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Special report: CRM Association: Where CRM practitioners unite

The SearchCRM.com editorial team traveled to Atlanta for the CRM Association's first conference. The conference featured industry leaders speaking on CRM strategy and trends. The CRM market is growing and evolving, and one thing was clear throughout the two-day event: Businesses must focus on their customers' experiences to ensure success in a Web 2.0 world. Read the highlights and learn more about the CRMA in this special report.

  Highlights from the CRMA conference  

The SearchCRM.com editorial team traveled to Atlanta for the CRM Association's first conference. The conference featured industry leaders speaking on CRM strategy and trends. The CRM market is growing and evolving, and one thing was clear throughout the two-day event: Businesses must focus on their customers' experiences to ensure success in a Web 2.0 world.

  • Gartner analyst: CRM implementation is never done: During an interview in Atlanta, SearchCRM.com editors asked Gareth Herschel, research director at Gartner Inc., for his take on ensuring CRM success post-implementation.

    Gareth Herschel, Research Director, Gartner

    Here's a sample of his CRM implementation advice:

    SearchCRM.com: How can CRM training pre- and post-implementation help ensure end user adoption? Are there any secrets or tricks to get users on board?

    Gareth Herschel: If you're relying on training after a CRM implementation, it's too late. The most important thing is to have people want to use the system. By setting metrics and incentives, you can help your employees understand that CRM makes their jobs easier. Also keep in mind that every organization is different, so there are no tricks that will work for every organization. You have to tailor your "marketing campaign" for CRM to the needs of your users...

    Read the rest of the interview here: Gartner analyst: CRM implementation is never done

  • Improving the customer experience: Call centers making an emotional connection: Call centers are seeking to improve the customer experience by identifying and measuring customer emotions. In a panel at the CRMA conference, call center practitioners and consultants sounded off with advice on how to make effective customer connections.

    Here's a sample of the advice from the panel:

    Panelist Dann Allen, vice president of business development at Beyond Philosophy, thinks that businesses need a new approach to building loyalty during the customer experience.

    "Companies want to improve customer loyalty. But think about what customers want," he said. "They don't really want you to improve their customer loyalty. What they actually want you to do is understand their emotional needs and expectations."

    Lior Arussy, president of Strativity Group Inc., agreed. "If you measure emotion, you can understand the customer," he said. Arussy sees measuring customer emotion as a new, but growing, trend.

    "The whole business is in its infancy," he said. "The next differentiating factor [for improving the customer experience] is the ability to connect with customers on an emotional level" ...

    Read the rest of the article here: Call centers making an emotional connection.

  More resources from the CRMA  

Editor's note: The CRM Association represents the customer relationship management (CRM) industry as a purveyor of knowledge and information, training and education. The CRM Assocation provides members with tools and resources to help CRM practitioners optimize the sales, marketing and customer service departments in their organizations, with the overall goal of improving the customer experience.

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