crm sites galore

CRM is one of those disciplines that many
believe business isn’t using to its full potential. In nutshell it’s about looking after your customers better. That means implementing the use of appropriate technologies and systems to enable more personalised response to your customers’ needs. Over the years however, CRM has also built up vast array of academic, technological and industrial knowledge around its core concept. No matter whether you’re starting out on this CRM thing, or an aged marketing practitioner, good information abounds on this subject on the net.

www.crm-forum.com: plain affair presentation-wise, this site has some great CRM services. The forum provides weekly CRM news service including reports on surveys and assessments, latest CRM placements in the market, products and services as well as alliances and integrations. There’s diary of CRM events, informational resources in the form of library with presentations, case studies, articles, conference and academic papers. All these files can be downloaded once you’ve applied for free individual membership (there is also corporate membership, which entitles further benefits, but this is paid for). Careers opportunities are advertised as well as an opportunity to post resume on the site – anonymously of course. Weekly newsletters can be emailed to your inbox.

www.crmcommunity.com: One of American event-organising company DCI’s community sites, this website aims to “serve as catalyst for exchanging CRM strategy, ideas and definitions” and by all accounts it makes pretty good job of it. As with the crm-forum site, this is visually unappealing site but its information is good. It provides comprehensive management and technical news, weekly newsletters, resource links, expert advice, job openings, discussion groups etc. If you feel like you’ve got something to contribute to the CRM knowledge base you can submit articles for publication also. Membership is free and also gives you discounts on any DCI events. There’s also an expert panel available to whom you can submit any questions you may have about CRM.

www.imarketingnews.com: This is an online newspaper about e-business and internet marketing. Click on the CRM link for stories relating specifically to CRM. One story online the day I searched looked at why CRM is so difficult and what to do about it. There’s weekly online newsletter available relating specifically to CRM. useful site for keeping up with latest CRM initiatives taking place globally in bite-size chunks.

www.crmguru.com: At last CRM site that looks little different and actually contains design aspect. The gurus claim to have the world’s largest online CRM community at 100,000 plus members. The site’s selling point: access to “real CRM gurus, real answers”. Membership is free and gives you access to the site and free newsletter. When you reach the homepage you’ll get chance to download the ‘CRM Solutions Guide’, resource containing independent reviews of 25 top CRM vendors, tips in evaluating and comparing software applications and other goodies. You can also download the ‘CRM Primer’ which contains the fundamentals of CRM presented in 12 articles. There are other useful resources. You can check how customer focused you are on the ‘customer centricity index’, and access features – two recent features looked at ‘Loyalty, Not Exit Barriers’ and ‘Employees Recruitment, Retention and Loyalty’. As one reviewer of the site said: “Whether you’re at the ‘What is CRM?’ stage, or are seasoned marketer looking to implement smart strategic CRM practices, you’ll find the information you need here.” Five out of five, my pick of the CRM sites.

www.crmba.com:This is the homepage for the CRM Benchmarking Association. It’s certainly not so much website as web page, but the benchmarking information it offers access to looks useful. Its mission is to “identify ‘Best in Class’ customer relationship management business processes, which, when implemented, will lead member companies to exceptional performance”. Members pay only if they join specific study and currently membership in CRMBA is free.

www.1to1.com: This site was recommended to me by Marketing Magazine’s editor Ruth Le Pla. It’s the online portal for marketing consultants Don Peppers and Martha Rogers whose focus as the URL implies is on one-to-one marketing. These two live what they preach. On registration you can personalise the type of information you want from the site, and there is plethora of information, features, videos etc that you can access.

www.crmassist.com: Part of the IT Toolbox suite of sites, crmassist provides information and discussion groups about latest CRM technologies and solutions, access to academic and industry papers as well as latest news and CRM events calendar. There’s also range of newsletters relating to different aspects of CRM. Obviously site designed by IT pros as opposed to graphic designers – it’s functional enough but visually unimpressive.

Damon Birchfield is an Auckland-based freelance writer. Email: [email protected]

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