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. 14, No. 10, October

A Catalog of Contacts: With Unicas Marketing Software, Sears Holdings Gains Some Newfound Customer Intelligence
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Not so long ago, if you were a Sears customer, you'd probably frequent a specific location, and the clerk behind the counter often knew what you wanted before you asked. Those days are long gone, forcing some significant adjustments...
A CRM Showdown in Times Square: Executives from Four of the Industry's Top Vendors Share the Same Stage-But Not the Same Views
Well, no one can say CRM's annual CRM Evolution conference was boring. Held the first week of August at the New York Marriott Marquis, the event's most-anticipated panel lived up to its hype: For the first time ever, executives from four of the industry's...
Act or Be Acted Upon
WHEN you're putting out fires on a regular basis, it's too late to think about fire prevention. Unfortunately, that's the position many executives believe they are in. Deadlines, budget cuts, changing customer demands, shifting competitive landscapes,...
A Healthy Dose of User Adoption: UnitedHealthcare Overhauls Its CRM Program to Embrace an On-Demand Solution That Users Will Actually Use
Jim Lane is happy to have taken his medicine. As the vice president of national accounts for UnitedHealthcare (UHC), a carrier handling the healthcare accounts of millions of individuals (and the healthcare-spending accounts of many more), Lane knows...
Anybody's Bot: Virtual Agents, Deemed the New "Concierge" of the Internet, Help Customers Navigate through Ever-Increasing Web Site Complexities
The definition of "virtual agent" seems to vary depending on who you're speaking to. Even the top three virtual agent companies have different opinions when it comes to what capabilities ultimately define a virtual agent. Mark Gaydos, vice president...
A Prescription for Social Media: One Provider Shows How to Join Consumers in Social Networks without Compromising a Secure Relationship
According to an April 2010 study conducted by the marketing firm Epsilon, 40 percent of online consumers turn to social media for health information. Separate research by digital marketing company iCrossing shows that, within a 12-month span, 59 percent...
A Quarter-Century in CRM: An Industry Veteran Looks Back at the Lessons Learned over the Course of 25 Years
I REMEMBER WELL my first encounter with the CRM industry, at a sales and marketing conference in New York in 1985. Clients had been asking me which sales force automation (SFA) software was best--and what preparations effective SFA required. At that...
A Succession of Failures: Industry Analysts Explain How Vendors and Customers Can Avoid the Communication Errors That Occur during CRM Implementations
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The CRM industry has two general interests: happier customers and higher revenues. But what happens when the industry leaves users--its own customers--disgruntled? Not long ago, that was an all-too-common outcome, with lawsuits...
Buzz, Buzz, Buzz: Enough with the Buzzwords and Hype. Let's Start Doing
RECENTLY I came across a conversation in one of the customer portals. The article discussed the need to link customer satisfaction metrics to compensation in order to obtain real commitment. One of the so-called gurus took the time to post a comment...
How Can I Help U? Proactive Businesses That Utilize Chat Technology to Engage Web Visitors Are Seeing Higher Conversion Rates. So Why Aren't You?
The sale is what matters. Every aspect of customer relationship management is geared toward securing new customers and retaining old ones. Billions of dollars are spent each year to funnel leads from product home pages, search engines, and social networks...
Intimacy Issues: You Can Enhance Customer Intimacy in Ways That Didn't Exist until Very Recently
PREDICTING future trends amid unprecedented change is like riding a high-speed express train and trying to read the station names as you whiz by. You know you're headed somewhere, but the signposts along the way are a blur. That's how many business...
Pint of View: (Proactive) Service with a (Secret) Smile: If You Feel like Somebody's Watching You, It Just Might Be CRM in Action
PROACTIVE is a funny word. Many of us use it like filler--as an adjective (or, with -ly, an adverb) to round out a sentence and make it sound professional and erudite. It gets harder when proactive is applied to CRM. The wannabe motivational speaker...
Slowing Down Your Social CRM: Relationship-Building Takes More Than a Tweet
The first question executives ask prior to implementing social media marketing strategies is: How can I measure the return on investment? Joan C. Curtis, chief executive officer of consultancy Total Communications Coaching, offers the simplest possible...
Something Borrowed, Something Blogged: Marrying a Variety of Voice-of-the-Customer Approaches, David's Bridal Tries Measuring Sentiment among Social Media-Savvy Brides
* Tell me about your experience at David's Bridal managing a voice-of-the-customer (VOC) program. Eleven years ago, when I first arrived, we didn't have any VOC program at all. With no money for customer research, we were doing "mystery shops" and...
Take the Initiative: Proactive CRM Enables Organizations to Cut Costs, Minimize Risk, Protect Their Brand, and Improve Customer Experiences
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] IMAGINE A CUSTOMER RENTING A CAR TO MOVE THREE SHORT BLOCKS IN BROOKLYN, N.Y. She calls on Zipcar, a membership-based car-sharing service--an alternative to buying or renting a car. After sweating in the July heat, hauling...
The Crash of Google Wave: The Search-Engine Giant Beaches Its Innovative Collaboration Engine
When Google announced the shutdown of its Google Wave product in August, no one saw it coming. A highly innovative online-collaboration application, Wave allowed users to share richly formatted text, images, videos, maps--all in real time. Participants...
To Predict and Serve: Predictive Analytics Helps a Police Department Make Better Use of Limited Resources
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] CRM may more often be found in the boardroom than in the courtroom, but one local police department's investment in predictive analytics--and a subsequent drop in crime--may herald a drastic expansion of CRM's capabilities....