eCRM's Personalized Spin

Personalization is the key to keeping customers happy -- even in the electronic world. This was the key finding in a study sponsored by Kana, an eCRM software vendor, and whose results were released today. Nearly 75 percent of respondents said personalization was a major contributor to their most satisfying purchasing experience, both online and offline.

So what is personalization? In techno-speak, it includes offering Web self-service; customizing voice or e-mail interactions; tracking purchases and requests; and arming customer-service representatives with information about customers' histories. On the flip side, half of the respondents reported being turned-off by untargeted marketing campaigns over the Web or contact-center interactions that were redundant, inaccurate or downright slow.

Not surprisingly, Kana used the survey as a springboard to pitch its eCRM solutions that help customers, particularly contact centers and marketing departments, better understand their customers and partners. All tallied, Kana boasts around 1,200 customers, including Chase, E*Trade, Sony, United Airlines and GM.

"Kana sponsored this survey to demonstrate that as consumers increasingly choose to shop over the Web, they are demanding the high level of personalized customers service that they have grown accustomed to in off-line environments," said Bud Michael, executive vice president of products and marketing at Kana.

Chest-beating aside, at least one industry watcher agreed that personalization is an important component to CRM solutions. Forty percent of businesses that have bought a CRM solution plan to increase emphasis on personalization in 2002, according to a Gartner Group study.

Tom Kaneshige also writes for

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