• October 1, 2005
  • By Marshall Lager, founder and managing principal, Third Idea Consulting; contributor, CRM magazine

CRM World News Reel(ing)

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Giving your customers what they want, when they want it, is the crux of business success, right? Then why do my colleagues here at CRM magazine limit themselves to covering sales and marketing office environments and contact centers, with the occasional wild foray into field sales and service forces? This month, I'm going to open your eyes to the best practices to be found on the planet. Can you hear me now? It's cold! Extended Systems reported in June that it had enabled The Irish Times equestrian correspondent, Grania Willis, to send email and digital pictures direct from the north face of Mount Everest, documenting her attempt to become the first Irish woman to ascend the world's highest peak. The expedition, sponsored by HP and Sord Data Systems, sent its data via satellite to Extended's OneBridge mobile server, allegedly* named Tenzung Norgateway. The reporter's horse was unavailable for comment. *I made this part up. Jellyfish Tetanus Warning: Beaches Closed
A June 28 Reuters article highlighted South Korea's customer-focused attempts to make its glistening shores more "user-friendly." The main thrust of this effort was to remove 3 klicks worth of glistening barbed wire from eastern coastal regions. Closed-circuit cameras will now guard the stretch, part of a 68-kilometer barricade near the border with North Korea. Removal of the fence should make the sandy South Korean beaches more inviting to South Korean tourists. And possibly North Korean ones, as well. Free Drain Snake with Every Double-Occupancy Booking In a clever bit of countermarketing the Polish National Tourism Office is turning French xenophobia on its orielle, according to the AP. The image of a Polish plumber who would emigrate to France and steal jobs from the local plombiers is now enticing the French to come and visit. Polish beefcake (notice how I didn't make any kielbasa references) Piotr Adamski dons overalls and hefts a pipe wrench in an ad campaign that says, "I'm staying in Poland. Come." The publicity campaign, inspired in part by the resurfacing of old fears brought on by the European Union's birth pangs, is a welcome piece of humorous marketing to reassure French visitors. (Except for the jealous ones with wives or daughters, of course.) To help expand Poland's branding opportunities and cross-sell to the jealous husbands, the PNTO has added a poster of a sexy nurse to the campaign. "What do we want? Silence. Where do we want it? In the living room." The Times reported in June that Yamaha has its own take on this rallying cry cliche: The newly unveiled MyRoom is a 27-square-foot soundproof shed designed for installation in crowded, noisy Japanese homes. A resident can flee to this customizable space for privacy, peace, and quiet. Alternatively, residents can be imprisoned within if they're too loud and annoying--no, I'm not making that part up. Originally built as a private practice room for musicians, Yamaha realized it had a natural emerging market in Japan's baby-boom generation of salarymen, who are about to retire to find themselves trapped indoors with their late-teen kids and accompanying seismic stereos (built by Yamaha, no doubt). CRM data will be hard to gather for this item, though, as owners will be hiding in the MyRoom to avoid follow-up customer service calls. "Can you hear me now? No." The author would like to thank the original news sources, and also Verizon, which provided its information and/or slogans free of charge or prior knowledge. Contact Senior Writer Marshall Lager at mlager@destinationCRM.com
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