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Is CRM Dead? Should It Be?

Posted: 06/10/2009

What better place to generate discussions about whether there continues to be a need for the call center to exist than on a site dedicated to the continued existence of the call center? This in no way disparages the call center managers or the call center representatives—the call center employees are only doing what they are told.

Just like some people believe the Earth is flat and that we never landed on the moon, too many people really believe that measuring the average handle time or length of a phone call would yield some mystical benefit. Before you can engage in this call center discussion, you need to be able to remove yourself from the intellectual handcuffs binding you to Average Handle Time and other forms of call center measurement. Second, and of equal importance, you need to free yourself from the notion that the call center is about calls. The only reason people focus on the calls is because the call center is built around everything that happens from the moment the call center phone rings until the call is wrapped. The call center was never meant to be about the calls, it was meant to be about the people. Finally, it’s not about speed or throughput. Improvements in speed bring about efficiencies—speed. Bringing efficiencies to the wrong things yields nothing.

If you could provide a justification as to why, no matter what the organization does, the average number of calls per customer per years continues to stay somewhat the same, why call volume continues to increase year after year and why no matter how much your company spends to fix the problem it never shows improvement, then perhaps we would have a basis for discussion.

It is upon that basis where customer management improvement might be hidden.

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Tags:  CRM | marketing | CEM | customer relationship management | call center | Clinton Rubin | customer management | customer value | outsourcing | customer equity | ACD | marketing channels | customer experience management | IVR | offshoring | value creation | customer retention | interactive voice response

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