Great Service Is Your Call
I recently received an amazing call from Mike McCann, a reader in Atlanta. He called to say he liked what he had read in the December issue; to let us know that he's not just a number in our database, but a real person who enjoys the magazine; and to wish the staff a happy holiday.
It was terrific that he called. As with any business, it's rare that readers connect with us without a specific concern. We do get letters about articles we write--and we love to, so please keep them coming. But just to say hello and thanks...well, in today's hectic world that's extraordinary indeed.
Unfortunately, I didn't do my part. I was so surprised by the simplicity of the call--and the lack of any agenda--that I just stammered some thank-yous, returned the holiday wishes, and hung up. As soon as I had, I regretted not having asked him about his company, about his interests regarding CRM, about his challenges and goals and successes. I am interested in these things. But, whew, I was caught off guard.
I can assure you of two things: The next time a reader calls, I will take more time to chat; and I'm going to stop thinking, "I should really let that company know about its great product/service," and start doing it.
Of course, in most cases customers still call with concerns or problems. As self-service grows in popularity these calls are becoming increasingly complex. "The Changing Role of the Contact Center Agent" (page 40) reveals the skills agents need today to solve these complex problems, as well as to upsell and cross-sell.
Determination is a crucial trait for these agents, and anyone involved in CRM. This month's cover story, "The Goldilocks Syndrome" (page 28), showcases three companies whose determination led them to implement CRM multiple times--until, like Goldilocks, they got it just right.
In our effort to get it just right and develop the magazine, we've brought on board a terrific designer, Laura Hegyi. You'll notice some subtle and not-so-subtle changes over the coming months that will make CRM even more reader friendly.
One of our most reader-friendly features this month is "The Customer-Centric Enterprise" (page 38), a guide that illustrates the CRM landscape within organizations that use it. Laura, Senior Editor David Myron, and graphic designer Dana Kruse painstakingly created what we hope you find a very useful tool to help you sell CRM within your organization.
"The Hard Sell" (page 32) also offers specific strategies for selling CRM internally to executives and to users both before an initiative and on an ongoing basis--because there is no CRM success without communication.