CRM Brings Holiday Cheer

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Right now many of you are focused on hitting your year-end targets or finding creative ways to use the holiday season to thank customers for their business. But I'd like to take you back with me to about a month ago, when after a successful evening of trick-or-treating, my daughter waited anxiously for other children to come knock on our door. Shortly after we examined the spoils of her outing the doorbell rang. She jumped from the couch, and running to the door shouted, "Our first customer!" I thought that was quite funny, but she was deadly serious. These children were our customers, and by golly, we were going to give them the biggest and best handfuls of candy ever. It was certainly an apple-doesn't-fall-far-from-the-tree moment. In this month's issue we have another kind of customer enthusiast. Someone who knows that creating the right relationships pays dividends sweeter than a pumpkin full of chocolates. Atique Shah, vice president of CRM/marketing technology for GSI Commerce Inc., previously helped the NBA get into the CRM game and score big ("Slam Dunk," page 24). Now he's putting points on the board for GSI, by shepherding a CRM program that is achieving success for GSI and for its partners. Also sharing his company's achievements this issue is Jess Hartman, CIO and vice president of New Horizons. In "The Secret of My Success" (page 58), Hartman tells how the training company used training, of course--and the creative integration of CRM tools--to make its CRM initiative a success. Reflection is a common theme this month, as is often the case as the year comes to a close. So in this issue we take some time to look back on the past year in the industry ("365 Days of CRM," page 28), revisiting some exciting announcements and reminding readers that although 2002 had its rough spots, 2003 will see its share of successes, changes, and challenges. I'm sure many of you faced your own challenges and celebrated your own share of success over the past year. As CRM continues to mature and as we all continue learn from the examples of other CRM project leaders, 2003 may very well deliver on the promise of ROI for even more companies. So in the spirit of success, all of us at CRM magazine wish your holiday season to be both joyous and profitable, and that 2003 brings the kind of magic that will light up your business like a holiday celebration lights up the face of a child.
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