Bob Thompson

Net Promoter and ACSI Smackdown

There's a lot to like about the Net Promoter Score that Fred Reichheld developed. Business executives are jumping on it as an easy to implement metric of customer loyalty that ties to business growth. But academic research is finding fault with the methodology. Tim...

CustomerThink Retreat 2007: Advisors Chart the Future

On June 5-6 at the Seascape Resort in Aptos, California, 16 of CustomerThink's global Advisors gathered for our annual Retreat. Each year we get together to discuss the top industry issues, how we can collaborate with each other and how to add value to...

Highlights From Global Study of Call Centers

The June 15 issue of BusinessWeek summarized a few interesting findings from a global call center study, covering 2,500 call centers in 17 countries. The research was led by Cornell University, but according to the study's web site: "The Global Call Center Project is...

SugarCRM Rides the Open Source Wave

Traditionally, to win in the software business, you've got to spend big in sales and marketing. SugarCRM, as part of the open source movement, thinks there's a better way. So far, the big winners often come out of the Oracle camp of take-no-prisoners marketing, where...

Google This: Who Will Buy Salesforce.com?

The media is abuzz about a Google-Salesforce partnership. (Personally, I'm more concerned about whether Paris Hilton will spend any time in the pokey.) The real question: Who will buy salesforce.com? At salesforce.com's recent developer conference (May 21 in Santa Clara, California), the company announced...

Unica’s Vision: “Marketing So Relevant, It Feels Like Service”

Yuchun Lee When I first met Unica co-founder Yuchun Lee several ago, he told me his goal was to create a billion dollar business. Seemed a bit far-fetched at the time, since the company had yet to book $10 million per year. Now, as...

FrontRange: Back From the Dead To Contend for SMB Leadership

As the large-enterprise CRM space has consolidated to the Big Two (Oracle and SAP, how boring), the SMB market has been a fragmented, muddled mess. CDC Software, Consona, and FrontRange would like to change that. Years ago, the top three vendors of SMB-focused CRM solutions...

Can CRM Stop “Middle-Age Spread”? (Lessons From Google and Toyota)

It's commonly believed that, as we get older, it's only natural to get a bit thicker around the middle. But the real reason we get fat is we get less active and lose muscle, while continuing to eat the same amount. Today Google made...

CRMGuru Is Now CustomerThink

In case you missed the announcement last week, we have changed the name of CRMGuru.com to CustomerThink.com. Long-time members may recall that our email newsletter was renamed CustomerThink in 2002 (formerly CRM.Insight) because of confusion about what the term "CRM" means. "CustomerThink" was created by...

Web 2.0 Powers Up People

Q: How do you hype interest in the Web, again? A: Put 2.0 on the end of it! It reminds me of the hype that drove interest in CRM, which didn't really ramp up until we all started to use the term "CRM." Until about...

Six Easy Ways To Lose Your Clients

Customer-centricity is like art. As a customer, you know it when you see it, or rather, when you feel it. You get those warm, mushy feelings like "they really care about me" and the urge to tell your friends. That's what prompted me to share...

Sell More by Showing Your Customers Some Love!

In my last blog, Why I Hate Sales Reps, I said my pet peeves were reps who don't listen, don't care about my problem, can't be trusted, or aren't available when needed. But some reps are different. They love their jobs and love taking care...

Why I Hate Sales Reps

OK, I don't hate all sales reps. But now that I've got your attention, let me explain. Sure, selling is one of the most challenging professions around. But then, don't we all have problems? For example, customer service managers are tasked to provide great service...

China in the Customer Management Groove

It's hard to believe that we've just completed the fifth annual China Customer Management Forum, held April 5-6 in Shanghai. It seems like just yesterday that Sampson Lee contacted me and said something like, "Hey, what do you say we start a CRM conference...

Why “CRM” Must Die for Customer-Centric Business To Thrive

As we ring in the New Year, it's time to bid farewell to "CRM." Why? Because after more than a decade it still doesn't have a commonly understood and accepted meaning. What if you gave an "apple" to a friend, who became annoyed because it...

Build a Customer-Centric CxO Team: CRM Resolutions for 2007

In the 2006 Rocky movie, Rocky Balboa, the aging fighter, gives some sage advice to his son. It's not whether you get knocked down, he says. It's about whether you get back up and keep fighting. Perhaps customer relationship management—which I define as developing and...

The Next Generation of Customer Management? Customer Experience Management

Since I founded CRMGuru.com in January 2000, interest in CRM has blown hot and cold. Now Gartner says that the good times are rolling: CRM software revenue jumped 13.7 percent in 2005 to $5.7 billion. One factor, the analyst firm says, it that buyers...

What Business Leaders Can Learn From “Moments of Truth”: An Interview With Former SAS...

In 1981, Jan Carlzon became CEO of the problem-ridden Scandinavian Airlines. Well before he left the company in 1994, Carlzon turned the airline around by focusing on what he later called "moments of truth," the various points at which people with the airline came...

A Five-Year Vision for CRM: Seven Key Trends

For the past several years, I've been writing annual predictions for the CRM industry. It's all been good fun and forces me to sit down once a year and think about important developments. How did I do last year? Judge for yourself by reading...

It Takes a Village To Provide Customer Experience: A Discussion on CEM

The CRM mantra has always been that everything comes down to the customer. Now along comes Customer Experience Management, a strategy for putting the customer at front and center of your organization. So is this just a flash in the pan? Is it a...

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