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The CRM Week In Review
[September 15, 2006]

The CRM Week In Review

Editorial Director,
Customer Inter@ction Solutions magazine
 
Ever watch those e-Harmony commercials? The ones with the couples boasting that they lived in the same apartment for three years but never met until they signed up for e-Harmony's services? What if a company could offer that kind of a match…a match based on deep analytics of both agent and customer histories and behavior…to make sure that customers end up speaking to just the right agent for positive synergy, each and every time? Assurant Solutions, which visited us in Norwalk this week despite the gloomy weather, is offering just such a managed service. And the better news is that they get much, much better results than e-Harmony.
 

Speaking of gloomy weather, do you find that it's dismal and grey inside your call center, even when it's sunny outside? TMCnet Assistant Editor Stefania Viscusi wrote an article this week called, "Good Call Center Training Creates a Positive Atmosphere." Stefania commented, "Achieving successful call center training isn’t as easy as saying, 'OK, here's a list of what you need to do, do it.'" Unfortunately, it seems that attitude is still the modus operandi at a lot of customer-facing organizations.
 
What do CRM and sexy lingerie have to do with each other? I'm not sure, but all the men at TMC were in a really serious hurry to find out this week.
 
Security is (or should be) a serious issue for call centers dealing with any kind of customer data that could be misused, stolen or manipulated. This week, TMCnet's Anuradha Shukla reported that Envision Telephony has released an Identity Protection solution for contact centers that reduces corporate risk of identity theft and brand erosion. Being more concerned with your customers' privacy than your competitor doesn't hurt as a point of differentiation, either.
 
There are many things that can go wrong on the ground in a contact center. Despite cutting-edge technology and the best laid plans, you could for example, find that your expensive monitoring system is sending screen pops to a supervisor telling her that one of her agents, who is clearly having a bad day, is addressing the company's platinum customers as "mold-eating goat lickers," but that supervisor's son is in the hospital with a broken leg, and the supervisor covering her work was not trained on the system and, besides, "it's not his job." This is the kind of day that lets you watch all your equipment and training expenditures fly right out the window. Read more about "Exploring The Customer Service Black Hole."
 
This week, TMCnet contributing editor David Sims soothed a Dell (News - Alert) customer service victim with the following literary balm: "Comfort yourself with this, however, that in the next life, as Dante showed us, Richard Hunter will be forever having to use Dell's customer service himself to complain about the heat settings."
 
CosmoCom announced on Tuesday that it has released Version 4.6 of CosmoCall Universe contact center software platform, which includes enhancements in the areas of reporting, IP Centrex integration, and NAT traversal.
 
Customer interaction management provider Talisma this week that it's gone to Germany: via a reseller agreement. Viel Glueck, Talisma.
 
Finally, this week, Brazilian coal mining company CRM announced it is due to reach capacity of 4.5Mt/y (whatever that means) starting in the second half of 2009, according to the company's president. This news item has nothing whatsoever to do with customer relationship management (though I 'spose coal mining companies have customers, too), but it does make for a nice illustration that keyword search is still fallible and that there is a finite number of acronyms in our alphabet.
 
That's all for this week. Join the CRM Week in Review again next week, when we'll update you on everything you ever wanted to know about CRM but were afraid to ask…mostly because you were afraid someone would tell you.
 

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