Magazine article CRM Magazine

The Bottom Ten: Revisiting the Worst in CRM, Via the Worst in CRM

Magazine article CRM Magazine

The Bottom Ten: Revisiting the Worst in CRM, Via the Worst in CRM

Article excerpt

I'D LOVE TO HAVE WRITTEN another little piece of whatever it was I was going to write this month, but as we've got another Theme Issue, I have to do my part. More than my part, really. Oh no, the sales tips feature you (hopefully) just read wasn't enough--I've got to produce funny to order.

I've decided to take the easy way out. Presented for your amusement are my expanded takes on a top 10 list we've already done--at my recommendation, as I recall--the Dim Ideas from our classic June 2005 issue. Suck on that, conformity!

Dim Ideas:

The Director's Cut

1. "Hiding from customers. All you companies that have taken your phone numbers and direct mail addresses off your Web sites, or disabled 0-for-operator on your IVRs? Shame, shame, shame." That's what we wrote, and we meant it. Now that there are sites like, and research that proves bad customer service drives business to the competition, you'll either be flushed from hiding, or left to rot. (Editor's note: Contributing writer Ian Jacobs and Marshall really do play nice together, don't they?)

2. "Pitching adaptive pricing as a consumer benefit. Tell that to California power customers who remember rolling blackouts and sky-high spot prices." I'm not one of those people, and I only heard about such things in newspapers--yes, I read newspapers in elementary school, is that such a shock? But as power becomes more expensive, along with utilities and cable TV, deregulation is making adaptive pricing into a survival tactic.

3. "Let the IT department specify and buy the CRM system. This would be a good idea if CRM were only a technology issue." Actually, it might not be a good idea even then. My gearhead buddies get way too hot over feeds 'n' speeds.

4. "Out of sight, out of mind. When your kids are off to summer camp it doesn't mean you stop thinking about them. Well, not entirely, at any rate. The same goes for your contact centers and your agents. Neglecting those centers and agents that are located away from your headquarters can lead to customer information slipping through miscommunication cracks, and a feeling of abandonment among dejected agents." Forget about miscommunication and a feeling of abandonment--there's every chance a neglected call center will come to hate you and sabotage you at every turn. The therapy bills alone will kill your budget. Never trust a person with a headset!

5. "Making the return process a nightmare. You're paying employees by the hour to aggravate customers only to give them, in many cases, what they rightfully deserve in the end. …

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