• September 2, 2004
  • By Coreen Bailor, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

CRM's Hot Topics

San Francisco clattered with more than just sound of cable cars this week as DCI's Customer Relationship Management Conference and Exposition brought CRM newcomers and enthusiasts together to discuss strategies for achieving CRM success. Barton Goldenberg, president of consultancy ISM and an event cochairman, spoke to captivated audiences during his sessions. In "How to Make it All Work Together: 10 Steps to Success," Goldenberg presented strategies he says he has "never seen a CRM implementation succeed without." The list of steps reads:
  • determine the functions to automate
  • automate what needs automating,
  • gain top-management support
  • employ technology and information smartly
  • secure user ownership
  • prototype the system
  • train users
  • motivate personnel
  • administer the system
  • keep management committed Goldenberg entertained his listeners with anecdotes, yet delivered hard-hitting information, saying, "CRM is not the cure for all issues," and should be implemented to solve CRM-related issues. The other event cochair, Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies, also did double duty facilitating several sessions, including "Why Technology Still Matters for CRM," "How Mobile and Wireless Technology are Rewriting the Rules of CRM," and "Customer Self-Service." In the latter Bajarin discussed the customer's desire for fast, accurate customer service and support, and how that effects companies trying to cut service costs yet raise quality. Bajarin also discussed real-time, online self-service, which "appears to be one of the most effective ways to deal with customer self-service," as well as corporate self-service. Looking into the future of self-service, Bajarin sees, radio frequency ID (RFID) tags as possibly replacing barcodes. Keynote speaker Stan Davis, consultant and author, also looked the future, posing the question "Is bottom up the way of the future?" Davis says that "technology is the bridge linking science to business." He also suggests that "adapt and evolve will supercede command and control." Microsoft and PeopleSoft presented case studies, each stressing what their respective enterprise applications have achieved for their customers. In particular, Alex Simons, Microsoft's director of program management, spoke of taking a process-centric approach to achieving customer success, citing a CRM solution checklist of "key things I would ask myself." Shifting gears to customer ownership, Lior Arussy, president of Strativity Group, focused on two key customer interaction issues: a personalized approach to experiences and relationships with customers, and a unique approach to dealing with not-so-stellar customers--firing them. "The true glue today between customers and companies is the human touch. Ninety-five percent of customer decisions are emotional," Arussy said. And, he noted that the "number one mistake [organizations make]" is not saying no to customers: "Not every customer is a good customer." Related articles: CRM Magazine Reveals the Winners of Its 2004 CRM Leader Awards Beware of Corporate Disease DCI's keynote speaker tells business to rely on experience, not the latest technology.
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