In Celebration of Service

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Each month in CRM magazine we showcase the winning strategies of organizations of all types and sizes, and we spotlight the people who are making news by leading their organizations or the industry to achieve greater success. This month, however, is special: In this issue we focus on the best of the best. Our 2004 CRM Leader Awards celebrate the people and companies that in the past year have stood above the rest for their contributions to their companies, to their customers, and to the industry.
Many of this year's Leaders are serial winners, driving success after success--that's no surprise. The people involved in CRM, whatever their role, are dynamic and hard charging, and believe that by focusing on the customer, everyone benefits. The 2004 Leader Awards also contain surprises. The changing market landscape, with a heated battle for share of the midmarket and an increasing interest in hosted and on-demand CRM fueling the fight, has brought about a shift in power and presence among CRM vendors (The 2004 Market Leaders, page 44). These adjustments only benefit CRM users: Vendors must work harder to capture customers, and so they must continue to innovate, to offer value, and to be focused on their customers' success. What hasn't changed this year is the level of excellence that all the winners strive for. The 2004 CRM Elite (page 30)
, for example, details how customer centricity pays dividends. One company, in its quest for service excellence, not only boosted customer satisfaction 18 percent, but almost doubled productivity--and saved millions. The 2004 Influential Leaders (page 38) spotlights executives whose determination and concentration on results have driven success for themselves, their customers, and in some cases, the industry as a whole. These influencers stand out for the impact they have made on those around them. Their efforts often make their companies better places to work in and do business with, or make the CRM industry more focused on helping user organizations better serve their customers. So to paraphrase Pink, we better get this party started--the celebration begins on page 29. **** Who do you love? As CRM leaders in your organizations you're charged with creating a customer-centric culture. In that role, as well as in your daily lives, you are of course customers yourselves. We're interested in learning which are your favorite firms to do business with: Whether B2B or B2C companies, which businesses serve you best? Email me at gconlon@destinationCRM.com and share the names of those organizations and an anecdote of a positive experience you've had with them that illustrates their approach to service. We'll include the best stories in an upcoming issue.
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