Today's Buzzword: CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

By Cohen, Sheldon; Moore, James | Public Management, April 2000 | Go to article overview

Today's Buzzword: CRM (Customer Relationship Management)


Cohen, Sheldon, Moore, James, Public Management


"Customer relationship management," also known as CRM, is one of the hottest catch phrases in information technology (IT) today. What can CRM do for local government managers? Consider these two scenarios:

The council is meeting Tuesday night after a big snowstorm. You know from reports on the radio and television and in the newspaper that the council will be asking questions about the supposed number of complaints received regarding snowplowing by the locality and its contractors. These complaints could have come to multiple local government departments by several means, including the telephone, e-mail, conventional mail, and walk-in visits.

The question is: How can you, the manager, come prepared with an analysis of complaints broken down by neighborhoods and of the responses made by the locality, in order to answer the council's queries? For example, were the complaints mainly about routes plowed by the department of public works or about ones plowed by private contractors? Can you use desktop mapping with your CRM application to help you in this analysis?

Mrs. M calls the mayor at home at 8:00 a.m. on Monday morning to ask why her garbage wasn't picked up by 7:30 a.m. as usual. When the mayor calls you at 8:05 a.m., you should be able to use the workstation at your desk while the mayor is on the phone with you to view a list of all of Mrs. M's previous calls to the locality for any reason, together with the locality's response to each call. You also should be able to e-mail this list to the mayor while you're on the phone so that he or she can view it and print it. Or the mayor should be able to look these up and print them out while you still are on the phone. These capabilities ought to be extremely helpful in putting the mayor and council at ease over the situation.

Local governments should regard CRM as a mission-critical application just like computer-aided dispatch (CAD) in public safety or the payroll function. Customers have every right to expect the same level of IT-assisted service from local government as they now receive more and more often from other organizations using CRM systems. In its August 23, 1999, issue, the IT publication Information Week reports that more than 40 percent of private companies already use CRM.

CRM's goals are to use information technology to help an organization stay abreast of its customers' concerns--what they are calling about and why--and to aid in making a timely and appropriate response to customers' calls. Even with the most basic form of CRM, the employee who receives a call can look up whatever computer-based information the organization already may have about the caller while the caller is on the phone and conversing with the employee.

This "dispatch" mode performs a similar function to what your public safety organization already does when it receives calls. This aspect of CRM may require the employee who receives the call to input the customer's name or address into the computer system. In more advanced CRM systems using computer-telephony integration (or CTI), however, this link between the phone call and the local government's data files occurs automatically, with no human intervention required, just as it does with automatic location identifier/automatic name identifier (ALI/ANI) information in a CAD application.

Management Is Key to Successful CRM Use

In Bowling Green, Kentucky, City Manager Chuck Coates keeps in regular contact with the city's citizen assistance officer, who reports directly to the city manager. Bowling Green prides itself on calling the citizen back or sending a written response on the same day in virtually 100 percent of all cases.

Through his own desktop workstation, Coates himself has real-time access to all calls and related work orders. He also monitors all outstanding calls and those that may involve special circumstances, like the possibility of litigation. …

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
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • 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.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

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

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Today's Buzzword: CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
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?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

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

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    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.