What CRM Was Supposed to Be–and From the Government!


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I was in Yosemite National Park a couple of weeks ago. Downstream of my visit, I got an email survey about my stay at Curry Village. I usually ignore surveys because they rarely ask questions meaningful to my experience. (I know, marketing people have specific questions they want answered, but that does not mean that the organization is getting to hear what they need to know!).

So, why am I telling you this? If you are one of those companies who has spent a gazillion dollars on CRM technology and still wondering why it is not returning what you hoped for… pay attention. It seems to me to be an example of the importance of personal investment and credibility.

I am personally invested in Yosemite. It is sacred land to me and to my family. My wife and I were married there. I never tire of visiting and respect the way that the National Park Service treats the land. More recently, my son and I have created a new memory that will last both our lives by climbing Half Dome. My personal investment meant that I was willing to spend the time to fill in the survey. No amount of coaxing will insulate your survey form the delete key if those you are surveying have no personal investment in you or your business.

Today (a few days later) I got a personal email from the Assistant GM at Curry Village where my son and I stayed. It was clear that he had read the survey results and digested what I was actually commenting on. This was not a form letter: “We are sorry we did not live up to your expectations and hope you will give us a chance to do better next time.” Instead, the email told me that they understood, informed me about programs in place to make a difference and recognized the time and risk I took to let them know of issues. (Yes, risk. Often the squeaky wheel does not get grease but simply gets labeled as squeaky.)

So- I was invested in Yosemite anyway. I even told them in the comments that I would return regardless of any dissatisfaction simply because there is nowhere else that on the planet that is the same. Was it worth their time and expense to write a personal email, since they have me on the hook already?

Well you are reading this. So will readers on my own blog (http://www.entelechypartners.com/blog) and probably others. I will be more likely to enthusiastically recommend Curry Village, knowing that they are already working on the issues I raised. With all the emphasis on word-of-mouth lately, this has to be a good bet for the NPS. For certain, it beats a system generated form letter that says, “We don’t really care but we have this cool email engine…”

Barry Goldberg
Entelechy Partners
I. Barry Goldberg is managing director of Entelechy Partners, an executive coaching and leadership development firm headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas. His practice focuses on senior executives, change leaders and bet-the-business program teams. Goldberg holds a graduate certificate in leadership coaching from Georgetown University.


  1. Hi Barry
    enjoyed your post here. One, i love Yosemite even after only a couple of visits and it sounds like you have a lifetime of visits. But i appreciate the idea of personal relevance for the survey.
    I’ll head out to visit your site and learn more about what you do.

  2. What CRM Was Supposed to Be—and From the Government!
    When I read on CRM, I think of the tiny corporations that had the small unit called, Personnel Department. This gave the edge on the other as all us thought this as the real personnel, or call this private.
    Whatever went in this department was hush hush.
    Then we grew taller and bigger and threw the department’s identity to yet another fanciful tint, “Human Resource” Not happy with this we chalked this out and came with Human Resources Management.
    I am happy with this.
    Now Barry, if you talk of the government and CRM, I see this not.
    Here is what I mean.
    The gas and the water, the army, the sewage cleaning in many countries is in the hand of the governments. They held on to the trains and the rods too.
    There was a big notice board in the platform of the train and before you embark, that is huge that you never have time to read.
    What does this have? The rules and regulations of the travel.
    This you realise when you have an accident and you go to claim.
    The authorities see your ticket. You think this is getting somewhere, and you feel happy. They show you the small clause in the ticket that is one inch by half inch and has the very small print,
    “You are travelling after reading the laws and regulations that are on the Governmental Notice Board. Please see this in the Railway station”.
    There you have the same board that you left and rushed. It stated many, “subject to, albeit, provided, read the points 25 to 68 before you travel, etc”
    You were to read these.
    That is what the government CRM was.
    If you talk of USA or one country, you may have some valid point but I restrict that too, with my comments here.
    Read on. May be there is some thing that may throw more light on the Government based CRM.
    Please do not lubricant for the squeaky wheels. There is acute shortage of these too.
    You head this as, What CRM Was Supposed To Be-and From Government.
    Since you talk of America it is worth noting that same is the case in many places but very visible. Take the bite from there and relax.
    The Raja or as Indians call this as the Government, is in no way comparable to the individual. In Tanzania and African countries, the law has all the say and the population simply follow the law like the pied piper.
    There is NO CRM. We do not need this.
    I mean the private or the government CRM
    The population is huge and trains few that too come at the time very unpredictable and not in the schedules.
    I just read an article in the elite, (The ones for the educated people) of the USA. Bill as manager, entrepreneur, and leader.
    I wrote back, “Why you do not put the man as a donor also. He is now leaving but giving the chair and assisting the poor. The header needs amplification”. He gave Windows and opened the doors.
    I got no comment.
    However, here I can state this. He is more then a mentor, leader, helper, giver. He has done more to the PC then any one. Does USA as the CRM say anything on this?
    BILL GATES, at the age of 52, is to devote himself to charity work. What a man. Earned 500 us dollars per second. This man teaches many that after making money help others. I have no comments more on him.
    Now we look out of the box.
    RE: U.S. tech sector jobs show strong growth,
    Have you been to Bangalore the Indians who came, saw and conquered?
    I am not surprised at all. Let us look at the header. The RE is meant as the subject that the writer will talk about. This RE was thrown out in letter writing in 1980s. The KISS, Keep It Simple and Short meant that you talk about the subject; go directly like we have sms these days. It is not worth talking with the gun and say, “I will kill you”. Do not talk, just shoot was then the phrase we are still stuck with the RE, I am talking about the following. When the old timer like me sees this in Yahoo and here, I wonder about firstly the English then of course, I write on the IT profession.
    Barry, the oil is up, food in the plate is in crumbs, the lies we heard about the WMD and Iraq now giving oil counteracts lure away many to frustrations and go somewhere peaceful. Have you seen the Super Tuesday turn your sleep in the nightmares? Well I have. We have lost sleep, cash on TV to see who is coming to rescue us and there is no one. So you switch off go under the blanket and think of migrating away from 12,000 points we had in June 1999 and we opened the Champaign bottles. Instead of going up, we are in 11,000 now. I wrap up my case and go to Alaska; no sorry they are coming to dig me up there to. May be the Myanmar. No one will note I am a stranger.
    “Morality is a private and costly luxury.”-Henry Adams
    A language is never in a state of fixation, but is always changing; we are not looking at a lantern-slide but at a moving picture. -Andrew Lloyd James, linguist
    A very quiet and tasteful way to be famous is to have a famous relative. Then you cannot only be nothing, you can do nothing too.
    P. J. O’Rourke
    After all, what is your host’s purpose in having a party? Surely not for you to enjoy yourself; if that were their sole purpose, they’d have simply sent champagne and women over to your place by taxi.
    We have sad state in the Governments and private sectors when it comes to CRM.
    The BIG notice CRM is for some, not for all.
    If you get the service, say, “Thank you”, if not, do not comment on this. No one will reply. If there is any, it will in a form of defence.
    I thank you
    Firozali A. Mulla MBA PhD
    P.O.Box 6044
    East Africa


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