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True customer relationship management

So much for the fancy CRM system.

As I was standing in line at the airport gate awaiting check-in, I couldn't help but notice the conversation taking place between the gate agent and the gentleman in front of me in line. The gate agent, unprovoked, said something like "You have some tendonitis problems with your left knee so let's seat you in the aisle seat on the right so you can stretch out that left leg." He confirmed that this was true and completed his check-in, looking very content.

As I sat there thinking about what I would like to optimize for the flight, I also couldn't help but wonder what magnificent extensions to their CRM system the airline was using. What feature would it be that tracked physical ailments of passengers? Was this in the latest release of Siebel? Did they get this data from a third-party source? Did the system simply report the ailment or also suggest remedies like optimal seating? What would it say about me?

I approached the counter and my curiosity having got the best of me, asked the agent about the previous interaction. She simply replied that he was a frequent passenger, having taken this flight every Monday for the past 3 months, and she was a frequent boarding agent for the flight. A couple of months ago he spoke to her about his knee and she remembered and fixed his seating whenever it needed fixing. So much for the fancy CRM system.

The point of this tip is to remind everyone that generating true customer satisfaction comes from more than data. It's an attitude that your company engages in with each customer interaction.

For more information, check out's Best Web Links on CRM Essentials.

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