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Marketing Software Featured Article

March 24, 2008

Customer Suggestions are the Best Form of Leads for CRM

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Customer relationship management applications can play a critical role in the enterprise as they can integration pertinent information throughout the organization that enables different divisions to work together and to help drive the development of products and services that cater specifically to customer needs.

While complicated systems are often put in place to strategically capture information from customers, other very basic methods are also used to get to the heart of the customers’ needs.

Marc Chesley, VP of Development and Technology for Infusion CRM recently posted a blog where he shared his preference for “old school” methods. He suggests that feature suggestions, defects and change requests are all as good as sales leads.

It was during the inaugural Infusion ICC (Infusion Certified Consultant) training course that Chelsey shared this realization. Everyone attending the course was on par to become a CRM or contact center manager expert and is therefore encouraged to put feature suggestions and change requests on post-it notes.

For Chelsey, these suggestions on how to make the software better are just like sales leads. While he is convinced that the Infusion product is strong and that it offers significant functionality for its customers, he also believes there is a great opportunity to get feedback from all the ICC’s to make Infusion even better and stronger.
“I’m going to take every ‘lead’ and chase it down and close it,” Chelsey noted. “A few months ago our VP of Marketing David William Lee suggested the concept of bugs = leads, and I thank him for the idea.  We are working every day here at Infusion to make the product better and I want to thank all the ICCs for giving me such great “leads” to work with.”

Chelsey recognizes an important opportunity for Infusion. Every suggestion that the company receives is an indication that the software is being used by the company that made the suggestion, yet they desire more. If a specific feature or ability were available, the company would likely be more than willing to pay for that added capability.

Customers are the best source of product information, as well as user preference. All the market research in the world cannot compare in value to the feedback of actual users. Any company that can capture such information and then use it to improve its products or offer plug-ins or enhancements can drive further adoption and additional revenue streams.

At the heart of CRM is the ability to listen to the customer and provide the features and capabilities that they need to maximize their performance. Capitalizing on such opportunities is a surefire method for driving growth.
For more, check out the Marketing Software channel on TMCnet.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMC (News - Alert) and has also written for To see more of her articles, please visit Susan J. Campbell’s columnist page.

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