5 Business Factors That Can Make or Break CRM - E-Commerce Times 5 Business Factors That Can Make or Break CRM - E-Commerce Times

Monday, May 28, 2012

5 Business Factors That Can Make or Break CRM - E-Commerce Times

5 Business Factors That Can Make or Break CRM - E-Commerce Times

This story was originally published on Feb. 23, 2012, and is brought to you today as part of our Best of ECT News series.

I have a lot of fun writing about CRM -- the ideas, the tools and how they're brought together as a coherent strategy Get Whitepaper: Simple Strategies for Enhancing eCommerce Profitability. CRM is a foundation on which to build relationships, layer on additional sales Learn how 3D interactive characters fundamentally change the way users interact with a site. and support tools, and create a customer-centric business.

But this foundation needs a foundation. After all, businesses thrived even before CRM technology Discover Proven Strategies to Improve the Security of Your Products. Free Whitepaper. was invented, and they flourished long before the acronym was coined. While we in the CRM space like to say that you need a solid CRM foundation in place before you can grow to the next level (which, these days, is most often defined as social CRM), we tend to forget that CRM itself needs to rest on a solid foundation.

What is that foundation built on? A bunch of things that are, in general, never considered when we talk about CRM, but which can heavily influence CRM's effectiveness for good and for ill, based on how well the business executes on them.

There are many foundational things that every business should strive to master even before they have a CRM application in place, but here are five that serve as underpinnings for successful businesses, and thus as underpinnings of successful CRM efforts.

Services and Products

Businesses exist to create customers, wrote Peter Drucker, but customers exist because they have needs. The bottom-line question for your customers is this: Do the things I buy from this business satisfy my needs?

The real issues here are quality and value. If your products are faulty or second-rate compared to the competitors, or if they're priced wrong, it doesn't matter what kind of CRM magic you work -- your sales funnel will be more like a conveyor belt, with prospects proceeding down the pipeline to customers and then, rapidly, to ex-customers. And over time, quality and pricing issues (and their unpleasant cousin, delivery issues) will erode your customer base and create poor word of mouth. Unless you remedy this issue, your business is doomed to failure.

The Honesty Factor

Even with a good product or a well-delivered service, issues happen. A smart business understands this and has a plan in place to deal with these exceptions, and to do so in a way that assumes that customers are intelligent and, within reason, understanding.

Excuses that sound phony or inauthentic multiply the negative impact of a problem. Explanations that are sincere and candid, however, can have the exact opposite effect. For example, a very small business run by a friend took a serious delivery and production hit when its one employee was stricken by a nasty stomach flu just as a new product was supposed to ship. Rather than ignore the problem, he dragged himself to email and social media and explained the problem honestly. This brought a few angry customers but many more who sympathized and were understanding -- and, when he was able to return to work, almost no complaints about the delay.

Honesty as an underlying value of a business is not just morally laudable -- it's also key for forging better customer relationships and maintaining employee morale. Which brings us to ...

Employees' Attitude

I like to say that a CRM strategy should start with hiring. Employees with a customer-focused attitude are an asset whether or not you've invested in CRM software. Conversely, employees who lack that attitude can take a CRM investment of any amount and effectively reduce its value to zero.

Your management takes the data you collect in CRM and translates it into directives for actions and interactions that mean something to the customers; your employees carry out those directives. Without the proper focus on the customer, management and employees are unlikely to connect the dots between data and dealings with the people who keep your business in business.

Respect for Process

CRM also helps automate many of the sales, marketing and support tasks that dominate most customer relationships. That allows your business to scale in terms of the number of customers each employee can care for. To do that, however, means that all employees who need to interface with CRM do so. That starts with the sales team and carries through to the rest of the organization; adhering to the process of using CRM is as important as adhering to any other company process.

There is an exception to this, however: When an employee sees an area where process is preventing customer satisfaction, he or she should be able to take action to override or modify the policy. Process and productivity mean nothing to individual customers, and employees need to be empowered to step out of process when necessary.

Your Commitment to Support

Too many businesses stop paying attention to their customers after the sale closes and only begin paying attention again when it's time to sell again. Smart businesses know that an ongoing relationship is the best route to ongoing sales, and a natural place for contact in that relationship comes in customer support.

Companies that have a commitment to support do a good job of meeting customers' needs regardless of whether they are a one-person shop with a single telephone line or a large corporation with several call centers -- the technology simply lets bigger businesses scale up more effectively. Sadly, when the emphasis is all on sales, support is seen as a cost center and doesn't get the care and feeding it deserves. That's why so many service calls leave customers more agitated at the end of the call than they were at the beginning, even if the problem that triggered the call is resolved.

When a business fails in any of these areas, the customer relationships that were the goal of its CRM investments are ruined -- which raises the question: Why did you invest in CRM if you weren't willing to build a foundation on which it could rest?

Latest Florida news, sports, business and entertainment - WJTV.com


Tropical Storm Beryl making landfall in NE Fla.

Tropical Storm Beryl is making landfall in northeastern Florida, bringing heavy rains and strong winds to the southeastern U.S. coast.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami reported late Sunday that Beryl was making landfall along the northeastern coast of Florida, over Duval and northern St. John's counties.

Tropical storm warnings were in effect for the entire Georgia coastline, as well as parts of Florida and South Carolina.

Beryl is expected to bring 4 to 8 inches of rain to parts, with some areas getting as much as 12 inches. Forecasters predict the storm surge and tide will cause some coastal flooding in northeastern Florida, Georgia and southern South Carolina.

The weather system is expected to continue dumping rain over parts of Florida and Georgia on Monday before heading north and then out to sea. It is expected to weaken to a tropical depression by Monday night.


Fla. AG Pam Bondi marries in Cayman Islands

TALLAHASSE, Fla. (AP) Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is celebrating her wedding in the Cayman Island this weekend.

Sen. Paula Dockery posted pictures on Facebook of the wedding party on their flight to the islands and later posted a picture of Bondi serving punch to friends. Bondi's wedding to Tampa ophthalmologist Greg Henderson was a small ceremony with close friends and family.

Gov. Rick Scott and his wife were also in attendance.

Bondi was a Hillsborough County assistant state before being elected attorney general in 2010.

The Republican is a tea party favorite and has been a popular commentator of Fox News over the years. She told the Tampa Tribune that she and Henderson would be legally married once back in the United States in a private ceremony.


Trayvon Martin's parents speak against violence

CHICAGO (AP) The parents of slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin say there must be an end to "senseless gun violence."

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that they spoke publicly Saturday in Chicago with the Rev. Jesse Jackson and family members of murder victims in the Chicago area.

Martin's mother Sybrina Fulton says since Martin can't speak for himself, she has to help the community and other parents. She has spoken recently at a Maryland church and has started the Justice for Trayvon Foundation.

The February shooting of the unarmed 17-year-old old sparked a national outcry.

Neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder and was released on bond. He says he shot Martin in self-defense.


Descendant: Capones paved way for Nevada gambling

RENO, Nev. (AP) A descendant of Al and Ralph Capone says in a new book that the two gangsters paved the way for Nevada's gambling empire.

Deirdre Marie Capone says they lobbied the Nevada Legislature to legalize gambling in Prohibition's waning days, and opened the first "upscale" casino in Las Vegas long before Bugsy Siegel's Flamingo resort opened there in 1946.

The 72-year-old author says she gained that information from her grandfather, Ralph Capone, who was the older brother of the infamous Al Capone.

The Chicago native says her grandfather opened The Pair-O-Dice-Club on what is now the Las Vegas Strip about the time Nevada lawmakers legalized gambling in 1931.

Historians say they've found no documentation to back up claims in her book, "Uncle Al Capone: The Untold Story From Inside His Family."


Tulane gets $18.7M for environmental health

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Tulane University's School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine is getting $18.7 million for two multiyear environmental health projects designed to help Gulf Coast residents affected by the 2010 BP oil spill.

Using $15 million from BP PLC's settlement of class-action medical claims, the school plans a five-year effort to set up a network of environmental health experts to help primary-care doctors in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Dr. Maureen Lichtveld (LICHT-felt) says the school also will train health workers in environmental health and disaster preparedness.

The Baton Rouge Area Foundation awarded Lichtveld $3.7 million for a three-year project to learn how much seafood people in different Louisiana communities eat. That will give them a risk baseline to assesse dangers after environmental disasters.


Fla. man fatally shoots intruder

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (AP) Polk County deputies say a man shot an intruder who broke into his home and tried to start a fight.

A woman called 911 Sunday morning to say a man had broken into her screened in porch and was lying on the table. Authorities also received a call from her neighbor who said a man was banging on his door, screaming and cursing. Thirty-three year-old William Cromwell told the man to go away, but the suspect ran into Cromwells' home. Cromwell accidentally fired a shot into the ground.

The suspect allegedly took off his shirt, yelled, "You wanna fight?" and charged Cromwell.

His young children were upstairs sleeping.

Cromwell is a security guard with Winter Haven Hospital and a U.S. Navy veteran.

The victim has not been identified.

Operation Weeting: 42-year-old woman arrested over alleged money laundering - The Guardian

A 42-year-old woman has been arrested by police investigating phone hacking on suspicion of money-laundering offences.

The woman was arrested by appointment at a south-west London police station on Monday morning by Metropolitan police detectives from Operation Weeting.

Police said the woman was being questioned in a statement shortly after 1pm on Monday.

Scotland Yard said: "A 42-year-old woman [W] was arrested this morning, Monday 28 May 2012 by officers from Operation Weeting, the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) investigation into the hacking of voicemail boxes.

She was arrested after attending a south-west London police station by appointment at approximately 11:00hrs on suspicion of money laundering offences, contrary to section 327 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and is currently being questioned."

Scotland Yard confirmed that the woman is the first to be held on suspicion of money laundering offences as part of its Operation Weeting probe.

The force could not confirm whether the woman is a journalist or public official. She is the 25th person to be arrested as part of the investigation into phone hacking.

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Business News: Coventry Telegraph's B2B Expo hailed huge success - Coventry Telegraph.net

Stocks to watch at close on Monday - ninemsn

Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange at close on Monday:

BHP - BHP BILLITON LTD - up 44 cents at $32.05

A mining giant will not comment on rumours it is considering locking out striking workers amid a bitter industrial dispute in central Queensland.

FXJ - FAIRFAX MEDIA LTD - up two cents at 64.5 cents

Mining magnate Gina Rinehart is believed to have lifted her stake in Fairfax Media and questioned the abilities of the company's chairman Roger Corbett in the process.

HST - HASTIE GROUP LTD - in suspension, last traded at 16 cents

The administrator of troubled engineering group Hastie Group hopes that many of the 2,700 employees who have been stood down may be able to return to work.

MYR - MYER HOLDINGS LTD - up three cents at $2.00

WES - WESFARMERS LTD - down 34 cents $28.66

WOW - WOOLWORTHS LTD - down 43 cents at $26.26

Australians spent more than $11 billion buying goods online in the 12 months to April.

QAN - QANTAS AIRWAYS LTD - up 4.5 cents at $1.50

Jetstar is being taken to court for allegedly allowing cabin crew recruited from Thailand to be paid about half the rate of the budget airline's Australian staff.


The competition watchdog is set to approve an $800 million deal in which Optus will move some of it customers onto the national broadband network (NBN).

WPL - WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LTD - up 64 cents at $31.64

Woodside Petroleum says its recently commissioned $15 billion Pluto project is operating at almost two thirds capacity, creating opportunities for spot sales to Japan.

World stocks rise as Greek fears ease - Financial Post

LONDON — European stocks rose for a third straight session on Monday and the euro edged up, as Greek polls showed growing support for pro-bailout parties, yet Spain’s debt yields hit a record high as the government worked on plan to fund troubled lender Bankia.

Global share markets, commodities and the euro were all recovering from sharp falls last week, when investors fled to the safety of the U.S. dollar on mounting concerns about Greece, Spain’s banking sector, and a lack of immediate policy responses from European leaders.

“Anything that allays fears over Greece is a positive. People are just looking for a bit of respite,” said Bastion Capital’s head of equities Adrian Slack.

The five Greek polls published in weekend press showed the conservative New Democracy party, which supports the bailout, with a lead of between 0.5 and 5.7 points over the anti-bailout leftist SYRIZA party, with analysts saying the race was still too close to call.

The FTSE Eurofirst index of top European shares extended its gains of last week, rising 0.6% to 990.84 points, but was still on track for its biggest monthly loss since the August selloff last year.

The easing speculation of disorderly exit by Greece from the eurozone also helped the MSCI world equity index gain 0.4% to 301.43.

The euro edged up just 0.1% to $1.2580, pulling away from Friday’s level of $1.2495, its lowest since July 2010 and is on track for its worst month since last September.

However, any recovery in the single currency looked vulnerable with traders in the foreign exchange markets bolstering their euro bearish bets to record highs in the week ended May 22, according to the latest data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

“Heading into the Greek elections we’ll fluctuate a lot. Because the market is very, very short euro, reactions to any positive news may be bigger than those to negative news,” said Mitul Kotecha of Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank.


Just as speculation rose that Greece can stay part of the single currency zone, Spain’s prospects of getting to grips with its ailing banking sector took a dive.

A government source told Reuters on Sunday Spain may recapitalise its fourth-largest lender Bankia, which last week asked for rescue funding of 19 billion euros ($24 billion), using new government bonds in return for shares.

The report sent the premium investors require to hold Spanish government bonds over their German counterparts up 8 basis points on Monday to 505 bp, the highest since the euro was launched.

Spanish 10-year government bond yields also jumped 16 bp to 6.5%, their highest since November, while equivalent Italian government bond yields followed suit, gaining 6.7 bp to 5.87%.

The highly unorthodox plan to recapitalise Bankia without having to raise money on capital markets by issuing debt – that the stricken lender could the use as collateral to get cash from the European Central Bank – has served to highlight the challenges facing Spain as it trys to fix its banking system.

“We’re not just talking about Bankia here, we’re also talking about a widespread recapitalisation of some of the Spanish banks” said Josh Raymond, market strategist of City Index. “And we also don’t know the ECB’s attitude to getting back involved.”

Bankia shares fell 26.8% as trading resumed after being suspended on Friday, before the bank asked for a 23.5 billion euros bailout.

Commodity markets were also generally firmer on prospcts pro-bailout parties may succeed in the June 17 Greek elections, and the resultant easier tone in the U.S. dollar.

Brent crude edged above $107 per barrel, although prospects of supply constraints stemming from a lack of progress in talks over Iran’s nuclear programme also buoyed prices.

Spot gold rose 0.4% to $1,580.42 per ounce, its highest level in nearly a week, in tandem with other risk assets.

But trading volumes should remain muted on Monday, with U.S. markets closed for Memorial Day, while markets in a number of European countries, including Switzerland, were closed for a bank holiday. Monday is also a bank holiday in France and Germany, although their equity markets were open.

Investors were also looking ahead to major economic data due from the United States this week which includes consumer confidence, gross domestic product and, on Friday, the May non-farm payrolls report, which could provide clues on whether the economy is running out of steam or has simply hit a soft patch.

“Data this week will reveal further contrasts between the U.S. and eurozone,” said Mitul Kotecha of Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank.

© Thomson Reuters 2012

Banks told to display 'your money is protected' notices - Daily Telegraph

The notices will also have to state whether banking licences are shared with another brand, as in this case customers who have money in both are still subject to an overall compensation limit of £85,000.

For example, Halifax and Bank of Scotland – which also own BM Savings – count as one group, whereas NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland are treated as separate entities by the FSCS.

Andrew Bailey, the FSA's director of UK banks and building societies, said: "Customers need to feel confident about their money and to do this they need to know what the compensation limits are and which scheme would provide cover in the event of a bank, building society or credit union failure.

"Too many people assume that because their branch is located on a local high street in the UK, they are covered by the FSCS. This is not true for UK branches of EEA [European Economic Area ] banks where the home country's deposit guarantee scheme applies."

He added: "Banks, building societies and credit unions will have to display these compensation stickers or posters in the branch window along with a sticker at the cashier's window or desk and a further poster in a prominent position inside."

Similar stickers must also be displayed on websites. The rules will take effect on August 31.

STOCKS NEWS EUROPE-UK small caps add 0.1 percent - Reuters UK

Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.

NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.

Emerging Stocks Rise for Third Day as Greek Exit Concerns Ease - Businessweek

Emerging-market stocks rose for a third day as opinion polls of Greek voters eased concern the country will exit the euro area and speculation mounted that China will take steps to boost its economy.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index (MXEF) rose 0.7 percent to 908.28 as of 10:24 a.m. in London. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index (HSCEI) of Chinese companies listed in Hong Kong climbed 1.1 percent. Anhui Conch Cement Co. (914) climbed 3.9 percent after Credit Suisse Group AG said China’s government is accelerating investment approvals. The Micex Index jumped 1.2 percent in Moscow and the FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index (JALSH) gained 0.8 percent as oil and metal prices advanced.

China is speeding up investment approvals to support growth, with the size of stimulus estimated at between 1 trillion yuan ($157.7 billion) and 2 trillion yuan, Dong Tao, an economist at Credit Suisse, wrote in a note today. Greece’s New Democracy, which supports the European Union’s bailout plan, was placed first in all six opinion polls published on May 26 as campaigning continued for a general election next month.

“The mood seems to be improving today, perhaps reflecting the latest Greek polls that seem to favor the bail-out supporters,” Benoit Anne, head of emerging-markets strategy at Societe Generale SA in London, wrote in an e-mail to clients. “We remain quite cautious towards emerging markets in the near term, however.”

The MSCI gauge has fallen 11 percent in May, poised for the biggest monthly drop since September, as concern grew that Europe’s debt crisis will worsen and China’s economic slowdown will deepen.

Lukoil Earnings

OAO Lukoil, Russia’s second-largest oil producer, added 2 percent after first-quarter profit increased 7.7 percent. OAO Mobile TeleSystems, the country’s biggest mobile operator, rose 2.3 percent as its weighting was lifted in the MSCI Russia 10/40 Index, according to Troika Dialog.

The ISE National 100 Index (XU100) slipped 0.2 percent in Istanbul. Akbank TAS (AKBNK) dropped 1.5 percent, falling for a sixth day after Citigroup Inc. reduced its stake by more than half last week.

The WIG20 Index (WIG20) jumped 0.8 percent in Warsaw, led by a 1.4 percent rise in KGHM Polska Miedz SA (KGH), the copper producer with the biggest European mine output.

The rand appreciated 1 percent against the dollar and the ruble gained 0.3 percent. The zloty strengthened 0.5 percent against the euro.

Russia’s dollar Eurobond due in 2022 rose for the first day in four, cutting the yield four basis points, or 0.04 percentage point, to 4.27 percent. Turkey’s 2022 dollar yield fell five basis points to 5.26 percent.

Esprit Gains

Esprit Holdings Ltd. (330), a clothier that counts Europe as its biggest market, advanced 2 percent in Hong Kong. Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (2317) and Simplo Technology Co. (6121) gained in Taipei, leading technology stocks higher after Deutsche Bank AG said the two companies may deliver “healthy” earnings growth in the second half of the year.

Simplo jumped 4 percent. The maker of battery packs for laptops is a preferred component stock and is expected to outperform its peers because of tablet computer demand, analysts at Deutsche Bank wrote in a note dated May 25. Hon Hai, which gained 1.6 percent, is among the bank’s top picks in the post- personal computer era, according to the report.

Gome Electrical Appliances Holding Ltd. (493), China’s second- biggest electronics retailer, sank 4.6 percent in Hong Kong after the company reported an 88 percent slump in first-quarter profit.

Chinese industrial companies’ profits declined 2.2 percent from a year earlier in April, the statistics bureau reported yesterday. That compared with a 4.5 percent gain in March.

The BSE India Sensitive Index (SENSEX), or Sensex, rose 1 percent. South Korean markets were closed for a holiday.

The extra yield investors demand to own emerging-market debt over U.S. Treasuries was unchanged at 410 basis points, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s EMBI Global Index.

The Markit iTraxx SovX CEEMEA Index of eastern European, Middle East and Africa credit-default swaps fell three basis points to 337.

To contact the reporters on this story: Weiyi Lim in Singapore at wlim26@bloomberg.net; Jason Webb in London at jwebb25@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Darren Boey at dboey@bloomberg.net

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