CBM News: Seventy Percent of SMBs Think CRM is “Um, New Rock Band?”


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Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends on time, Radio CBM 98.6, all J.J. Cale all the time, the pride of Rawlins, Wyoming.

King Arthur had the Round Table, FDR had the Kitchen Cabinet, Mick has the Stones and it’s time to introduce the editorial board at CustomerThink.

CustomerThink’s Dear Leader, the boyishly handsome Bob Thompson, a man who has never heard a gun joke about his name, says the whole point of CBM is delivering the value that drives genuinely loyal customer attitudes and behaviors in a target market, because hey, what we’re all after here is competitive differentiation and long-term profitable growth.

Board Chairman Thompson says the editorial board members, experts all in Customer Relationship Management, Customer Experience Management and Social Media, will support CustomerThink’s editorial strategy. Those found opposing it will be excommunicated.

CustomerThink was founded in 2000 as CRMGuru.com by Bobby “Socks” Thompson. The site was renamed CustomerThink in April 2007, renamed The Best Damn CRM Site Period in September of 2007, briefly renamed ParisHiltonHotPix, then switched back to CustomerThink for the Christmas t-shirt rush.

A recent Avidian Technologies Market Tools survey of SMBs found that fully seventy percent of small businesses don’t use CRM and don’t even really know what it is. Guesses ranged from “oh, yeah, that buzzword?” to “the guys from CCR and REM starting a new band?”

However, those respondents currently using CRM said the actual benefits exceeded their expectations—64 percent found that CRM gave them increased efficiency when working with customers, whereas 55 percent said they preferred the original version of “Proud Mary.”

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Kaleidico has introduced icoSales mortgage CRM, which is designed to be a complete mortgage sales and marketing platform. “Loan modifications are today’s mortgage problem,” according to company officials who have evidently been denied newspapers and Internet access since last June. “Hey and let us know who wins the election too, okay?” they added.

Kaleidico’s icoSales mortgage CRM is designed to be a complete mortgage sales and marketing platform with enhancements to let mortgage operations “streamline the loan modifications workflows and processes immediately.” Implementation of icoSales loan modification CRM is a “simple configuration,” they claim, “for existing customers, and new customers can be working on loan modifications, using icoSales, the same day.” Finding loans worth modifying is another issue.

In sports, several New York Yankee players mentioned in Joe Torre’s book All the Inferior Slugs And Worms I’ve Graced With My Presence say they were “perplexed” to find that Torre characterized them as “revolting, quivering masses of infantile jelly,” useful for “ship ballast, maybe.”

And finally, CRM across the pond is looking…steady. In case you were wondering. According to a recent survey from those fun-lovin’ cats at Gartner, more than three quarters of respondents in Europe said they are planning to “enhance their investments in CRM initiatives” in 2009.

Specifically, these projects will focus on “improving customer retention” and “increasing wallet share.” This is according to nearly 90 European business and IT pros who said they “influenced the CRM strategy in their organization” in the third quarter of 2008, and who answered a follow-up poll in December.

Gartner estimates that CRM spending in 2009 will not decline as dramatically as it did after 2000, but growth will be more moderate than in previous years. It forecasts that the European CRM software market will reach $3.5 billion in 2009, an increase of four per cent from 2008.

“Enhancement’s the name of the game in 2009,” one European CRM director said. “Lookit all these e-mails I’ve got for enhancement. Should be a piece of cake.”

Chris Pang, principal research analyst at Gartner, said it was clear that many projects, such as implementation of direct marketing tools, customer analytics, and customer service and support capabilities, are “too strategically or tactically important” to be suddenly abandoned. Projects in the “abandon at will” category were not named, but are believed to include “repanel the executive washroom in walnut” and “pay taxes.”

That’s the show for today, we’re off to put the rabbit ears back on the TV.

David Sims
David Sims Writing
David Sims, a professional CRM writer since the last century, is an American living in New Zealand because "it's fun calling New Yorkers to tell them what tomorrow looks like."


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