Investment in people is CRM

I could not agree more with your leader article in last week’s issue, (MW September 28). At last somebody has spotted that CRM is really a modern day version of the Emperor’s New Clothes. The concept of customer-centric marketing is laudable and if we are honest with ourselves is what marketing has been about since it was first practised.

Where I believe companies have got it wrong is in thinking that technology alone is the answer to being customer focused. It does intrigue me that intelligent people are happy to spend millions on software, but quibble over resourcing their call centres properly. What needs to be understood is that there is a more important component in keeping customers coming back for more.

When customers cannot get through to say a bank it is the poor call centre agent that gets held responsible. However it is really the managers of the banks who are truly to blame because they are the ones who have spent so much money on technology that they can’t afford to put enough people on the phones to answer the calls.

Now that we have recognised that technology is not the magic solution as first thought, perhaps we can move on to investing more in the people that actually deliver customer relationship management?

Martin Williams

Marketing director

The Listening Company

Richmond upon Thames

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