IT Leaders Debate CRM Issues

During a CIO Executive Exchange panel discussion, "Customer Service in the E-business World," held by Candle Corporation, five e-business leaders revealed strategies for using today's monitoring and measurement tools to increase customer service. Speaking to over 100 of the world's foremost CIOs, featured panelists shared insights on how speed, performance and customer satisfaction drive e-business.

Each of the panelists illustrated his e-commerce strategies for satisfying customer demand, highlighting the following:

Tom Kasper, Convergys: "Convergys gives its customers the capability to view reports that track system response time metrics. These customers have real-time, read-only access to the same data that Convergys sees. Once the services were in place, the customer's internal IT organizations have moved rapidly to solidify contracts with Convergys."

Tim Wilson, Digital Island: "It's important to provide ease of access to information, and to partner with companies who understand how to transform disparate content while making the infrastructure disappear. When working with partners that take on part of your Web site, you need to define accountability up front."

Ken Harvey, Household International: "Monitoring financial transactions is critical to Household International. As a result of purchasing response time products, Household's system performance level has improved dramatically. Further exploring customer satisfaction, Household intends to incorporate customer resource management (CRM) software into its system."

Paul Rajewski, Jewelry.com: "Setting out to overcome customer satisfaction problems, Jewelry.com moved its product images from its servers onto the Digital Island Sand Piper network, in addition to moving the database systems closer to its Internet backbone. The result increased system response time significantly. Jewelry.com went further by deploying a performance monitoring system. The benefit of such a system is that you actually know what your customers are feeling."

Brian Lawton, OfficeMax.com: "OfficeMax.com sees ease of site navigation and Web site response time as crucial. A customer will typically click away after eight to 10 seconds of delay. The benefit of employing a performance monitoring system is that it allows you not only to get the site metrics, but also lets you put in place a strategic growth plan. A site must also have a support infrastructure to address every customer need. Such capabilities help to meet all our customer's demands."

The panelists emphasized the importance of achieving greater intimacy with their customers by understanding their end-user experience when visiting the Web site. According to Lawton, the keys to creating this intimacy are developing one-to-one relationships with the customers through site personalization, enabling easier navigation through the site, maintaining the highest levels of site performance and providing personal customer support.