CRM Best Practices, Top 5 Customer Relationship Management Trends 2016

Customer Relationship Management
Customer Relationship Management (or CRM) is back! What a difference a few years makes. Not too long ago, surveys were reporting that 70-75% of all CRM initiatives failed. That was yesterday. This is today. While CRM implementation results leave a lot to be desired, it is amazing what can happen when institutions go from treating CRM as an ad hoc “skunkwork” operation to treating it as a formally constructed corporate initiative. Don’t say we didn’t tell you so.

The fact that you’re at this site likely means that to CRM or not to CRM is not the question. The question is how to do it effectively? How do you create the strategy/vision, manage expectations, how do you organize around the customer, and how do you implement CRM best practices? The answer to these questions lie not only in the imagination but also in the execution of technology. For this reason, you will find plenty of tech talk on these pages. Don’t shy away from these areas as these issues are well within the marketer’s purview and quite frankly, the devil is in the details. Overall, within this site, we tend not to take an IT-dominant view of CRM but more of a business strategy view of CRM and fit the IT-components into the business strategy. And at other times, we bring it down to the very tactical level.

Before we leave this introduction, we want to echo a point of view by Bryan Pearson of Alliance Data Systems on a subject that has been truly Continue reading “CRM Best Practices, Top 5 Customer Relationship Management Trends 2016”

Customer Relationship Management Applications and Technology

Customer Relationship Management CRM Applications and Technology

According to Barton (2002) there is a dynamic shift in today’s Customer Relationship Management CRM marketplace. He categorizes Customer Relationship Management CRM life cycles into two where he said a close butting head has been taking place. The two life cycles are Client/ Server technology and Web-based, e-customer.

Client/ Server technology lifecycle predominately supports employee-facing CRM systems which are there in helping internal sales, marketing, and customer service personnel. Users of this type of Customer Relationship Management CRM systems may not have their CRM automation software to be web-based from the ground-up (Barton 2002). Example of vendors providing such service is Onyx.

Web-based, e-customer lifecycle is newer to Client /Server technology. This supports more customer-facing Customer Relationship Management CRM systems where customers use the web browsers to access company specific information and services. Barton claims that the increasing availability of these new Web-based tools has helped to accelerate the remarkable growth enjoyed by the Web-based, e-customer lifecycle. Example of Vendors providing this service is Epiphany.

There are various types of CRM solutions which have been shown in figure 2.2 below categorizing these solutions into Continue reading “Customer Relationship Management Applications and Technology”

CRM Measurement Frameworks : Brand-building & Customer equity building

As discussed earlier, how a company measures its CRM activities depends on who is doing the measuring and what activities are being measured. Below are the common CRM measurement frameworks that both experience and literature review suggests:

  1. Brand-building
  2. Customer equity building
    1. Customer behavioral modeling
    2. Customer value management
  3. Customer-facing operations
    1. Marketing operations
    2. Sales force operations
    3. Service center operations
    4. Field service operations
    5. Supply chain and logistic operations
    6. Web site operations
  4. Leading indicator measurement
    1. Balanced scorecards
    2. Customer knowledge management


The goal in brand building is to carefully manage a company’s name, brands, slogans and symbols, otherwise known as brand equity. Continue reading “CRM Measurement Frameworks : Brand-building & Customer equity building”

Existing legal protections

Existing Legal Protections

Even while they lobby for legislation to extend their rights, the big three use an effective mix of existing protections to guard their data and their market share. Most prominently, they use the trifecta of intellectual property rights: copyright, patent and trademark. Among the big three, Thomson has been the most aggressive in using current law. As noted in Appendix C, Thomson has registered over 48,000 trademarks for works and serials. In comparison, Reed Elsevier and Wolters Kluwer combined have registered just over 5,300 trademarks. Appendix B lists patents that Thomson and Reed Elsevier hold; each has attempted to protect the methods they have developed that allow lawyers to quickly find relevant information in their vast databases. Completing the trio of intellectual property rights, the big three publishers all use trademark protection extensively to protect their brands. It is perhaps in Appendix A’s listing of trademarks that the average reader can appreciate the extent to which these three companies so completely dominate the legal publishing market. Nearly all the information a lawyer might need in the normal course of law school and as a practitioner can be found within the big three’s product catalogs.

In addition to using traditional intellectual property rights, the big three employ “click wrap” contracts to lock up their data. For example, to Continue reading “Existing legal protections”

What is a Power of Attorney?

  • Mr. Jones lives alone, has no close family, and is scheduled for major surgery in a few weeks.
  • Ms. Smith has been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Adams will be out of the country for the next 6 months but have a house they need to sell.
  • Ms. Davis is single, runs a successful business, and has no medical or economic concerns.

The answer is yes. They all do. A power of attorney (POA) is a document that allows you to appoint a person or organization to manage your affairs if you become unable to do so. However, all POAs are not created equal. Each type gives your attorney-in-fact (the person who will be making decisions on your behalf) a different level of control.

General Power of Attorney

A general power of attorney gives broad powers to a person or organization (known as an agent or attorney-in-fact) to act in your behalf. These powers include handling financial and business transactions, buying life insurance, settling claims, operating business interests, making gifts, and employing professional help. General power of attorney is an effective tool if you will be out of the country and need someone to handle certain matters, or when you are physically or mentally incapable of managing your affairs. A general power of attorney is often included in an estate plan to make sure someone can handle financial matters.

Special Power of Attorney

You can specify exactly what powers an agent may exercise by signing a special power of attorney. This is often used when one cannot handle certain affairs due to other commitments or health reasons. Selling property (personal and real), managing real estate, collecting debts, and handling business transactions are some of the common matters specified in a special power of attorney document.

Health Care Power of Attorney

A health care power of attorney grants your agent authority to make medical decisions for you if you are unconscious, mentally incompetent, or otherwise unable to make decisions on your own. While not the same thing as a living will, many states allow you to include your preference about being kept on life support. Some states will allow you to combine parts of the health care POA and living will into an advanced health care directive.

Durable Power of Attorney

Suppose you become mentally incompetent due to illness or accident while you have a power of attorney in effect. Will the document remain valid? To safeguard against any problems, you can sign a durable power of attorney. This is simply a general, special, or health care POA that has a durability provision to keep the current power of attorney in effect.

You might also sign a durable power of attorney to prepare for the possibility that you may become mentally incompetent due to illness or injury. Specify in the power of attorney that it cannot go into effect until a doctor certifies you as mentally incompetent. You may name a specific doctor who you wish to determine your competency, or require that two licensed physicians agree on your mental state.

Looking for Mr. Good Agent

Trust is a key factor when choosing an agent for your power of attorney. Whether the agent selected is a friend, relative, organization, or attorney, you need someone who will look out for your best interests, respect your wishes, and won’t abuse the powers granted to him or her.

It is important for an agent to keep accurate records of all transactions done on your behalf and to provide you with periodic updates to keep you informed. If you are unable to review updates yourself, direct your agent to give an account to a third party.

As for legal liability, an agent is held responsible only for intentional misconduct, not for unknowingly doing something wrong. This protection is included in power of attorney documents to encourage people to accept agent responsibilities. Agents are not customarily compensated; most do it for free.

Should you, a friend, or relative suspect wrongdoing on the part of your agent, report the suspected abuse to a law enforcement agency and consult a lawyer.

Can Too Many Agents Spoil the Broth?

While you can appoint multiple agents, decide whether these agents must act jointly or separately in making decisions. Multiple agents can ensure more sound decisions, acting as checks and balances against one another. The downside is that multiple agents can disagree and one person’s schedule can potentially delay important transactions or signings of legal documents.

If you appoint only one agent, have a backup. Agents can fall ill, be injured, or somehow be unable to serve when the time comes. A successor agent takes over power of attorney duties from the original agent, if needed.

Being of Sound Mind. . .

A power of attorney is valid only if you are mentally competent when you sign it and, in some cases, incompetent when it goes into effect. If you think your mental capability may be questioned, have a doctor verify it in writing. If your power of attorney doesn’t specify requirements for determining mental competency, your agent will still need a written doctor’s confirmation of your incompetence in order to do business on your behalf. A court may even be required to decide the competency issue in some circumstances.

Signing, Sealing, and Delivering a Power of Attorney

You must sign and notarize the original power of attorney document, and certify several copies. Banks and other businesses will not allow your agent to act on your behalf unless they receive a certified copy of the power of attorney.

Attorneys are unnecessary to execute a power of attorney. However, it may be wise to consult one for advice about the powers being granted, to provide counsel on your candidate agent, and to make sure your document meets all legal requirements.

Remember, you can revoke a power of attorney at any time. Simply notify your agent in writing and retreive all copies of your power of attorney. Notify any financial institutions and the County Clerk’s office, if applicable, that your agent’s power of attorney has been revoked.

Needing a power of attorney is almost as certain as death and taxes in everyone’s life. Illness, injury, old age, or daily life commitments happen to everyone. It is important to understand what a power of attorney is and how it can assist in taking care of business, even when you can’t. by Beverly Rice

Continue reading “What is a Power of Attorney?”

Law Students Need to Hear about ‘Dark Side’ of Being a Lawyer, says Professor

Studies have shown that lawyers suffer from high rates of depression and suicide. A new paper by a law professor who battled clinical depression says law schools can do a better job of talking to future lawyers about the issue of mental illness within the legal profession.

In an essay forthcoming in the Journal of Legal Education, Charlotte School of Law associate professor Brian Clarke, argues that law schools too often avoid dealing with the “the dark side” of being a lawyer. Having a more candid conversation with students about the challenges of the job can help them meet and overcome them after they graduate, he says.

“Given that today’s depressed law students will, more likely than not, be tomorrow’s depressed lawyers, law schools and the legal professoriate Continue reading “Law Students Need to Hear about ‘Dark Side’ of Being a Lawyer, says Professor”