Helping CRM Make the Grade
For the rest of the July 2002 issue of CRM magazine please click here
Marjorie Cooper, who teaches the introductory CRM course at Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business, was recently in the midst of a home redecoration project when she found herself perplexed while attempting to purchase bedding from the Land's End Web site.
She had picked out more than $600 worth of goods from landsend.com, but she was unclear about the differences between a bed cover and a bedspread. So, she selected an option that allowed her to type in her phone number to speak to a sales representative who could help.
"I was thinking, Yeah right, they'll call back in a couple of days," Cooper says. "But no sooner had I finished [typing when] a guy from Land's End called." That kind of service ensured she completed her order, Cooper says.
For Cooper, CRM is about that ability to connect better with customers.
Her course, "Theory and Practice in Customer Relationship Management," which she teaches as part of Baylor's new MBA program that offers a five-course specialization in CRM, examines the different types of functions where CRM is being applied, and explains CRM from a systems perspective. "It's not about selling software. It's about taking better care of customers and making more money in the process," Cooper says.
The nine students in the program are doing hands-on projects. During the fall 2001 semester Baylor's CRM students acted as consultants for the Dallas-based American Heart Association's CRM efforts. The course ended with the group making a recommendation for an analytics package for the AHA. The group also conducted a meta-analysis of the AHA's four main constituents, and suggested ways to forge closer emotional ties and long-term relationships with these groups, Cooper says.
"I like laying the foundation for students. I think that is important," says Cooper, a longtime marketing professor who has coauthored several books, including Introduction to Marketing. "Too many people want to put the star on the top of the Christmas tree. I like to make sure that all the lights are in the right place and working."
Although the program, which launched last fall, is going well, Cooper says there have been some rough spots. "It's a new program and there is a lot to learn about making it better," she says. "I just kept saying, 'Let me do whatever we need to do to get over this hump.'"
But Cooper says all that changed by the end of the semester. Several of her students attended a conference in New Orleans and returned to the Waco, Texas, campus feeling like they knew as much, if not more, than some of the CRM experts. That makes Cooper feel she has done her job well.
"I get very excited when they succeed," she says. "I'm like a coach. I want to coach them to succeed, but I don't baby them. It's about understanding them, but not holding their hands. I don't do it for them. I set expectations and expect them to meet them."
Name: Marjorie Cooper, Ph.D.
Title: Professor, Baylor University
Education: BA, Wheaton College; MBA, Oklahoma City University; Ph.D., Texas A&M University
Most Bizarre job: Working on a dishwashing crew while in college
Latest book read: Business as a Calling: Work and the Examined Life, by Michael Novak
Favorite sport: Race walking
Hobbies: Reading, ballroom dancing