Building and keeping relationships with customers is easier said than done, but it is getting easier. A number of e-CRM vendors now offer multivendor point systems, products that can help companies more accurately understand their customers needs.
These new systems integrate front- and back-end operations, gathering customer information from a variety of sources. These systems are fairly expensive and take some time to implement, but eWeek Labs believes companies that use them will see a relatively fast return on investment as long as they maintain good customer service.
Multivendor point access wares are available or on the way from E.piphany Inc., Nortel Networks Ltd., PeopleSoft Inc., Siebel Systems Inc. and Talisma Corp. PeopleSofts and Siebels products are at the high end (and offer more analysis features); E.piphany, Nortel and Talisma are closer to the low end.
Before implementing a multivendor point system, however, eWeek Labs believes companies should take the time to see what will work best in their environments and how long it will take to get an implementation up and running.
E-businesses that can collect data from all touch points (ways of reaching customers) can develop more accurate assessments of customer needs. Any business that uses a call center or customer service department, for example, can harness a multivendor point system to capture, document and integrate customer information for sales, marketing and service—and thus provide a complete e-CRM (customer relationship management) system.
The multitier architectures weve seen include an intuitive user interface, a rich feature set and a robust power client with remote client capabilities, so the same interface is used whether mobile or remote customers use a LAN, a WAN or an Internet connection to a company database.