long period of time, Anton says. However, it is currently researching CRM options to help fuel its old-fashioned approach, not to cut back on its personal touch with clients.

Along these lines, it's also important for brands to show a human side. "If Twitter has taught us anything, it has taught us that success in new platforms means we actually need to be human as a brand," Pulizzi says.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

CRM: Getting Back to Basics: Technology Plus Core Customer Relationship Principles Should Spell Success


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?