Drug testing

E-Business?s Best Friend: eCRM

From Ebay to the smallest home-operated start-up, e-businesses of all sizes struggle to accurately answer a common question: who are my customers? If you can't answer that question, chances are you're also in the dark about the following questions. What customer demand trends can I expect in the future? How can I improve customer retention? What can I do to build long-term relationships of trust with customers? Knowing the answer to these questions can mean the difference between long-term growth and profitability and crashing and burning.

Enter eCRM

With the proliferation of e-business into just about every consumer market, customers are faced with more options than ever. As a result, they have naturally become increasingly demanding both of the products they purchase and customer service they receive. The idea is that, "if company A doesn't meet my expectations, I can always go to companies B thru Z. By merely doing a Google search on your product or service you can quickly discover the number of competitors waiting for the chance to eat your lunch.

The importance of eCRM is highlighted when you think of the fact that e-business' customer 'touch points' are limited and usually virtual. There's seldom any face-to-face contact because the company usually doesn't have a physical location, just a web domain.

Because of the relatively recent appearance of eCRM on the business scene, many people aren't quite sure how to define it. In fact, the definition of eCRM varies almost as widely as the techniques companies use to manage it. For some people, eCRM may be as simple as pulling data off their order tracking system; they may believe keeping track of who bought what tells them the whole story. Other e-businesses with more experience may take a more complex view; metadata, datamining and drilldowns, and CTI can all be seen as vital eCRM tools used to paint a picture of the customer.

Unfortunately, because of the recent inundation of eCRM systems to the market, some e-business fall into a 'can't-see-the-forest-for-the-trees' syndrome; management may get lost in the data and lose sight of their goals. The purpose of eCRM isn't to collect data in new and interesting ways, it's to answer the questions above. Still, crossing the gap between software and results remains a feat few eCRM systems are able to accomplish.

The problem with many eCRM systems is that they either, 1) collect irrelevant or insufficient data, or 2) don't correctly interpret data. While the second point is largely what management gets paid for, we must remember that small and medium business is the largest market segment for eCRM. These businesses are usually run from home by individuals with little or no formal business education.

The good news for startup e-businesses is that many of the newer eCRM providers will handle the nitty-gritty aspects of your customer relationship management system for you, effectively freeing up more of your time for other important tasks.

Cameron Brown is an internet marketer specializing in ranking automation. For more information on eCRM, please visit Inside Sales.

limousine chicago service
In The News:

My Child Has Opie Eye!

7:00 a.m., the silence in the house is broken by... Read More

One of the Secrets of a Great Customer Experience

A few weeks ago we conducted our annual "Customer Experience... Read More

Should I Have My Company Mystery Shopped?

I wish I had a nickel for every time someone... Read More

Profit from a Customer Service Recovery Program

A client recently said to me: "Most days things seem... Read More

Making The Most Of Newsletters

Newsletters can be wonderful tools for communicating with your customers... Read More

What Every Manager Should Know About How to Prevent Customer Service Conflicts

There are five techniques that have been proven to be... Read More

Customer Service, the Internets Primary Neglected Business Concern

Customer service is everything to a business. Just look at... Read More

Post Office, Incredible Lady Postmaster

There are two Post Offices that I routinely visit. One... Read More

Developing A Customer Complaint System

Background The company was experiencing an increase in the number... Read More

Create a Positive, Upbeat, Can-Do Workforce and Dazzle the Customer with Your Caring!

Given the choice of dealing with a positive, upbeat employee... Read More

Take Care of Yourself Before You Take Care of Your Customer

One of the most important questions people ask when they... Read More

The Death of the Loyal Customer

One of my classes in management focused on the repeat... Read More

Improving Customer Service

Improving customer service starts at the top - with us... Read More

Minimize The Pain of Check Recovery

$350 million in bad checks are written each and every... Read More

Create Win-Win Deals With Your Competitors

In the competitive world of the 20th century, we generally... Read More

Dont Eliminate The Middle Man - Add One

Today, there are situations when we actually add a "middle... Read More

How Not to Get Stiffed, Improving Your Collection Procedures

Some businesses have slow paying customers or past due balances... Read More

The Drawback of Hacking Off a Blogger Through Weak Process Gaps and Pathetic Customer Service

With all of the recent data theft in the financial... Read More

A New Way To Handle Complaints, Or Is It?

What a lot of money we have been wasting on... Read More

What Every Manager Should Know About How to Win the Loyalty of Customers

Dr. Michael LeBoeuf, in his cassette album entitled, Win Customers... Read More

Listen to Suggestions

If you are up to your ears in a stressful... Read More

Establishing Yourself as an Expert in the Eyes of Your Customers

The most important aspect of a successful business is developing... Read More

Automating Your Customer Support

My regular readers will know that one of the things... Read More

Empowering Customer Service Vital

It never fails to amaze me how many companies have... Read More

Handling Customer Complaints

Even the best business will receive an occasional customer complaint.... Read More

store led lights led outdoor flood light bulbs Pete's produce ..