The 2009 CRM Service Awards: Service Elite -- Introduction

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The companies that truly understand customer service could probably find a way to provide it without having to rely on technology—but they know better than most just how valuable those tools can be. Customers, on the other hand, often want as little to do with the machinations of technology as possible. They just want to be able to conduct business, request service, or complete transactions with the minimum amount of hassle and headache. Somewhere in that difficult terrain between the indispensable and the invisible is where CRM technology for customer support is expected to tread—and any company successfully able to implement such a project deserves recognition.

We can’t touch on every kind of service and support initiative, but on the pages that follow, we present profiles of our 2009 Service Elite, four companies that impressed us this past year with their CRM efforts—and, more important, they impressed their customers, sometimes without ever letting those customers see the effort being made in the first place.

These four implementations -- successfully undertaken by wildly different companies utilizing products from a variety of vendors -- represent the very best of this year's efforts.

  • Retailer Bath & Body Works, for a knowledge management system developed with Astute Solutions;
  • CBS Interactive, for its slam-dunk handling of the NCAA basketball tournament, among other events, with the help of RightNow Technologies;
  • the Municipality of Coamo, Puerto Rico, for a Microsoft Dynamics CRM deployment with Rock Solid Technologies; and
  • identity-theft watchdog LifeLock, for an initiative with on-demand contact center provider LiveOps.

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For the rest of the April 2009 issue of CRM magazine, please click here.

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