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Results 241-260 of 273 for Christopher J. Bucholtz.
OPINION

Open Source, CRM and the Realities of Business

A funny thing happened to open source CRM over the last few years: It stopped being all about open source and started being about delivering CRM -- at least, for some vendors. That shift makes sense. Customers of CRM products want applications that meet their business needs, not their desire to have...

OPINION

3 Industries Where Service Should Change the Equation

Customer service is being touted as a lot of things these days -- "the new marketing," "the new CRM," even "the new sales." That's all well and good, but many customers just wish customer service could be "the new, actually functional customer service." The situation isn't abysmal everywhere; there ...

OPINION

3 Trends That Will Shape CRM Evolution in the Year to Come

This year, the CRM Evolution event was true to its name. The organization of the show reflected the way thinking about CRM has changed over the years, with a breakdown into three tracks: CRM, Social CRM and Deployment Strategies. Really, the tracks parallel the state of CRM for its users -- or rathe...

OPINION

PRM: It’s Not Just CRM for Partners

CRM is a complex thing. It involves understanding your customers and your own business -- two difficult things to fully grasp under any circumstances -- and then using technology to convert that understanding into a positive impact on your business. Customers, and to a lesser extent your business, a...

OPINION

Apple Still Thinks It Controls the Customer Conversation

Every business needs to understand its audience in order to put together a social strategy that makes sense. A one-size-fits-all template fits no one in the social era. Still, there are some things that you don't do. You don't use social data to creep out your customers, for instance, by revealing t...

OPINION

Forgotten Features Could Squeeze Out More CRM Value

If you've ever implemented a CRM application or trained to use one, you've undoubtedly noticed that there are an awful lot of features that you never touch. Some just aren't useful for your circumstances or for your particular vertical industry segment; some are overkill; some are just attempts by y...

OPINION

Taking the Technology Out of the Changing Customer Equation

The facts about today's customers are well established: They know more about your business than ever before, they're talking to their peers and to the wider public about you, they want to be communicated with through the channels of their choosing, and they desire to have a more partner-like relatio...

OPINION

Are Your Customers Hinting at a Deeper Relationship?

CRM and marketing systems are all geared toward getting people to buy. After all, the whole point of investing in these tools is to increase top-line revenue. At least, that's the argument we make to our bosses when we seek to implement them. Those tools are getting better all the time, and one area...

OPINION

Where Leads Go to Die

The last two years have been rough for many sales and marketing departments: Head counts have been cut, goals have increased, and the emergence of technology has boosted expectations. Those are recent issues, but the issue that persists is that sales and marketing are still too often working at cros...

OPINION

How CRM Can Suffer When It Crosses Borders

Building better relationships with customers is an ideal that's not limited to any one market, community, industry or even country. The basics are the same, for the most part; they involves collecting data and applying it where appropriate to drive sales and customer loyalty. Understanding this come...

OPINION

Social CRM Exacts a New Level of Honesty

Business software has long been described as "front office" and "back office," which essentially mirrors the arrangement of real-world processes within most businesses. That arrangement made sense in the past -- what went on within the business was usually shielded from the customer. That dichotomy ...

OPINION

CRM Killer: The Inability to Acknowledge Issues Before Implementation

Adoption is truly the CRM killer. If your employees won't use your CRM system, your investment is an utter waste. However, the way many organizations look at adoption doesn't help matters. All too many adoption failures are attributed to the users -- those darned stubborn employees who can't be both...

OPINION

Social CRM: Jump In or Be Pushed

By this point, most businesses understand that they exist in a new reality -- the reality that allows customers to communicate with them and with each other in new, faster and in a more pervasive way. Some businesses are actually doing something about it, too -- hence, the emergence of social CRM, s...

OPINION

Does Your CRM Vendor Actually Practice CRM?

CRM is not a technology; it's a discipline that encompasses people, processes and technology. How many times have you heard that truism? How many times have you heard it from a CRM vendor? Many times, I'd imagine -- but internalizing that concept is not as simple as it seems. Practicing a truly comp...

OPINION

Priorities, People and the Customer-Centric Organization

A question: Is it even possible to find a business today that will not call itself customer-focused? Are there any out there honest enough to own up to the fact that their businesses are essentially about their goals, their desires and their specific needs? It would be very tough to find those compa...

OPINION

How Customer Segmentation Can Unravel CRM

One of the great things about CRM is that it allows you to discover who your best customers are -- and not just who the best ones are on a regular basis, but who are best over time. Knowing this allows you to focus your sales and marketing efforts more precisely and ensure the loyalty of these custo...

OPINION

From CRM to Reality: Turning Data Into Action

When CRM first came into being -- before it was even an acronym -- it was intended as a way to streamline and organize some very basic and essential processes and data. Those underlying features are still there today, and we take them for granted. Once things like contact information, sales historie...

OPINION

Customer Centricity vs. the Front-Office/Back-Office Fallacy

The old cliche is that CRM is supposed to give you a 360-degree view of your customers. I debate that -- I think it gives, at best, a couple of overlapping 270-degree views, and 30 degrees will always be hidden. However, that's all geometric digression. My real point is this: Having a 360-degree vie...

OPINION

Three Steps to an Early Grave for Social CRM

While CRM has always been "social," it's now starting to get "Social" -- in other words, it's starting to tap into the ways customers have seized control of their relationships with the people they buy from through technology, participation and the ability to reach more people -- and more-important ...

OPINION

Top 5 Ways CRM Decision Makers Go Astray

Tolstoy wrote, "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." CRM failures are very similar -- the ones that work do so for the same reasons, but those that go awry manifest a collection of diverse symptoms. CRM fails for a lot of reasons -- many of them traceable to...

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