CRM Software

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Many companies have made significant investments in customer-relationship-management technologies, but there is a growing sense that much of this investment has been misguided or even wasted. Most finance executives agree that their companies need to continue to invest in these technologies, but they are insisting on a disciplined approach to evaluate investment options and to measure these initiatives as they proceed.

''Customer segmentation'' is one approach that is paying off. In our feature story, "CRM, As You Like It," contributing editor Russ Banham examines how the financial-services industry is leading the way in identifying distinct segments of more-valuable and less-valuable customers, then assigning the appropriate resources to each, to build revenue and lower expenses. One credit union grew so quickly that it re-chartered as a community bank, reflecting its greatly expanded customer base. Another bank is spending much more time advising (and cross-selling) high-end customers, yet it's keeping headcount low by steering other customers toward its Web-based service system.

You'll also find an extensive guide to CRM providers; a Web directory of associations, consultants, and other useful tools and resources; an interactive quiz that asks you, "Where's the ROI?"; and a selection of recommended reading from the CFO.com library of articles on CRM.

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