• April 15, 2011
  • By David Myron, Editorial Director, CRM and Speech Technology magazines and SmartCustomerService.com

Enter the Age of Analytics

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The economy and the competitive landscape are forcing customer strategists to become increasingly accountable for their CRM investments and projects. They need to prove that their CRM strategies are paying off. To do this, they must measure what they’re managing. Most professionals understand this and are collecting great customer data with their transactional CRM systems. However, with information streaming in from multiple sources (e.g., traditional phones, email, the Internet, mobile devices, and social media), it’s easy to become distracted and overwhelmed by the deluge of customer data.

That’s why we’ve assembled this month’s feature package, which focuses on three kinds of analytics: predictive, speech, and Web. Predictive analytics has been raising a lot of eyebrows because of its contribution to the bottom line. Organizations can use it to find prospects that closely match their most profitable customers and to minimize customer attrition by identifying who’s most likely to leave. In highly competitive environments, predictive analytics can make a big difference. To see how, read the feature, “CRM + Predictive Analytics: Why It All Adds Up.”

The second feature reveals the promise of speech analytics. What’s particularly interesting is that, similar to social media monitoring tools, speech analytics can identify what customers are thinking. Considering the substantial investments organizations make to get customers or prospects to pick up their phones and call them, why not capitalize on this interaction by listening to customers in a way that leads to trend spotting and actionable insights? Many organizations do that through random call monitoring, but this practice often covers only a tiny percentage of calls.

Speech analytics enables organizations to record 100 percent of the calls and flag those that need attention. It’s brilliant. For more information on how speech analytics can be used in your organization, read, “Speech Analytics Captures Consumer Sentiment,” by News Editor Leonard Klie. In it, you’ll see why one industry consultant says, “There’s written communications, and there’s spoken communications. And if you want to fully understand what the customer wants, you have to look at both.”

With the popularity of free Web analytics applications from Google and Yahoo, more people recognize the value of those types of tools. However, are they robust enough for enterprises? In our feature story, “Web Analytics: What’s Worth Paying For?” we assess some of the differences between free and enterprise-class Web analytics.

All three features have a common theme: To make the best use of your time and your company’s CRM investments, you must measure what you manage. Failing to do so would mean you’re flying blind.

New Editor Joins CRM Magazine
I’m happy to introduce the newest addition to our editorial staff—Associate/Web Editor Brittany Farb. Brittany recently received her MS in magazine editing and writing from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. While there, she contributed to the Chicago Tribune, St. Louis Magazine, and the Northwest Indiana Times. Also, while at Medill, Brittany spearheaded a group of students in creating a digital-only women’s publication for the iPad. As CRM magazine’s associate/Web editor, Brittany will cover enterprise and sales strategies and will help drive various Web efforts. Feel free to contact Brittany at bfarb@destinationcrm.com.

Editorial Director David Myron can be reached at dmyron@infotoday.com.

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