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GLOBAL CRM

Effective customer relationship management (CRM) is the Holy Grail for many companies and often just as elusive. The challenge is simple: Treat each of your customers as though he or she is your only customer. To achieve this goal, companies purchase software from the likes of PeopleSoft, Siebel, and SAP—systems that integrate their sales, marketing, accounting, and customer service databases into one centralized, coordinated tool. If someone calls your customer support line, your support person should know if the caller is a prospect or a client, and, if a client, every detail about that person. CRM software can implement business rules that enable companies to treat their customers with customized levels of service and support, based on factors such as purchasing history, location, and internal goals. Integrating all these separate systems across languages and borders presents a number of challenges and rewards.

First, the rewards. According to Richard Cross, president of the marketing consulting firm Cross World Network (www.crossworldnetwork.com), 3Com saved money and time through its global CRM program. Cross credits 3Com’s investment in a globalized, standardized database that helped it manage relationships across product lines and country borders. This added level of intelligence and integration helped 3Com accomplish the following:


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