CRM: The Superior Experience.

One of our goals is to help our clients create a superior experience for their customers and, thereby, improve their customer relationships. This goes beyond traditional marketing communications. It reaches deep into our clients' operational issues. Dr. Tom Duncan's main message to us in a presentation to our agency was that customer service is where business is going. So, to be true consultants and partners with our clients, we must be committed to helping them improve their customer service. We'll accomplish this by bringing the full complement of capabilities – through our own resources and those of our partners and suppliers.

CRM will be a key to success in the upcoming customized economy. Companies will benefit when true integration of the marcom disciplines encourages systemic application of CRM throughout all communications.

Dell Computers believes the customer experience and, therefore CRM, is the key to its current and future success. It formed the Customer Experience Council to scrutinize how Dell interacts with its customers. Dell gets millions of customer contacts a week in the form of emails, deliveries, phone calls, returns and so forth. The council's job is to figure out how to monitor and measure the quality of those contacts and to instill commitment to a superior  customer experience in Dell's employees.

Jack Daly, the renowned motivational speaker, told us about a car salesman who took Jack's picture in front of his new Mazda Miata when he sold it to him. Shortly thereafter, Jack received a thank you note with the picture enclosed. Later, he received a calendar with the photo on it. The salesman's "touch" campaign went on and on. And as Jack said, "Who do you think I thought of when it was time for me to buy a new car?!"

Customer relationship management: CRM. In concept, it's not new. Successful companies have been doing it since the beginning of commerce. The difference now is that more and more products are at parity. It's service that makes the difference. There are software programs to help us do it better. So, to be successful, we must be organized and committed to providing that service.