Wednesday, November 5, 2008

SAS Enables Customer-Centric Marketing Communication for HF Holidays

LONDON, Oct 28, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- World leading walking and cycling holiday specialists, HF Holidays, has chosen SAS(R) Marketing Automationsoftware as the foundation for improving its marketing communications. SAS' customer-centric marketing software will enable HF Holidays to create better targeted direct mail campaigns and e-newsletter offers to its customers, based on accurate customer data. Using SAS, the company aims to accelerate growth by an additional 5-10 percent within the next 5 years through better targeted mailings.
HF Holidays turned to SAS for a more powerful and sophisticated customer profiling system to improve targeting and personalisation of its marketing communications. SAS, the leader in business analytics, will provide HF Holidays with comprehensive data management, campaign management and advanced customer analytics in one integrated solution.
SAS will integrate data from several separate databases within HF Holidays, significantly improving the quality and accuracy of its customer information. This centralised platform will enable the company to generate accurately targeted campaigns, as well as understand and track customer responses and campaign success, whilst saving time and increasing efficiency.
Aimee Hart, Communications Manager at HF Holidays states: "SAS' complete marketing solution will provide us with a holistic approach to marketing to our customers. With SAS we will be able understand all of our customer data and gather insight into their behaviour. We believe that our marketing campaigns will be more accurate, efficient and successful."
Ian Manocha, Managing Director of SAS UK, states: "The leisure industry is a real growth area for SAS. We have recently expanded our footprint in this market by acquiring IDeaS Revenue Optimisation and forming a new Profit Optimisation Global Practice, showing that we take this market incredibly seriously. It is highly competitive with a diverse customer base; holiday companies need technology that provides the best way of communicating with customers to lift them above the competition. SAS software has proved it can do just that."
SAS' software is currently being installed by consulting partner, Ellion Insight, the travel technology firm. Ellion Insight is providing the analysis, project management and implementation of the system.

Leading Companies See Value in SAS and Teradata Partnership

LAS VEGAS, Oct 29, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- TDC | Quote | Chart | News | PowerRating -- A year after announcing their strategic partnership, SAS and Teradata are seeing acceptance and results from customers leveraging the two companies' core strengths: data management, analytical and business intelligence software, and scalable data warehousing.
Over twelve months, SAS, the leader in business analytics, and Teradata Corporation (NYSE: TDC), the world's largest company solely focused on data warehousing and enterprise analytics, have unveiled new initiatives, products and services to help customers make better, faster decisions to create a competitive advantage. By running and optimizing certain SAS solutions and analytic processes within the Teradata database engine, businesses decrease data movement and increase performance, helping IT more quickly respond to business needs. With this approach, analytic processes are up to 45 times faster, and one joint customer reported processing time cut from 36 hours to one hour and 15 minutes.

The two companies recently announced the SAS and Teradata Advantage Program, designed to accelerate data analysis pertaining to specific business challenges such as fraud detection and credit risk. The announcement included a strategic roadmap for further integration and multiple joint offers in the months ahead.

Customers attest to the value of the SAS-Teradata partnership. "We achieved dramatic results from the SAS and Teradata partnership, including reduced analytic model run times," says Aldo Mancini, founder of INTELeffect and former Vice President at Discover Financial Services. "In one case, we cut the time from one week to 36 minutes, with a tenfold increase in analytic output. Treating SAS and Teradata as a single, managed environment positioned Discover Financial Services to double analytic output throughout 2008."

"We're very excited that SAS and Teradata combined forces," said David Norton, Senior VP and Chief Marketing Officer at Harrah's. "The significant advantage to Harrah's is the ability to quickly predict which customers to target for loyalty incentive programs.Keeping customer data inside the Teradata warehouse for analysis greatly reduces the time required to determine what changes to make -- if any -- to our Total Rewards program.The SAS and Teradata combination helps us continue to innovate in driving revenue."

"We anticipate significant benefits from SAS and Teradata's integrated technologies," said Shawn McNelis, VP of Healthcare Informatics at Highmark. "We expect to decrease execution time, cycles and disk space required for extracting data, analyzing it in a separate SAS environment, and pushing it back into the Teradata warehouse. This better balances the capacity between our SAS and Teradata servers. In-database processing reduces application complexity, so our informatics analysts can draw insight more easily from claims, enrollment and provider quality data."

In addition to deeper technical integration and coordinated marketing, sales and services activities, the SAS and Teradata partnership launched a center of excellence (CoE). This dedicated team of information system architects and technical consultants helps customers achieve increased performance and capabilities from joint SAS and Teradata solutions. The SAS and Teradata CoE team has participated in more than 170 global customer engagements spanning all vertical markets. Based on positive feedback, the two companies are increasing their investments in the partnership to meet the growing demand for consulting and architecture assessment services.

Today's announcement came at The Premier Business Leadership Series event in Las Vegas, a business conference presented by SAS that brings together more than 500 attendees from the public and private sectors to share ideas on critical business issues.

HP and SAS Debut Real-time Customer Intelligence for Financial Services Institutions

PALO ALTO, Calif., Oct 29, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Building on a 24-year relationship, HP (HPQ:Hewlett-Packard Co.
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HPQ 36.25, -1.99, -5.2%) and SAS today announced the opening of the HP SAS Customer Intelligence Excellence Center in Cary, N.C.
The center provides an environment for clients to easily understand the benefits they can gain through the integration of the SAS suite of Customer Intelligence solutions with the HP Neoview enterprise data warehouse.
The combination is designed to help companies maximize the business results of marketing programs. Using real-world examples, customers can experience how data can be turned into insight to drive successful marketing campaigns.
The advanced interoperability of the solution, which incorporates data mapping and improved data upload and download time, lets businesses quickly access customer information to deliver increased business value. The first offering in the center is SAS Customer Intelligence for Financial Services, which is focused on credit card companies that use event-driven marketing.
Using this integrated customer intelligence solution, companies can conduct targeted customer-centric marketing and sales campaigns that offer the right product to the right customer at the right time based on a total view of the customers' current interactions with the company.
"Financial Services companies can transform their marketing programs by achieving faster time to market and strengthening customer relationships through the new HP and SAS Customer Intelligence solutions," said Kristina Robinson, vice president and general manager, Business Intelligence Solutions, HP. "HP and SAS are partnering to deliver unique solutions that help financial institutions optimize their business outcomes, and that better serve our joint customers."
"The need for immediate, actionable information is a key concern for financial services companies that seek to deliver the best customer service and the best operating results at the same time," said Jim Davis, chief marketing officer, SAS. "By optimizing the integration of SAS Customer Intelligence solutions with HP Neoview, we can help companies leverage up-to-the-minute customer data in the most efficient and cost-effective ways."
"New real-time analytics platforms, like HP Neoview, promise to make it easier and more cost-effective to derive profitable insights out of massive volumes of data. Consequently, it is terrific to see SAS, the top analytics vendor, partnering with HP because their joint customers will benefit enormously," says Wayne Eckerson, director of TDWI Research at The Data Warehousing Institute.
SAS Customer Intelligence for Financial Services, powered by HP Neoview, is expected to be available soon globally at HP solution centers. More information is available at

SAS connects digital marketers with mobile users

WEBWIRE – Friday, October 31, 2008
Wireless operators dial up predictive analytics to improve satisfaction, reduce churn

The Premier Business Leadership Series 2008, LAS VEGAS . – New from SAS, the leader in business analytics, SAS® for Mobile Interaction will improve customer intimacy in the mobile device world. This new SAS Customer Intelligence solution, created in cooperation with mobile content enablers, will bring SAS software’s award-winning predictive analytics to mobile marketers to improve results in even tough economic times.

SAS for Mobile Interaction builds on the capabilities of SAS Digital Marketing and SAS Marketing Automation to connect customer and marketing intelligence with interactive multimedia messaging execution. One example is with VOCEL’s Interactive Messaging gateway, a next-generation mobile messaging platform that delivers compelling mobile experiences which motivate users to take action. This union of analytical campaign management with mobile multimedia marketing – part of SAS’ multi-partner strategy – unlocks vast new possibilities for customer feedback, dynamic preloads, intelligent offers and social networking.

"Wireless operators can leverage their unique relationship with consumers to enhance the user experience,” said Susan McNeice, Global Program Manager at Stratecast, a Division of Frost & Sullivan. “By combining business analytics, campaign management, and the interactive capabilities of the handset, the SAS solution gives marketers the opportunity to optimize that relationship while driving value for the consumer, the operator and content producers"
Getting closer to customers

SAS for Mobile Interaction revolutionizes how wireless operators reduce churn while improving customer satisfaction and increasing revenue through customized promotional offers on mobile devices. Before this, marketers using Short Message Service (SMS) to communicate offers to subscribers couldn’t gauge the effectiveness of digital campaigns. SAS shows vendors when an offer arrives, if it is opened or read, and resulting orders, so the campaign can be adjusted as needed.

With SAS, wireless providers can ask customers who consistently exceed allotted minutes, “Are you satisfied with your rate plan? Would you like to upgrade?” Processing responses immediately, the company adjusts the plan before the subscriber jumps to another carrier. The company saves the high cost of winning back customers or replacing them with new ones.

“SAS for Mobile Interaction supports digital content sales, targeted advertising and any other messaging between carrier and subscriber,” said Ken King, Director of Telco and Media Convergence at SAS. “SAS brings the best of digital marketing to mobile devices, providing timely, accurate and cost-effective feedback so wireless providers can better serve customers.”
An end to telemarketing calls

After a subscriber accepts an offer, the provider can send a text message asking, “Were you satisfied?” Because customers can answer with a click, they are likely to respond. Compare that to telemarketers calling the home and hoping the subscriber won’t hang up.

Now, SAS Digital Marketing creates and sends a digital campaign. The mobile interaction vendor’s messaging capability lets opt-in subscribers see the offer on their mobile devices. The customer’s response immediately goes back to SAS Marketing Automation, the campaign management solution.

“We are excited about this opportunity to work with SAS to bring this integrated solution to the market” said Carl Washburn, CEO of VOCEL. “This relationship allows wireless operators to leverage VOCEL’s patented messaging platform and SAS Customer Intelligence solutions to reach customers more effectively than ever before.”

Carrier trials of SAS for Mobile Interaction have been announced by Play in Poland. “SAS for Mobile Interaction could be the next generation communications platform between operators and subscribers” said Marcin Gruszka, Spokesperson of Play, the first multimedia mobile operator in Poland.

SAS Customer Intelligence helps organizations build an integrated framework for enterprise marketing management and implement effective, consistent and timely campaigns and programs across channels. They will target the right customers with the right offers. The power of SAS’ predictive analytics helps executives know how well actual results will match predicted ones, before they invest in new campaigns.

SAS offers turnkey solutions for other vertical markets such as financial services, life sciences, healthcare, retail, manufacturing and others. SAS targeted business solutions support enterprise intelligence, customer intelligence, financial intelligence, supply chain intelligence and more.

Today’s announcement came at The Premier Business Leadership Series event in Las Vegas, a business conference presented by SAS that brings together more than 500 attendees from the public and private sectors to share ideas on critical business issues.

SAS chief dismisses Teradata merger speculation

By Jo Best, Special to ZDNet Asia
Wednesday, November 05, 2008 10:33 AM
SAS chief executive Dr Jim Goodnight has poured cold water on speculation that the business-intelligence company might merge with its former rival, data-warehousing-software company Teradata.

The two companies announced a strategic alliance a year ago that aimed for better integration, and joint marketing and sales efforts for the pair's products.

With Teradata's data-warehousing platform and the SAS applications that sit around it, industry watchers have thought a merger between the two could be a marriage made in heaven.

However, that is not a view Goodnight shares.

"We don't want them on the hardware and they couldn't afford me," Goodnight quipped to ZDNet Asia sister site at the company's Premier Business Leadership Series event in Las Vegas.

According to Goodnight, it is hardware barriers that effectively block a union with Teradata.

"You take vendors like HP, Sun, Dell, IBM--there's just lots of hardware that we need to run on and some of our alliances are very strong. Our alliance with HP--there's probably 20 go-to-market situations with them. We're working very closely with HP to deliver solutions to mutual customers," he said.

"If we buy Teradata, those kind of alliances would be frowned upon. I would prefer to stay vendor-neutral or at least have the ability to be vendor-neutral," Goodnight said.

Since the alliance between Teradata and SAS, the business-intelligence (BI) space has seen some big-name consolidation, including IBM's US$5 billion acquisition of Cognos and SAP's purchase of Business Objects for US$7 billion. The moves leave SAS competing with a number of large vendors.

The consolidation trend has brought new pressure to bear on SAS, according to Andreas Bitterer, Gartner's lead analyst on BI.

"The market has undergone a lot of changes in terms of mergers and acquisitions. These four large mega-vendors [Microsoft, IBM, SAP and Oracle] certainly have now a lot of market share overall...and it has certainly pushed everyone more into niches. That doesn't mean that it's a small market in that niche but SAS certainly feels some of the pressure from the large mega-vendors," he told

Bitterer added: "SAS has always had the luxury of having technology really nobody else terms of breadth, from simpler reporting to warehousing to dashboards and all the vertical application from banking and retail and life sciences and pharmaceutical. No other player in the BI space really has that breadth."

Despite now having to compete with these "mega-vendors", Goodnight claimed he is not losing sleep over his new rivals.

"We have always competed against IBM; competed against Cognos; we've competed against SAP for many years. We have over 400 companies we come up against every day because of the broadness of our products," Goodnight said.

"There is little that could happen out there that could keep me awake at night," he added.,39044164,62047990,00.htm

Vodafone Australia Picks SAS for Marketing Help

Business analytics company SAS will provide Vodafone Australia with its Marketing Optimization software to enhance marketing campaigns through advanced analytics and optimization techniques.

Vodafone regularly targets more than 1 million customers with direct mail campaigns. But the increasingly inadequate contact strategy led the company to seek an advanced campaign optimization solution.

“We decided to switch to an intelligent solution because of how long it took to manually process information we needed,” said Cahyadi Poernomo of Vodafone Australia. “As the number of campaigns grew and became more integrated, our capabilities became impracticable.”

Vodafone spends millions of dollars on direct marketing campaigns. Poernomo says the company is looking to reduce this outlay up to 30 percent while still enjoying similar or better levels of return.

SAS is used throughout the Vodafone group for modeling and predictive analytics from applications such as customer relationship management through to the resource management of its IT services in many countries, including Australia, Italy, New Zealand and India.

SAS Marketing Optimization collects and analyzes statistics to calculate precisely which elements of the marketing campaigns succeed. The company says up-to-the minute information reveals which channels are most effective in a given situation, which customers to target, and overall campaign effectiveness. The analyses are used to refine and optimize future campaign design and execution for improved return.


SAS Connects Digital Marketers With Mobile Users

Meanwhile, SAS has introduced SAS for Mobile Interaction. It’s designed to improve customer intimacy in the mobile device world. This new solution is expected to bring SAS software’s predictive analytics to mobile marketers to improve results even in tough economic times.

SAS for Mobile Interaction builds on the capabilities of SAS Digital Marketing and SAS Marketing Automation to connect customer and marketing intelligence with interactive multimedia messaging execution. One example is with VOCEL’s Interactive Messaging gateway, a next-generation mobile messaging platform that delivers compelling mobile experiences which motivate users to take action. This union of analytical campaign management with mobile multimedia marketing – part of SAS’ multi-partner strategy – unlocks vast new possibilities for customer feedback, dynamic preloads, intelligent offers and social networking.

"Wireless operators can leverage their unique relationship with consumers to enhance the user experience,” said Susan McNeice, Global Program Manager at Stratecast, a Division of Frost & Sullivan. “By combining business analytics, campaign management, and the interactive capabilities of the handset, the SAS solution gives marketers the opportunity to optimize that relationship while driving value for the consumer, the operator and content producers."

The company says the solution revolutionizes how wireless operators reduce churn while improving customer satisfaction and increasing revenue through customized promotional offers on mobile devices. Before this, marketers using Short Message Service (SMS) to communicate offers to subscribers couldn’t gauge the effectiveness of digital campaigns. SAS shows vendors when an offer arrives, if it is opened or read, and resulting orders, so the campaign can be adjusted as needed.

SAS, Teradata Partnership Lauded After First Year

Business analytics company SAS and data warehouser Teradata say they are seeing a lot of success after their first year of partnership. They say customers have been able to leverage the companies’ core strengths: data management, analytical and business intelligence software, and scalable data warehousing.

Over the past year, SAS and Teradata have unveiled new initiatives, products and services to help customers make better, faster decisions to create a competitive advantage. By running and optimizing certain SAS solutions and analytic processes within the Teradata database engine, businesses decrease data movement and increase performance, helping IT more quickly respond to business needs. With this approach, analytic processes are up to 45 times faster, and one joint customer reported processing time cut from 36 hours to one hour and 15 minutes.

The two companies recently announced the SAS and Teradata Advantage Program, designed to accelerate data analysis pertaining to specific business challenges such as fraud detection and credit risk. The announcement included a strategic roadmap for further integration and multiple joint offers in the months ahead.

“We achieved dramatic results from the SAS and Teradata partnership, including reduced analytic model run times,” says Aldo Mancini, founder of INTELeffect and former vice president at Discover Financial Services. “In one case, we cut the time from one week to 36 minutes, with a tenfold increase in analytic output. Treating SAS and Teradata as a single, managed environment positioned Discover Financial Services to double analytic output throughout 2008.”

Monday, October 6, 2008

Is analytics the answer to the downtrodden market?

These have been chaotic and difficult times for bankers. The mortgage crisis and subprime meltdown have touched every sector of the banking and financial community. It has also sparked an interest in figuring out how to avoid a similar meltdown, and how to quickly get an institution back to lending. A key to moving forward is for institutions to better understand the risks they are taking on when they buy or sell packages of mortgages or similar financial instruments. And the best way to do that is to use technology to get an in-depth look at risk across the portfolio or organization.

Today’s current credit challenge requires better optimization of risk adjusted pricing and returns throughout the organization. For both the firms and government regulators, predictive analytics and data integration will be a key tool in analyzing and determining the course of action for illiquid assets (i.e. toxic mortgages). The new risk management efforts that will emerge require technology that provides greater transparency. Despite banks’ high level of investment in response to Basel II and for risk management tools, there’s been little improvement in real transparency of risks.

To help avoid another crisis, next-generation modeling needs an infrastructure that supports greater awareness of the risks being taken on by business units. Specifically, it requires forward-looking components: analyzing risk within loan portfolios, the ability to “price” complex securitizations and derivatives, what if scenario analysis, combining credit and market risk factors, forecasting with stress testing combining credit and market portfolios and presenting a concise enterprise risk view with impacts to capital. Additionally, the ability to not only provide up to date “Value at Risk” calculation, but also the ability to cross correlate portfolio performance with other market factors such as equity performance and issuer risk will be critical. Full valuation capabilities on certain portfolios will also become a required practice. Portfolio risk and capital management modeling functionality are critical to estimate required levels of regulatory and economic capital to support the business strategy and risk appetite.

A recent report by the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets says there was a “breakdown in the underwriting standards for subprime mortgages,” an “erosion of market discipline ... related in part to failures to provide or obtain adequate risk disclosures” and “risk management weaknesses at some large U.S. and European financial institutions.” The breakdown dates to 2004. As the real estate market boomed nationwide, mortgages were granted, packaged and sold and then sold again. But as the Working Group pointed out, no one—not the rating agencies, the sellers or the buyers—had properly analyzed the risk involved. When the investments went sour, “firms struggled to determine the size of these exposures and their losses.”

Financial institutions do not need to put themselves in this type of risk situation. Excellent solutions exist to assess risk down to the individual loan. Equally important, banks with the most sophisticated risk management tools will weather this storm—and any future ones—with an increase in their market share. And as important as it is to avoid unnecessary risk, it’s equally important to deal with sour loans promptly, efficiently and with the best return possible. The same kind of analytics that help banks figure out who their best clients are can be tweaked to determine which loans are salvageable and which should be sold off quickly. Performance management and scenario modeling solutions currently used by leading-edge institutions can be leveraged to support risk analysis, loss mitigation, target marketing and fraud prevention.

Right now, there are few institutions that have a true sense of which loans will go bad and when. Sure, they’re sending out 30-day late or 60-day late payments. But how many employ forecasting tools to determine which of those receiving 30-day late notices will end up in default within six months? By examining a borrower’s past payment history, and bringing in data from credit bureaus and other sources, savvy institutions can automatically score loans to get a better sense of where they stand and take proactive steps to protect against losses. Institutions that do this will be in demand for their loan servicing skills by the investors who buy these bundled products.

For the purchasers of mortgage-backed products, a portfolio-level view of risk is also essential. Few financial institutions are employing tools to balance risk across portfolios. One of the nation’s largest credit unions, Wescom of Southern California, has recently begun doing this. It wants to bring the same rigor to credit risk management that interest rate management has received over the years. “We expect to more accurately assess how much current and future risk we have embedded in our individual loan portfolios and determine where adjustments may be needed,” says Ann Mendez, chief credit officer and SVP of Wescom.

The Working Group suggests that a government authority or market participants need to “ensure that global financial institutions take the appropriate steps to address the weaknesses in risk management and reporting practices that the market turmoil has exposed.” Can your financial institution afford to wait for specific regulations? Acting now can put you ahead of the next financial crisis.

Ellen Joyner is the financial services marketing manager with SAS (Cary, N.C.). She is responsible for researching current market trends in financial services to help determine strategy and direction for new banking- and investment-focused technology solutions.

Oct 6, 2008 at 09:26 AM ET
By Ellen Joyner, SAS

Principles For Profitable Customer Relationships

If you’re still trying to sort out what customer relationship management (CMR) really is, you're not alone baby. The term has been bantered around and used so widely and in so many ways that its definition is getting lost.

Yet it’s important to remember that building profitable customer relationships will never go out of style. That is not greed it is a business fact. From the corner store to running international companies, the following 12 principles will remain the bedrock of building a successful business. Each one works on its own as an individual platform on its own yet when intertwined with the others, who look out baby your on your way! The whole is indeed much much greater than its parts in CRM..

1. Continuously Learn About Your Customers. This is the first principle of managing any customer relationships because it is the most fundamental. You don’t know them and understand them you can’t sell to their needs. When you know your customers, you can make sound business decisions about how to develop your relationships with them. Collect and analyze information about your customers to get to know them better than they know themselves. I’ll have to tell you all a story about a Motorola supplier I know some day. He was the embodiment of this idea. Maintain your knowledge in customer profiles that are available to all who need them in your company. Don’t let your managers be little fiefdoms of information (see earlier blog on this topic of sharing information) but don’t stop there. Apply everything you know to building a customer valuation model. Knowing the value of customer relationships is essential for managing them wisely.

2. Handle Different Customers Differently. Duh! This idea has been repeated so many times that it’s practically taken for granted now. But people and companies still try to treat everyone the same or try to have the customer fit their mold and not vice versa. The power of this principle lies in finding the greater value in each customer relationship through differential unique treatment. Based on customer segmentation, call centers can provide user-appropriate Web and interactive voice response (IVR) interfaces, routing routines, service levels and content. It is important not to differentiate simply because the technology exists to do so. Segment your customers sensibly and with their needs in mind not yours. There are hidden costs to differentiation that must be weighed against the increased value that personalization can be expected to produce. Effective strategy ultimately seeks to optimize the value and possible profit in each customer segment.

3. Anticipate Customer Needs. Another no-brainer. Building strong customer relationships positively can change the selling process in many ways. Knowledge of your customers presents new opportunities for making the right offer to the right person at the right time. Analysis of customer profiles, especially using powerful analytics tools, can provide insight about who buys what from you when. Contact management systems can detect cross-selling and upselling opportunities and when acted upon you can make good buying suggestions to your clients during your calls, responding to customer input or even automatically presenting customized offers in advance to their asking.

4. Interact with Customers with knowledge. Desirable relationships are not a one-way street. It needs to be a back and forth, give and take relationship. Relationships result from interaction, yours, and theirs. Knowing your customers is just the first step. Use that knowledge to deepen relationships with customers whenever you interact with them. No matter how sophisticated the technology that organizations and customers use to communicate, your customers are people and people appreciate being recognized, listened to and understood. Letting your customers know that you care enough about them to get to know them is an important part of managing the customer relationship.

5. Focus on Revenue and Retention. Unlike many other management initiatives, building strong customer relationships is not about cost savings. Instead, the emphasis is to increase the revenue received from current customers and heighten the retention rate of your valuable customers. Remember it is far more costly to replace a customer than to keep one. A focus on customer relationships can require so many organization changes that operational cost savings may be realized as well but that is not the primary focus. Time on customer calls may increase as you make the most of each opportunity — it takes time to service customers well, to listen to them, to collect information about them and to upsell and cross-sell to them. But these steps can pay off 10 fold. The return on investment for building customer relationships should not be expected short term but must be taken of as a whole.

6. Increase Value for Your Customers and your Organization. The bottom-line reason for building customer relationships is to increase value both for customers and their organization. There are many ways to deliver increased value, including being “easy to do business with,” creating operational efficiencies for your customers and making timely offers of products or services that perceptively address customer needs. Giving them Just In Time delivery of goods and services. When done right, building customer relationships is a “win-win” for everyone.

7. Present a Single Face. One of the ways to create value for your customers is to simplify the ways that they deal with your company. Take a holistic view of your customers and consolidate information from across the company, regardless of geography, department, function or product line. No information fiefdoms can be allowed to happen. When you and everyone in your company have a complete picture of each customer’s relationship, you can design customer interaction processes from the customer’s perspective, thus increasing value and letting customers know that you know and care about them.

8. Enable Information Sharing and Interaction Across the Organization. (see above) Building customer relationships requires all parts of an organization, not just the marketing department (person), not just the sales department (person) not just the customer service department (person) but everyone. It must be both a requirement and a benefit that organizations improve their internal communication processes. The only way to develop a comprehensive view of each customer’s relationship with the organization is with the full participation in every part of the organization and have them cross platform customer information. This requires strong support from top management and all the way down to the janitor.

9. Create Business Rules to Drive Decisions. Business rules can codify and automate processes, specifying what should happen in specific situations, thus enabling both differentiated customer treatment and automation. Rules don’t have to handcuff the information and creative process some areas, like sales, need. Developing organization wide business rules is a huge task, and how well it is done directly affects your success in building customer relationships. Business rules define the ways that the strategy is executed or if done poorly strangles a good company in its customer approach.

10. Empower Employees with Information and Training. Capable desktop tools may be the most visible technological feature of customer relationship applications. Just as the cockpit of an airplane displays all the information a pilot needs to fly in any condition, the contact management screen should pull together cleanly and clearly all that any person needs to know about the current relationship with that customer. The screen should change so that the screen supports and guides anyone during any customer touch point. Empowerment is the key principle, however, because no set of rules can or should fully anticipate every situation your people need training, information and support so that they can make good decisions that are consistent with your company’s strategy.

11. Keep the Right Customers. One of the truisms associated with customer relationship management is that it is cheaper to retain a customer than to acquire a new one, but that idea can be taken a step further. In order to maximize this value, companies should focus on retaining valuable customers, not necessarily all customers. Be warned, however, that misapplication of this principle can be dangerous. Mistreating “low value” customers, even if you are losing money on them, is hard to justify in the court of public opinion (which is where your future high-value customers are sitting). Even worse if you are in the same social networking group or ning group word can travel through the group very fast. i.e. I am in and I have 3 companies in there which are in for collections.

12. Remember That Cultivating Customer Relationships is a Way of Doing Business. These efforts go beyond tools, techniques or programs. Building customer relationships is about the way you do business not what programs you might use or rules you put in place. It must permeate your entire corporate culture. It requires participation and hard work by everyone throughout the organization, the suits and the grunts, and if done right, the work never ends. Results from these efforts need to be continually fed back into the process to keep the marketing efforts and information systems up to date and accurate. This is an ongoing never ending process.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Peter Sands: The banker who’s still smiling

With only six years’ banking experience, can Standard Chartered chief Peter Sands emerge a winner when the dust settles on the current turmoil?

The chief executive of Standard Chartered is studying his watch. Time up for the banking sector? You don’t see many banking bosses wearing a plastic Swatch. Peter Sands smiles cautiously.

“Someone did once ask me if this was my travel watch. No, it’s my real one. It has got a new strap, though.”

Then he laughs. Sands, 46, is a compact package of surprise. White-haired, black-browed, he mixes the Alistair Darling look with a wit and drive that makes him more approachable than many in his sector.

He’s got more to smile about, too, this weekend as most of his peers contemplate ceaseless turmoil in the financial world. Which banks will be left with a winning hand? Those with the least exposure to America, you might guess, and lucky enough to focus on emerging markets. Step forward, Standard Chartered.

“I’d agree our performance has to some degree been protected by geography,” says Sands, unpicking my point, “but that’s a factor of deliberate choice, not luck. Our culture is the strategic differentiator.”

Standard Chartered has long been rather different. Big in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, low profile over here, it is still the fourth-biggest bank in Britain by value (behind HSBC, RBS and Barclays). But it has no retail network in Britain, so few on the high street would recognise its name.

It does, however, pop up in interesting places. It has more branches in India than any other international bank, and makes more money from its consumer banking in Hong Kong than any other activity. It also continues to run its operations in Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, which makes it unpopular with some.

Yet what opportunities will the mess in the West throw up? A once-in-a-lifetime chance for Standard Chartered to shift course and become big over here?

Sands, sitting in his ninth-floor office at the bank’s City of London base, stops me there. “There’s a difference between being able to do something and thinking it’s a good idea,” he says, raising those black brows. Standard Chartered takes less than 5% of its $11 billion (£5.9 billion) operating income from the Americas and Europe, and has no intention of changing anything just yet.

“What’s underpinned our performance in this incredibly turbulent period is having a clear strategy and sticking to it. Financial institutions only get into trouble when they go off piste.”

And as such, Standard Chartered’s strengths are obvious. “The markets we are in are not the epicentre of the storm. As a bank we are highly liquid and well capitalised, and because of that we are attracting more deposits. We are very much open to business, whereas some of our competitors are pulling back. And we are finding it an exceptional time to attract new talent.”

But he adds: “Look, it’s been an extraordinary couple of weeks, the situation is very uncertain. I wouldn’t underestimate the challenges.”

Sands, the son of a naval officer and an artist, mixes hard logic with a soft approach. He started his career in the Foreign Office then jumped to management consulting. He spent 13 years at McKinsey, and shares the traits of many of its alumni: brusque, bright, highly numerate, but grounded in the real world.

These are perilous times, however. Sands has been a banker only since 2002, when he joined the bank as finance director, a feat in itself as he’s not accountancy-trained. He took the top slot two years ago. Has he got the experience to see out the storm? Others think so. The previous chief executive, Mervyn Davies, hired Sands. Davies now sits as chairman and says the two work as a complementary team.

“I’m a 30-year banker, Peter comes at it from a different approach. And he’s good at getting the right people around him.”

The relationship between Davies and Sands is key. Together they have expanded the bank in its target regions, both organically and through smaller acquisitions.

The shopping list since 2005 shows the gaps being filled: a Korean fund-administra-tion company, an Indian brokerage, a pan-African advisory boutique, a global oil-and-gas M&A advisory boutique, an aircraft leasing and financing firm, American Express Bank in Bangladesh, 6% of Travelex . . .

Will that have to stop now? Hard to say, indicates Sands, until we know where this month’s events lead. So far the bank has kept it simple. “The core strategy is organic growth, and we only want to do acquisitions that complement organic growth. But acquisitions are like buses, they don’t come in a neat order, I wouldn’t overly extrapolate a pattern.”

That expansion has already doubled operating income since 2002 and nearly trebled headcount to 75,000. It’s also kept the bank ahead of persistent rumours that it was a takeover target of bigger rivals.

So far it’s been achieved without falling victim to the troubles dogging others: lack of liquidity, failure to price properly for risk, overcomplexity. That’s why many feel Standard Chartered could emerge a winner out of this banking mess. Sands says it’s a function of the values that the bank adheres to. “As someone who grew up in a rigorous problem-solving culture I am amazed at how much time I spend worrying about values here, they’re hugely intangible but this is a very values-driven organisation. We want a culture where bad news travels fast, and people feel they own the outcome for the whole bank.”

More than that, his staff want to be a force for good in a difficult world. “They want to deliver shareholder value but they also want to make a positive contribution through what they do as bankers.”

Isn’t that a bit rich in view of Standard Chartered’s involvement in Zimbabwe? Sands doesn’t flinch. “We made a deliberate decision to continue trading there because of our staff and customers. We don’t make money there – in fact we lose it. But who would benefit if we pulled out?”

So does Standard Chartered hold the Mugabe family’s money? For the only time in the interview Sands looks uneasy. He chooses his words carefully.

“We are very careful about our customer base. We have very strict rules in Zimbabwe, as elsewhere, about politically connected persons.”

Sands pulls a face. “Some of these judgments are quite acute,” he says finally. “The important thing is that you don’t make them by default, but that you debate the issues, seek advice from appropriate sources and take a view.”

He likes his bank’s overseas focus - it suits his family’s roots. His father was born in Malaysia, his mother grew up in India. Sands, the second of four children, was educated at a south London comprehensive school, an international school in Canada, and Oxford.

He joined the Foreign Office because he wanted “to do something international”. He left because “it seemed perverse to be in a career where numbers were not very important and languages were. I was good at numbers”. Instead he took a Harkness scholarship to Harvard, then joined McKinsey, specialising in the financial-services and technology sectors.

Standard Chartered was a client. Davies spotted Sands as smart, motivated and very good with people – not always a McKinsey strength. He also had “the energy to travel”, a key requirement in Standard Chartered’s far-flung empire.

Paul Skinner, Rio Tinto chairman and a Standard Chartered nonexecutive since 2003, says Sands now has the potential to be a “world-class” banking leader. “He clearly understands the value drivers in the industry, and he’s prepared to take on alternative points of view, and absorb it in his own thinking.”

And Sands’s nonbanking background may even help in the challenges ahead. No-one knows what changes governments will demand from banks in future. Tighter regulation? Curbs on remuneration?

Sands, whose pay package topped £2m last year, acknowledges that banks now need to tread gently. “Boards will have to think carefully about how packages are structured, and how the right types of behaviour are encouraged and rewarded.”

And pay top bosses less? He shrugs. “If there’s a market rate, and you want someone to do that role, that’s what you end up paying.” But, he adds, you obviously have to debate the effect on society.

A diplomat’s response? He laughs. If shareholders are happy, he says, that’s what counts.

Shareholders at Standard Chartered include the Singapore government’s wealth fund, Temasek, which owns 19%. What are its intentions now?

“That’s up to them,” says Sands coolly. “but they have investments in a range of banks and tend not to get involved.”

Perhaps, like others, they just think the West’s loss will be Standard Chartered’s gain? Sands sighs.

“No-one should underestimate the scale of what’s going on in terms of reshaping the financial system. For anyone to be certain about what’s going to unfold . . .”

He shakes his head. “We’re in uncharted territory.” And then time really is up.

The life of Peter Sands

Born:January 8, 1962
Status:married, four children
School:Crown Woods Comprehensive, Eltham, London, and Pearson College, Vancouver Island, British Columbia
University:Brasenose College, Oxford, and Harvard
First job:trainee at Foreign Office
Pay package:£2.2m
Homes:Highbury in north London and Monmouthshire
Cars:dark-blue Lexus Hybrid
Music:Death Cab For Cutie and The Fratellis
Book:Ice Land by Betsy Tobin
Film:‘Watching any romcom with my three daughters - that’s fun’
Gadgets:Nokia mobile phone and Blackberry - ‘When I can’t find one, I use the other to ring it’
Last holiday:Mongolia

THE Standard Chartered boss wakes at his home in Highbury, north London, before 6.30am. “Normally it’s the dog that wakes me first,” says Peter Sands. He is picked up at 7 and at work in the City by 7.15.

“The first meetings start at 8. My mornings are intense because of the geographic nature of our business and the different time zones. I spend a lot of time on people and culture issues, the key processes, managing performance at the bank and meeting clients and regulators. And I spend about half my time abroad.”

If in London he will have business engagements after work three nights a week. “But I try to keep them under control.”

“ANYTHING I do outside work tends to revolve around my family,” says Peter Sands. “I have four kids, aged 16 to 10, so it’s either helping with homework, playing tennis, or driving down to our cottage in Wales. We spend a lot of time on the M4.”

Sands also has two season tickets at Arsenal, the source of sporting friction with his chairman, Mervyn Davies, a director at Tottenham. “We always enjoy derby days,” says Sands, straight-faced.

He relaxes reading work by his wife, the author Betsy Tobin. “But there isn’t any banking in her books yet - it’s not fruitful enough creatively.”

Have your say

Hi David
Not doing yourself any favours there. Took 11 mins this morning, but if your a PCO Driver that spends his time staring at a sat nav things will always take longer. there is a brilliant way of learning your way around its called the knowledge.

Standard Chartered Bank

David Weetman, London, uk

He is picked up at Highbury @ 7 and at work in the city by 7.15. Oh really? as a private hire driver I would be very interested in his route taken at that time of morning.

davidfranksimpson, Epping,Essex, England

CRM Systems for Serving the Customer as 'King'

CRM is becoming less one-size-fits all and more customized apps and delivery methods to meet specific needs. To that end SugarCRM has come out with the Sugar Data Center Edition, which is comprised of systems management, provisioning and monitoring tools that enable centralized deployment and managing distinct Sugar CRM versions.

The saying "the Customer is King" is no longer just a clich? This time customers really are in charge. The Internet has given them vast powers to research and compare products and services and to spread the word on them, good and bad. Buyers expect you to be at their service at their convenience and when they summon you, which can be through a variety of means, none predictable, you have to be there immediately. They also decide whether, when, and how you can contact them, backed up by stronger laws that could have you punished in the public eye.
Your appeals and past service to these new monarchs mean nothing. If you don't have what they want at the price they wish to pay, you are heaved out of the castle. Yet you'll be invited back should your offering meets their requirements at what they are willing to spend.

So is it worth it to provide royal service via customer relationship management a.k.a. CRM? Obtaining a complete view of customers' interactions and analyzing what they want is a costly proposition. The solutions can cost as much as $1,500 to $2,000 per seat for enterprise customer premises software (CPS). Deployment can take two to three years, with a return on investment (ROI) in as long as three to five years.

Finding customers to have relationships with often requires prospecting, especially in B2B, which can be arduous, time-consuming and sometimes frustrating, but done right is ultimately rewarding. New tools such as Oracle Sales Prospector give salespeople a head start by finding qualified leads faster by identifying what to sell to which potential prospects based on buying patterns of customers with similar attributes. Sales reps are then focused on the best deals that could lead to customer relationships.

Newer hosted or software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions have improved CRM viability as they can be up to 25 percent less expensive than their CPS counterparts, depending on the applications, while their deployments and ROI can be measured in months. The offsets are fewer features and less customization. Even with SaaS CRM still requires a considerable resource commitment.

Not surprisingly, many enterprises are thinking twice about adopting CRM. Dimension Data, a specialist IT services and solution provider, reports that in 1997 39 percent of contact centers said they had a single view of the customer, a key CRM indicator, with 45 percent planning to create it in two years. That has dropped to 34 percent having that view in 2007. (continued...)

There are 8 pages.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

CRM: Who Are Your Most Profitable Customers?

By knowing the answer to that question, you will discover how to multiply your profits. Let me ask you another question, if you knew who they were would spend most time with them? Now be honest, have you ever thought to really look at who your most profitable customers are, what similar characteristics they have, what made them be your best customers.

Because when you know that?it then becomes a lot easier to keep them profitable and happy and to ensure that you have new customers joining this elite group all the time Do the following and guarantee that your profits will increase exponentially.

Depending on the size of your customer base, you can decide on how many you wish to select. For this example, we will look at the top 5.

Without a proper CRM system, this is going to be quite difficult to calculate. If you had an automated system, this would be one of the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) that you would always be looking at. Let's start by looking at your biggest spenders.

You will need to calculate exactly how much profit you get from each of them. You will need to apply some simple accounting rules in relation to fixed and variable costs. To calculate your fixed costs, look at all the items that you spend money on every year. Things like; rent, light, telephone, salary costs, etc. When you have the total, then divide that by the amount of customers you have, and that is the amount you will assign as the fixed cost to each customer.

Now look at the variable costs. This will be made up of cost of goods sold to each. Items such as; material costs, variable manufacturing costs, sales commissions, lead generation costs, service costs, etc. Now apply this to each of your largest customers.

So how much does profit does each generate? Do the same with your 5 smallest customers and the 5 customers in the middle of the revenue ranking.

Have you noticed any interesting trends? Is the percentage of profit consistent? Are the largest customers still your most profitable ones? If like many businesses at this stage, you have not got any clear cut answers, you will need to perform this exercise for your whole base.

OK, let's assume for now that you have finally identified your most profitable customers. You will now need to look at what they have in common. Some suggested commonalities might be as follows:

They are all in the same industry
They have the same size
You have a specific sales or service representative looking after them
They are all in the same area
They buy a specific set of products

Whatever the answer you come up with, you now will have the secret to multiplying your profits. Do the following and guarantee that your profits will increase exponentially.

Spend the most time with them, love them to death

Cross sell to other customers, those products which your most profitable customers buy.

Focus your lead generation efforts on prospects with similar characteristics

Ask each one of them for two referrals, after all, since they are giving you so much profit, they must be happy!

There are many other things you can do to boost your profits with this sort of information, so my key tip to you, is ensure that you get some automated system in place which can answer these questions. What is more, you will guarantee that you repeat success and avoid costly mistakes.

This article was written by Peter Lawless, founder of 3R Sales and Marketing. For previous articles like this, visit 3R's Articles. Alternatively, subscribe to Success our free monthly Information Bulletin with sales and marketing articles.

Things You Need To Know When Switching A Crm

CRM database migration is never an easy undertaking for any company, no matter what its size. Naturally it is always best if you thoroughly evaluate and choose the right application for you first. Then moving to new a customer relationship management application becomes unnecessary. But unforeseen things can happen and making the switch can become something that simply cannot be avoided.

One possible reason could be that your company's needs change. A new manager may recommend a system that he is more familiar with. Or the company may have outgrown the old system, requiring a CRM with greater functionality than the old one can provide.

There are many issues to consider when migrating from one CRM application to another. It is important to ensure that there is not system downtime. This can mean that both systems are running concurrently for a short duration while the switch over is made. The data migration needs to be properly monitored to ensure success with no need for data fixes required.

Even with the best attempts to get everything right you can still run into problems. For example, if you are currently running the latest version of ACT!? software, and you want to switch to another popular application, such as the GoldMine? software, you will discover all manner of difficulties. Transferring the complete calendar, history and customer information across will prove difficult at best, and because of restrictive measures built into the newer versions, impossible in some cases.

Contact management software like ACT!? and GoldMine? are desktop based. But web based systems fare no better in many cases. Extracting the full files with all the history information required, along with calendars and notes for your sales team, may prove equally impossible, or very difficult at least.

After years of using one CRM system, such as the GoldMine? software for example, it is likely that you will have made many customizations that are specific to you and members of the sales team. It may be the case that it is not possible to make the exact same customizations in the new application. Modifying customizations in the new system so that you have something similar to what you had in the old system may not be acceptable.

It is likely that staff members will require some degree of training before they are fully comfortable with using a new customer relationship management system, whether it be ACT!? or GoldMine?, or any of the other applications available. Proper training will reduce the need for tech support. Sometimes the changeover from an old familiar system to a new unfamiliar system needs more training than may be obvious. Old habits can die hard.

On the other hand, if your sales team are totally fed up using an outdated system, they may welcome a new one that has all the bells and whistles they have dreamed about, with open arms. This kind of staff attitude is likely to reduce any training time required.

If the task of database migration from one CRM system to another seems to be just too daunting, there are companies who specialize in these matters. One such company is CRM Switch. Really Simple Systems produce a free online guide outlining the 10 CRM pitfalls to avoid, which may help in getting it right first time.

Syed Ali, is the lead CRM consultant for a Toronto based company. His company offers, GoldMine CRM and ACT! Software CRM Syed can be reached at Tel : (905) 815- 1995 ext 22, email

CRM: Culture or Technology

I was recently asked to present on the impact of technology on sales, has it helped, in what way, or has it had a negative impact?

After examining the issue with some colleagues and experts in the field, it became clear that technology is an enabler, and as such amplifies what is already there, and what is not.

I don't think that that there is anyone in sales today that has not heard of, used or been impacted by a CRM package of one sort or another, be it a simple contact management application with some added functionality, to a top of the line CRM that fully integrate with other enterprise applications. Many companies will tell you of the disasters they have encountered rolling out a CRM, in fact an article in the February 1, 2002 Harvard Business Review: Avoid the Four Perils of CRM, stated that "55% of all CRM projects don't produce results", and went on to say that "According to Bain's 2001 survey of management tools, which tracks corporate use of and satisfaction with management techniques, CRM ranked in the bottom three for satisfaction out of 25 popular tools. In fact, according to last year's survey of 451 senior executives, one in every five users reported that their CRM initiatives not only had failed to deliver profitable growth but also had damaged long-standing customer relationships."

Yet by November 2004, one of the same writers in an article entitled CRM Done Right stated: "Senior executives have become considerably more enthusiastic about CRM. In 2003, Bain & Company's annual Management Tools Survey of 708 global executives found that firms actually began to report increased satisfaction with their CRM investments. In 2001, CRM had ranked near the bottom of a list of 25 possible tools global executives would choose. Two years later, it had moved into the top half. In fact, 82% of surveyed executives said they planned to employ CRM in their companies in 2003-a large jump from the 35% who employed it in 2000."

While the piece went on to suggest a number of factors, we've experienced a number of key things in our work with clients that are worth noting.

First, we very much believe and have seen numerous examples to support the view that Customer Relationship Management is a way of doing business. Most of our successful clients have a consistent view on Customer Relationship Management.

To them CRM is part of their culture, part of their corporate DNA. They see CRM as the proper alignment between software and process to effectively manage their relationships with their customers. The alignment is based on objectives:

Corporate objectives drive the sales organization's objective; which in turn are the foundation for regional/territorial objectives, and client objectives; when properly executed, these objective form the basis for each client/prospect interaction.

It is as much about process as it is about software. If you don't create a balance and alignment between the two, you will fail to manage the relationship with you key customers, and not derive much benefit from your investment. In fact we are working with a company that has spent in excess of $13 million dollars over the last 5 years implementing a CRM software with little tangible results to show in improved sales, increased productivity or understanding of their clients and how to mutually improve their relationship.

A study I read recently showed that over 80% of the CEO's surveyed said their sales organization had a process that was poorly defined or a process that wasn't being followed. A sales process is like a good map or a GPS if you will. Used properly it helps you determine where you are, if you are in heading in the right or wrong direction, also helps you plan what your "next step" should be to get to your destination. A well defined sales process gives a sales organization the same advantage. It should have logical and defined steps that allow both parties to develop a better understanding of each other and a set of questions that help you qualify or "disqualify" an opportunity.

When we meet with a new client we always enquire about their sales process. A VP we recently met responded: "why yes of course, we use XYZ" (name change to protect the innocent, us). Yet he openly admitted that he struggles with forecasting, prospecting, and his people were spending too much time with unproductive activity, in the little activity he was able to glean from the system. (Unfortunately no software will pick up the phone and do a cold call, I'm working on it.)

The clients who do use the software to support their process tell a different story. Activity is focused on the client experience. It is still true that getting new business from an existing client, is much more cost efficient than from new prospects. No I am not saying you should stop prospecting, but don't ignore those that have rewarded you with their business, show them some love, make it easy for them to deal with you, and hard to leave you.

A good CRM (software and process) provides you with a complete view of the client, allowing you to align your resources to best serve them. Reducing service calls, reducing time to respond, reducing the effort to take orders, reducing the cost of sale, increasing their satisfaction level and creating a mutual economical value add relationship.

The data available to you will also help segment your clients better, allowing you to decide where you want to put your focus, and which clients you may want to off load. Remember that some 30% or your lowest margin clients suck over 50% of your resources. A CRM done right can assure that you are retaining the right clients.

CRM system can also break down hierarchical communication barriers allowing everyone, not just sales to focus on the customer relationship, allowing top executive to get involved in meeting client expectation and driving revenue. Of course this will only work where the CRM culture is present. And in many companies that have rolled out the software without the process, with out the training, without the internal value proposition, it is not. As stated earlier it in fact diminishes the client relationship. Many companies are experiencing push back from the front line because they failed to show the ROI to the users. Like the clients sales reps want to know what's in it for them. There is a lot, if there is a supporting process focused on everyone's success, the company, the rep, the client. This can be achieved with a sales process that aligns around key objectives.

One last thing to consider, CRM systems are usually associated with sales organizations. But client satisfaction is the function of the whole organization. A truly successful CRM extends beyond sales to all groups with in a corporation, and as such, a key success factor is the alignment of the sales process with other processes impacting the client relationship.

Tibor Shanto, is a Principal with Renbor Sales Solutions Inc., Renbor Sales Solutions Inc. enables companies achieve sustained growth, by focusing on critical aspects of revenue growth. By recognizing that an outstanding sales force is THE differentiator in today?s environment, our clients with our help, focus on the development of both strategic and tactical initiatives to foster a winning team that will out think, out sell and out perform competitors while consistently gaining market share.

Renbor?s Objective Based Selling (OBS) is a structured approach to delivering ongoing results and improvement by focusing the entire sales organization on a key set of objectives. The overarching objective for any sales organization is to achieve exceptional and sustainable revenue growth. This is accomplished by creating a culture of sales excellence built around the principles and processes adopted by world-class sales organizations.

CRM-Turn Customers to Clients

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is the process of bringing the customer and the company closer together. Estimates show that just 20 percent of customers account for nearly 80 percent of total revenues in some businesses. While getting more customers is critical for the sustenance of any enterprise, optimizing returns by furthering relationships with the existing clients is a key business practice. Barry Stamos, in "Best Customers: More Profitable Relationships" points out, "Why spend resources attracting new customers until optimizing the profitability of your client relationships?"

"Successful CRM is about competing in the relationship dimension" explains Bob Thompson, CEO, CustomerThink Corporation, "Not as an alternative to having a competitive product or reasonable price- but as a differentiator. If your competitors are doing the same thing you are (as they generally are), product and price won't give you a long- term, sustainable competitive advantage. But if you can get an edge based on how customers feel about your company, it's a much stickier--sustainable--relationship over the long haul."

Customers come first in business. Managing relationships with them is very vital. Through cross-selling and up- selling techniques, you can continue to add more leverage to your business. High value referrals from them can also procure endless opportunities. Cutting down time and marketing costs through client network selling, you increase the profitability of your organization. Usually, a 'sale' converts a 'client' to a 'customer'. More and more sale transactions with him make him a client. By then, he has developed a liking for your service and has taken you in his confidence. The first transaction was just not a one-time event; it perpetuated continuing business through credible relationship building with the customer.

CRM has clearly defined roles:

? Focus on the customer and develop sustainable relationship with him.

? Manage the post-sale period well.

? Provide flexibility to your solutions in meeting customer requirements.

? Get qualified referrals for more business expansion within the network.

? Always keep in touch and have an explaining mindset.

Customers bring business. The more healthy relationships you have with them, the more is the value addition to your business. Continuous introspection about the level of service being offered and providing innovative solutions can help you to stay in the front. To quote former New York City mayor, Ed Koch, simply asking clients, "How am I doing?" is a great way to know where you stand. CRM provides you with tools and techniques to help you in nurturing healthy and dynamic client relationships and turning more customers to clients.

T Chakrabarti and his global colleagues write for KPO2INDIA (, a premier Writing and Content Development Farm.

Labels: customer-relationship-management-course, customer-relationship-management-crm, customer-relationship-management-crm-software, customer-relationship-management-crm-system

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

8 Steps to a Successful Marketing Campaign Launch

As I look down the road to the first quarter of 2007, my sights are getting set on developing our first marketing/sales campaign of the year. Creating and launching these campaigns is like dumping out Lego’s on the carpet and selecting which pieces will go into your masterpiece. Here’s where you get to bring together online marketing, print advertising, collateral, lead generation, search engine marketing and even a little database marketing. Its your chance to see what works the best together and what results can be achieved.

In a large corporation, people from multiple groups come together and collaboratively launch an effort such as this. For the small company marketer, much of the responsibility will fall on a much smaller group or maybe even you! To make this seem a little less daunting, I’ve put together some tips that have helped me launch campaigns.

Focus the Campaign: This should be obvious, right? Well, it wasn’t to me when I first developed a campaign. There is a big difference in results when you ask your company’s sales team to call potential customers and say, “This is my company and we can help” versus “We have this product which solves this problem for you in your market”. I find the results are always better when you focus a campaign around a certain vertical or product family. For instance, my first quarter campaign will revolve around a product launch that is tailored towards a single vertical (with big potential, I might add).
Know Your Targeted Audience: Research, research, research. Who is the audience and why do they need what you have to offer? If you can’t answer those two questions, try a different campaign. I do a ton of pre-campaign research with the intention of gathering enough information to present to my company’s sales team. Thus, educating them and empowering them to carry out the campaign. The more they know, the more confident they’ll be in talking about the product on which you’re focusing.
Find the Right Messaging: Through your research, you should have come across enough information to create messaging that will be used across multiple marketing mediums for your campaign. Your messaging should be a strong, concise statement about how your product or service can solve a problem or ease the pain being experienced by your targeted vertical. This main talking point should be your central theme that is used in your collateral, banner ads, white papers, website landing pages, etc.
Find the Right Marketing Mix: Now the fun part. What ingredients will I use in my campaign recipe? This should be a nice mix of online and offline material. Through your research you should have located where your target audience searches for information - trade magazines, online resource centers, eNewsletters, etc. Based on what you find and what your budget is for the campaign, select the avenues in which you’ll get the word out about your product or service.
List or Database: Who is your sales group going to contact? Or, is this purely a marketing campaign with no sales push? Typically, I like to incorporate the sales team - they need to know what your focus is and why you’re planning the campaign. So, let’s put them to work. Do you have enough contacts for them to call in the target audience in your database? If not, look to a partner, such as a magazine, from which to purchase a membership list of some sort. These can make great outbound calling lists for your sales team. (They can also be a bust if you’re not careul, but we’ll cover that in a later post)
Training: Whoever will participate in a calling campaign or be a contact point for an interested customer needs to be trained and briefed on the campaign. There is nothing worse then grabbing a potential customer’s interest and having them meet a brink wall when they call in. Enable your sales and customer service to help close the deal.
Set Your Goals: Why are you doing the campaign? Is it to gain new customers? Is it to boost sales? Branding? Is it to let the marketplace know what you have to offer? Probably all of the above, right? Well, if so, make sure you’ve put some goals in place so you can track success.
Launch and Track: You’ve done the work so now kick-off the campaign and start learning about what worked and what did not. If you’ve run a special promotion, track the effectiveness of the promotion. If you purchased online marketing components, track the customer response via click-throughs, online purchases, or lead generation.
Of course, every company is different and these 8 steps probably don’t work for everyone. But, there are fundamentals and groundwork in what I’ve mentioned that, if followed, will increase the results you see from your marketing and sales campaigns.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

영어공부에 도움이 되는 미국드라마

제가 본 것 중에서 난이도별로 구분해볼게요.

My name is Earl
정말 웃긴 시트콤입니다. 한 에피소드가 20분이에요.
정말 가볍고 편하게 볼 수 있어요~
주인공들이 교육을 많이 받지 못한 사람들이라서;ㅋ
주인공들도 어려운 단어를 몰라서 어려운 단어는 거의 안 나와요.ㅋㅋ
그런데 약간 발음이나 억양이 특이한 캐릭터들도 있어요.
그 사람들 말이 약간 알아듣기 어려울 수도 있지만
웬만하면 다 알아들을 수 있을꺼에요.(어느정도 기본이 있다면ㅋ)
정말 웃겨서 계속 보시게 될꺼에요 ㅋㅋ

Desperate Housewives(위기의 주부들)
3번 질문을 여기서 답할께요 ㅋ
섹스엔더 시티는 중학생이 보긴 좀 그래요.
하지만 위기의 주부들은요, kbs에서 19세로 했지만
전혀 19세까지는 아니에요. 15세면 충분하다고 봅니다.
그리고 기본적으로 아셔야할께요,, 미국하구 우리나라는 문화나 정서가 많이 달라요.
미국드라마는 섹스 얘기가 캐주얼하게 나온다는걸 참고하세요 ㅋ
(드라마마다 다르지만요)
위기의 주부들은요, 발음이 정말 정확해서 좋아요!
딱부러지고 깔끔한 발음 정말 좋습니다 ㅋㅋ
수준은,, 그렇게 어려운 단어는 별로 없어요. 가끔 나오는듯..
일상회화 배우기 정말 좋은 것 같아요.
그리고 엄청 재미있어요 ㅋㅋ
시즌1이 스토리 전개도 깔끔하고 좋고요, 시즌2는 별로고
시즌3은 요새 방영중인데 다시 재미있어졌어요 ㅋㅋ
(시즌이 뭔지 아세요? 미국드라마를 안 보신것 같아 말하자면,
미국은 한 드라마가 가을에 시작해서 다음해 여름 전에 끝나요.
이렇게 1년동안 방영하는게 시즌인데요, 드라마가 재미있으면
계속 제작해서 시즌이 점점 많아지는거죠 ㅋ)

Veronica Mars
자랑하는건 아닌데요;ㅋ 제가 웬만하면 미국드라마를 자막 없봐요..
영어 공부에 도움이 되라고...ㅋ 그런데 위기의 주부들은 발음이 깔끔하고 해서
웬만하면 다 알아듣는데 이 드라마는 그렇게 잘 안되더군요.
비유가 엄청 많아서 그런건지.. (미국드라마를 보다보니 미국인들은
일상생활에서 비유를 많이 한다고 생각하게 됐어요. 한 단어를 써도
사전적 의미와 상황에 따라 비유적인 의미를 동시에 갖고 있는 단어를 종종 쓰더군요ㅋ)
이건 여고생 탐정이야기인데, 엄청 재미있어요.
하지만 자막 없이는 이해하기 어려워요.. 그래서 고급입니다 ㅋ

Arrested Development
이건 우리나라에 많이 안 알려진 시트콤이지만
정말 재미있고요, 제 생각엔 이게 영어공부하기 가장 좋은 것 같아요.
콩가루집안 이야기인데도 상당히 가족적이고요
선정적이거나 폭력적인게 하나도 없어서 우리나라 정서에 거슬리는게 없어요 ㅋ
처음에 주인공이 불쌍해서 답답할 수도 있지만 보다보면 다 좋아집니다 ㅋ
단어도 적당하고 가끔 어려운 말도 나오고요,
발음도 괜찮게 깔끔하고요.. 이게 제일 좋다고 봐요~!

음.. 그리고 수준 정하기 애매하지만..
[중/고급] 정도 되는것들..ㅋ
Gilmore Girls
모녀의 얘기인데요, 재미있고요
이것도 우리나라 정서에 잘 맞는 편이랍니다 ㅋ
편안하고 잔잔하면서 재미있어요.
주인공이 농담을 많이하고 말이 빨라서 조금 어려울 수도 있습니다.
Ally McBeal
변호사 앨리가 사랑을 찾아가는 얘기인데요,,
중간중간 앨리의 코믹한 상상과 여러가지 재미있는 캐릭터들때문에
너무나 웃기고 재미있는 드라마에요 ㅋㅋ
변호사들 얘기라 법률용어가 간간히 많이 나와요.
발음도 좋아요.ㅋ
겉은 법률드라마이지만 전혀 딱딱하지 않고 재미있어요 ㅋ

내용보다는 영어 수준 위주로 설명해봤습니다..
위의 드라마들 모두 15세 정도 되는것들이에요.
아, arrested development 하고 gilmore girls는 12세 정도..

프렌즈는요, 재미있고요, 단어도 적당히 다양하고..
중급정도 되는 드라마같아요.. 사실 영어공부에 도움이 되라고 만드는
미국드라마는 특별히 없으니까요..
보시면서 본인이 단어를 외우려고 하는게 더 중요하다고 봐요 ㅋ

그리고 드라마를 어디서 구하시는지는 모르겠지만
미국드라마 다운받기 쉬운 사이트 알려드릴게요.
여기서 온갖 미국드라마 다 다운받으실수 있어요. 한글자막도 있고요.
미국 쇼 등등까지..
여기서는 미국 드라마 영어자막 받으실 수 있어요
외국사이트라서 가입도 다 영어로 해야합니다

Monday, March 24, 2008

Customer satisfaction falls despite call center efforts

A focus on the customer experience over the past year is probably the cause of a significant drop in customer satisfaction levels in the contact center, according to a report issued this week.
The Global Contact Center Benchmarking report found that customer satisfaction levels dropped from 82% last year to 68%. However, that might be a good thing, according to Cara Diemont, editor of the report.

"We think it's not so much because customers are not happy, but because contact centers are doing a better job of measuring satisfaction," she said. "They're more realistic and better at understanding scores. People are paying more attention to analytics, recorded calls and automated survey options. It's a positive for the industry. It shows they're focusing on the customer experience and doing things that will make a difference."

Conducted by Dimension Data plc, a Hauppauge, N.Y.-based IT services firm, the report surveyed 403 contact centers across the globe. This was the tenth year the organization issued its report and, on top of the drop in satisfaction levels, there were some other major changes from last year.

"There was a big jump, unfortunately downwards, in the rate of first-call resolution," Diemont said. "A lot of people measure first-call resolution as a whole. That takes into account all the transfers, bumping callers from one agent to another or [to another] site."

First-call resolution on an agent level -- that is having the issue resolved by the initial agent -- dropped from 87% to 70% this year.

"While people are focused on first-call resolution, there's been quite a lot of effort to look at it as a whole," Diemont said. "Perhaps the next wave is to concentrate on the once-and-done philosophy. It's important having business rules in place, identifying who the caller is, who the best agent is, and all the routing strategies."

Internet protocol (IP) continues to be a major issue for contact centers as well. More than 60% reported they have IP-based PBX/ACDs, up from 50% last year.

"The path to IP is something contact centers continue to be walking down," Diemont said. "The top reason people give is not actually cost savings, but around the flexibility of their architecture, which says a lot of things about the way they're making decisions. They're probably trying to tie in with a broader enterprise technology strategy."

According to the report, 69% chose IP because of the flexibility of its architecture. In addition, 60% of contact centers have an architecture separate from the wider enterprise.

Staffing rules spending

Yet, for all that spending and experience, staffing continues to claim the lion's share of operational budgets, ranging from a low of 64% in Africa and Asia to a high of 74% in North America.

"At the end of the day, it is your agents who deliver that customer experience, and you need to continue to invest in them," Diemont said. Technology like quality management tools and self-service doesn't account for much of contact center spending, she noted. "The other thing that's interesting about spending patterns is you would think that with staff salaries being such a high percentage of costs, there would be more done around getting the most out of that, but attrition and absenteeism continue to be real problems."

Global agent attrition is at 24%, and in the North American market, that goes as high as 31%.

"You are replacing a quarter of your agent staff every year," Diemont said. "Recruiting costs, the time it takes for a person to become competent can be costly, and that doesn't account for the challenges of customer service. Do people get poorer customer service as a result of this attrition?"

Contact centers have become better about creating career paths for their agents, however, with 51% responding that they've focused on that.

When it comes to metrics, the more strategic types of metrics are not being used, Diemont said. Given the financial metrics, the one measured most is cost per customer per channel, but only 42% say they can measure that, according to the report. Moreover, only 29% measure sales generated per lead from the contact center, and 18% measure contact center profitability.

Some other key stats

Self-service completion rates continued to rise, with 19% compound growth on last year's completion rates.
Non-phone-based interactions constitute 22% of all inbound and outbound contact center contacts. Of those, 49% are Web-based, with the remainder split among email, fax, postal and SMS communications.
Among respondents, 69% of contact centers are recording calls, and 21% are planning to upgrade recording platforms.
Voice and self-service continue to be major areas of focus, with 27% looking to upgrade their interactive voice response systems, 25% planning on installing speech recognition, 19% planning test-to-speech applications, and 13% planning to implement voice authentication/verification applications.,295582,sid11_gci1297124,00.html?Offer=CRint208

Price not the best path to customer satisfaction

Contrary to what some might expect, price is not the biggest concern for online retailers hoping to satisfy their customers.

ForeSee Results, an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based customer satisfaction management company, recently released the results of its annual study of the top 100 online e-retailers. Based on the University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index, the study, which ranked the vendors based on online revenue, found that Netflix, and Amazon do the best job of serving their customers.

But it's not necessarily low prices that make the most difference. There are four key elements of online retail satisfaction: the site experience; the price; merchandise, including availability and product selection; and brand or brand image.

"When we look across the top 100, we see that price, the majority of the time, is the lowest-scoring element," said Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee. "Consumers aren't all that happy with price. The instinct then is, 'I gotta lower my prices. That's where consumers score me the lowest.' "

According to the survey results, however, focusing on lowering prices may not be the best idea.

"Only 5% of the time will improving price have the biggest impact on satisfaction and behavior," Freed said. "A significant majority of the time, site experience or brand image will have the biggest impact on satisfaction and the financial results."

A key to improving that experience is maintaining consistency across channels, and when companies add in different pricing strategies, that only adds another layer of complexity and inconsistency.

"That's a reason for companies to rethink shopping policies," Freed said.

For example, most online retailers charge shipping fees above and beyond the retail price of an item. But the physical stores don't charge real estate costs or the costs of shipping.

One need only look to Best Buy (a laggard in this year's ranking, coming in at the bottom with a score of 71) to see the dangers of inconsistent pricing. The consumer electronics retailer is facing a lawsuit in Connecticut, which is charging that stores in the state attempted to trick customers by displaying one price on online sites and a higher price on look-alike sites at in-store kiosks.

For most site visitors, the Internet is not a purchasing tool but rather a research and marketing tool. Online retail conversion rates average around 3% to 5%, according to Freed. Many people have no intention of making an online purchase, but they will go to the store for the final transaction, or else they plan to make a purchase online at a later point.

The importance of customer satisfaction is even greater for organizations looking to future performance, Freed said.

"We see an incredibly strong causal relationship between satisfaction today and financial performance tomorrow," he said. "Satisfaction today is probably the best lead indicator for a business. We tend to focus on financial metrics -- abandoned carts, sales, top-line growth, bottom-line growth. All of that's obviously important, but that tells people what has happened, not what will happen."

There is an enormous amount of research showing that satisfied customers become loyal customers, which translates to further purchases and better word of mouth.

The results are in

This year's top scorers, Netflix, the online DVD rental service, and, a multi-channel retailer, lead the way with a score of 85 on the 100-point scale. They are followed closely by, a pure online retailer, and the Barnes & Noble Website, a complement to a traditional bricks-and-mortar chain, with a score of 83. Each demonstrates a different business model.

"It's not the business model that puts somebody on top, it's more about business execution, about what customers need and want," Freed said.

The lowest scorers in the top 100 were and, with scores of 67, with a 69, and with a 70

Gartner: Customer service a six-step process

Companies hoping to transform their business into a customer-centric organization need to view customer service not as an event but as a series of interconnected processes, and to make their IT plans accordingly, according to one Gartner analyst.

Customer service progresses through six phases: detection, preparation, transaction, measurement, understanding and improvement, according to a recent research note written by Michael Maoz, vice president and distinguished analyst with the Stamford, Conn.-based research firm. Having someone, or better yet a team of people, take the perspective of customers and their progression through these processes is a difficult but rewarding endeavor.

In fact, the customer experience is beginning to replace CRM in many places. AMR Research, for example, no longer has a CRM research group but studies customer management, and vendors are beginning to position themselves as providing customer experience management technology.

"CRM has been kicked and tossed and beaten; customer experience seems to have better resonance," Maoz said. "You can manage to sub-optimize any one piece of a series of processes and still get it all wrong. What this is talking about is let's look at it a little more from the customer's experience. Let's see how they consider the overall set of experiences."

Companies have been optimizing individual customer contact channels for years and have become adept at serving their customers individually. A customer may get good service on a Web site, then a chat session and finally a phone call, but if he has to repeat information and gets different responses at each channel, the overall experience is broken, Maoz said.

Part of the problem is that segments of the organization have taken responsibility for individual channels. The answer, Maoz suggests, is to form a team focused on the customer that touches all the parts of the organization that a customer touches -- billing, marketing, logistics, call center, partners.

"By taking a holistic approach and creating a customer experience team, you can begin looking at what a customer expects and compare it to a nonlinear or broken set of processes from the inside," Maoz said. "The idea is to change the way organizations are structured."

Another vital part of the customer experience team? Customers. Companies no longer need to rely on focus groups, surveys or follow-up calls. Particularly with large, business-to-consumer organizations, online communities with the participation of the business are providing real insight into processes and performance, he said. Companies such as Hallmark, CharlesSchwabb and HP -- with PhotoSpace, its online community of photo-taking moms -- are doing this right, according to Maoz.

But though the team is important and the concept solid, he said, it takes more than just assembling a group. It needs leadership, and that doesn't necessarily mean giving someone an empty title of chief customer officer.

"If you don't have C-level approval and budget -- meaning [that] you're being measured on it, given a bonus on it, your salary is measured on it -- then it's just lip service," Maoz said. "Generally, someone at the top says, 'Enough talk about this customer experience, our marketing is failing us.'"

It's a vital step because learning from customers and changing processes to serve them means more time and money -- a departure from the traditional focus on efficiencies and quarterly profits.

"You'd be a fool to try and change customer processes at the expense of higher service costs unless you have someone with higher authority," Maoz said.

For many organizations, IT has done as much as it can to optimize channels and purchase hardware and software. When the CFO and CTO of a company get together and decide to put an end to thinking of service as an event, things change.

And things are changing. Companies with lots of customer touch points are evolving to this, Maoz said -- investment banks in particular. Telecoms selling packages instead of bundled minutes, insurance companies, service companies and hotel chains are all getting into it, though it's far from widespread adoption.

"If you look at all businesses, maybe three to five percent truly are engaged in trying to improve the customer experience from a holistic experience," Maoz said. "Most other companies are far away from that."

ATM Machines As A Sales Channel

How many times one has deleted that email offering that free gold credit card or a pre-approved loan? How many times one has curtly disconnected the phone call from another tele-caller with a pre-approved check for that awesome holiday in Hawaii? In a market, where retail banks have exhausted almost all the channels to reach the target customers, ATM machines can be a powerful alternative for cross-selling. ATM machines also provide the opportunity to reach out to the otherwise difficult to reach customers such as expats.

So, how would it work? Almost every bank has pre-approved offers for certain customers. The bank can load the offers for some of the pre-approved customers to the server that interacts with the ATM machines. The moment the ATM recognizes a preapproved customer, it can show her the pre-approved offer through a blinker or an additional screen at the end of the transaction. If the customer is willing to go ahead with the offer, all she needs to do is to press “Y”. The moment she presses “Y”, the bank gets notified and can track the lead through different mechanisms. For example, an SMS can go to the sales manager nearest to that ATM with the customer detail, who can take up the matter further.

Surely, it’s not as easy as it sounds. While the technology for such a process is available in the market, it’s still a challenge to implement it. Prediction accuracy is another big challenge.

· It is not feasible to upload the entire set of pre-approved offers to the server. And hence the need for a model, which can forecast with high accuracy the probability of a customer visiting a cash machine.

· Each ATM screen on an average takes 5-7 seconds, which includes the time taken to interact with the server. So, the time to pitch the offers must be chosen judiciously, especially for locations with long customer queues. But restriction of timing will in turn affect the prediction accuracy.

· The ATM cannot close the sell. The completion of the process depends on further integrations of channels.

Nevertheless, ATMs can still be used as an excellent channel and in the near future itself, with the advent of technology, it can be expected to be one of the primary channels.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Poor surveys result in revenue losses

Businesses could miss out on vital data and potential revenue by conducting poor surveys, according to SPSS.

The leading provider of Predictive Analytics software has identified five ‘survey sins’ – key mistakes that many businesses need to avoid when canvassing customer opinion.

Surveys can be a great way to collect and harness customer feedback – and can lead to increased consumer satisfaction and retention, according to Heena Jethwa, Product Marketing Manager at SPSS. “But poorly designed and implemented surveys can actually do more harm than good, leaving customers bored and confused,” she advises.

The top five survey sins that SPSS identified were as follows:

1. The consumer trap

No matter how much you want your customers to tick the right box, angling questions to trick them – such as a leading question like ‘do you like this beautiful red car?’ - will only corrupt your results. Avoid emotionally-charged words like ’crisis’, ’failure’ or ‘superb’, which elicit more strongly emotional responses. Keep questions simple, clear and fair.

2. The bad, the boring and the ugly

Customers are bombarded with feedback requests. If it is dull and uninspiring, it will be overlooked. Time spent making your survey appealing can impact on the number of participants.

Content is key, but so is presentation. Include colour where possible, but no more than two, and use animations, video or sound files to make an online survey vibrant and engaging.

3. Hit and miss

Surveying customers via one method only – be it web, telephone or paper – may seem like a money-saver, but will ultimately minimise impact.

A variety of surveying methods can help to guarantee a wider demographic: the Internet grows at four to ten per cent year on year, but there are still people who prefer telephone or paper as a means of answering questions.

The wider your data collection and the more choice you give customers, the more valuable and accurate your insight can be.

4. The vague idea

Lacking in clear objectives will affect the effectiveness of your survey and ultimately produce poor results. Keep a clear goal in mind when composing your survey. Make sure you design your research so that it provides you with potential answers to your business problems.

5. Falling at the final hurdle

Confusing or poorly presented data can result in losing your overall message. Having conducted the survey, don’t ruin it by scrimping on reporting. Remember why you conducted the survey in the first place.

Clear, concise information can help to reinforce your argument. Timely results and delivering the data across the enterprise is key – feedback can impact more than one department.

Jethwa added, “It’s surprising that we still see companies making these classic mistakes.

“Given the message that a bad survey can send out, those that continue to produce sub-standard surveys should think about reviewing their strategy.

"The information that can be harnessed by surveying customers effectively can prove vital in making the right business decisions.”