Serving Up Full Service
I wanted to let you know that I enjoy your magazine. There are relevant topics that make it a good read, and best practices from any area are always helpful. I’ve also read many of the books featured in CRM. The quality of the magazine has improved year over year and I look forward to reading it each time I receive it, so you must be doing something right. Thank you again for your hard work and for being cool.
In particular, I wanted to tell you how well put together Lior Arussy’s article (“Self-Service Is Just Less-Than-Full Service,” Customer Centricity, October 2008, http://snurl.com/1008arussy) was. The last line—“whatever your decision, customers will pay you accordingly”—is very true. Our service culture here is unique for our industry. All day long we sell, preaching value to a market that buys with very little emotional engagement. We’re able to justify our pricing to our consumers due to great experiences. In a high-level service culture you become very cynical of everyday customer service—and maybe the best service, at times, can be “none.” However, I can testify with our increases in sales that, if you are passionate and have a good product priced correctly, it generally will sell.
Thank you for truly understanding customer service.
Derrick Ricca, Senior Sales Manager
Radisson Plaza Hotel and Suites
Nothing More than Feelings
Your article (“Customer Emotion Management?,” August 18, http://snurl.com/nov08feedback1) clearly defines the concept that’s self-evident in today’s market.... Consumers don’t really care about the product or service that you provide. What they truly place value on is the way that they feel when they’re doing business with you.
Regarding your recent Market Focus: Education article (“Making CRM Mandatory for University Administration,” August 2008, http://snurl.com/nov08feedback2), I disagree with [SAP Higher Education and Research’s CRM Development Director Keith] Hontz: Software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications can provide complete integration for a CRM implementation.
I’ve been involved in implementations of SaaS solutions using Salesforce.com, recently incorporating Google Apps and [Amazon.com’s] S3 and EC2 to provide the latest solutions to our clients. Integration to existing systems is not a SaaS-specific issue, and how integration is handled is unique to each college or business developing a CRM strategy and solution.
Clients with deep integration needs rely on firms like Pervasive or Informatica to bridge the gap between legacy and Web-based solutions. There’s also a complete CRM option—Studentforce.com, a Salesforce.com solution designed for the higher-ed market—to address the student life cycle.
Lonnie Wills, SaaSevolution.blogspot.com
Social Is as Social Does
There was an interesting observation in Editorial Assistant Lauren McKay’s blogpost (“Getting Socialized,” September 23, http://snurl.com/oowblog5). At Oracle OpenWorld in September, I attended a packed Social CRM session by [Oracle Vice President of CRM Product Strategy] Mark Wollen, and the interest in social Web technology was extremely high. Afterward, I talked to attendees and formed the impression that the move toward social Web technology is more a trend than a fad. I suspect many companies will find that customer service is an excellent focus point for launching a social CRM initiative because the strength of “social” comes from the strength of the underlying community. Service-and-support is a natural point where company and customer interests come together. It’s much more difficult to build a vibrant community if you start by marketing or selling. I’ll be looking forward to reading more about social CRM and will look for additional coverage at destinationCRM.
Mike Cichon, Dir. of Product Marketing
The Real Email Marketing
Regarding your article, “Return Path and Habeas Deliver on a Merger” (August 18, http://snurl.com/nov08feedback3): Email marketing? How about the regular emails we all send externally every day? No marketing or advertising medium is as targeted as an email between people that know each other (as opposed to mass emails)—they’re always read and typically kept.
Without installing anything on any desktop or cell phone, every email can become a showpiece for your firm; every employee can become a marketer. In other words, your everyday email can be turned into a branding and research tool (and software can report who is clicking on what and when) for as little as $5 per user per month.
Rolv Heggenhougen, CEO
The Hindsight of Foresight
Regarding your online news story (“The Power of Foresight: Top Companies Use Predictive Analytics,” July 29, http://snurl.com/nov08feedback4), predictive key performance indicators (KPIs) are largely historic. It’d be interesting to consider the real-time environment when dealing with customers, as well as the effect of knowing the context of the customer interaction when assessing the importance of the predictive KPI. Information is important when it’s relevant in terms of changing a customer’s behavior—or anticipated behavior.
Letters may be edited for length or clarity.
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