Ain't No CRM System Gonna Fix THAT

I've often discussed the HUMAN factor of customer relationship management. Sorry to be a Scrooge, but it's time to illustrate a prominent example of the human factor gone bad.

Last night I went to a national retailer at about 9:25 p.m. to pick up an inexpensive toy for a company party I'm attending later today. I picked out a nice race car kind of thing that looked pretty cool to my five year old eyes.

And then I headed to the front counter to check out. I noticed about 15 cashier stations. There was one cashier behind the counter moving at a snail's pace. And there were 10 people in front of me, all of whom had the resigned expressions one would expect to see at a DMV office, but not at a retailer whose TV spots are adorning the airwaves on a regular basis this holiday season.

I waited for nearly 10 minutes. The line literally did not move. The customer dealing with the cashier was expressing an issue that the cashier didn't know how to rectify. I didn't see any other employees in the front of the store. And incidentally, said location was open until 11 p.m. last night. Again, it was about 9:25 p.m. The point here is that it wasn't exactly closing time.

Oracle Penguin.jpg
So I left. And as a result, here is the toy I'm bringing to the party today -- a squishy Oracle Linux 2.0 penguin. Perhaps one kid might like this toy. But in the hands of the wrong child, she or he will bite the head right off of this thing.

The moral of the story? It's showtime, ladies and gentlemen! We've all seen the statistics documenting the large percentage of retail revenues derived during the holiday season. And this particular store really blew it. No CRM system on the planet earth (or even in the cloud, Mr. B.) is going to provide a 'save' here.

What is YOUR organization doing to optimize its customer experience? I'd submit that before you even consider technology that you optimize the human factor (training, scheduling, availability, etc.). Once you've got THAT figured out, then we'd love to have a chat with you. Actually, we have pretty powerful e-learning software that hundreds of thousands of people use every day, but I digress!

Incidentally, the current (December) issue of CRM magazine has one of the best written articles I've ever seen on this topic, OR in their magazine in general. It looks like they're in the process of posting the article online. Once it's 'up' I'll provide a link for you.

Happy Holidays!

P.S. Our blog posting rhythm will indeed be slowing down during the weeks of December 21st and December 28th. But we'll be right back at you in 2010 providing you with positive uplifting information without the 'bah humbug.'

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