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Monday, 10 May 2010

Keep The Customer Satisfied

Amidst all the current seriousness, it's good to have a laugh. This time brought to you by Sony United Kingdom.

I received an e-mail yesterday:  "Dear Ms Coidan, Thank you for registering your new Sony Network WALKMAN". It went on to say how they valued their customers and so that they can continually improve the service they provide would I kindly fill out an on-line survey.

I do have a WALKMAN which I bought and registered 4 years ago. As I recall I put my name down as Mr Barry Coidan. A small error - nothing to worry about. Except the e - mail was from -

The Wikipedia entry states that:  "Customer relationship management (crm) is a broadly recognized, widely-implemented strategy for managing and nurturing a company’s interactions with clients and sales prospects.... The overall goals are to find, attract, and win new clients, nurture and retain those the company already has, entice former clients back into the fold, and reduce the costs of marketing and client service."

The Government's Business Link site asks "Why CRM?" A very appropriate question given my most recent experience. What do the experts say about this invaluable business tool?

"Customer relationship management (CRM) helps businesses to gain an insight into the behaviour of their customers and modify their business operations to ensure that customers are served in the best possible way. In essence, CRM helps a business to recognise the value of its customers and to capitalise on improved customer relations. The better you understand your customers, the more responsive you can be to their needs."

Getting their sex right might be a first step in Sony getting a better understanding of its customers. And following up a purchase in a timely manner, might also be a positive step.  

As you might imagine I'm a little jaundiced in my view of CRM and its benefits. But not wishing to rush to judgement let's look at what others  have to say.

Whenever I want a load of business bull shit, I inevitably click through to Microsoft. And bless their little multifarious patches they don't fail.

“The true competitive differentiator for Microsoft is the value customers derive through a consistent and world-class user experience and well-designed interoperability across our solutions....Our upcoming Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM releases light up this philosophy by delivering solutions that work well together and take advantage of existing IT investments.” Right.

 Maybe another source might make things that little bit clearer. What about the on line trade mag "CRM Daily"

I happened upon these gems:

"We are seeing a much greater need for strong mash-up capabilities that allow organizations to embed existing applications within the service representative's desktop." and:

"Pegasystems' revolutionary Build for Change technology helps organizations to positively transform customer experience across all channels and customer touch points. Pegasystems empowers companies to attain an entirely new level of service excellence."

That means getting simple things like the customer's sex and date of purchase right - my personal touchy points.

I like Sony's products - and I'm aware that they attract a price premium. So I like to think that the extra I pay would buy a little more attention to detail. 

But then if they were perfect, I have no fun and nothing to moan about.

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