“Customer experience is constantly evolving. It’s not enough to be first, you also have to consistently be the best. While we’re proud of our record of accomplishment, we’re always looking ahead to what’s next". Sheri Greenhaus, MP, CRMXchange.
Sarasota, Florida (PRWEB) December 14, 2015
When CRMXchange (initially known as The Tele-M@rket) came online in 1995, dawn had barely broken in the public awakening to the value of the Internet as a communication tool. A media service that provided strategic guidance, new product information and best practices entirely over the worldwide web was an unfamiliar concept, even in an evolving industry that was increasingly relying on emerging technology to improve customer service. Now, as 2016 is about to begin, CRMXchange stands tall as a pioneer with a successful 20-year history of keeping contact center, CRM and customer experience professionals on top of the latest developments and giving solution providers a powerful forum to deliver their message.
“In our first ‘Great Debate’ (a roundtable webcast format where companies offered their perspectives on industry issues, we had Rocky-type graphics and used bulletin board software. We typed in the question and each company had to type the response,” recalls Sheri Greenhaus, Managing Partner and co-founder of CRMXchange. “Since many of our readers still didn’t even have email, we faxed directions that everyone had to click their enter key every 5 minutes. It was like watching grass grow, but it made for a great transcript.” Interactive Intelligence was a participant in this first debate.
“When we started, most companies did not have web pages,” said Greenhaus. “We would build what would amount to two printed pages for each sponsor and list those pages in Yahoo ( there was no Google yet). We had an arrangement with Yahoo to have those pages on the first page of search. We placed content on the pages and staged contests. People had to go through the pages to find answers. The first winner received a big TV.”
“TheTele-Market” was the bold brainchild of Greenhaus, then a long-time executive and consultant who started at Dun & Bradstreet and had deep involvement in every phase of contact center management and Larry Matte, a multi-faceted executive who became Senior Director of Marketing at The Ultimate Corp, an early innovator in the use of telemarketing for vertical market lead generation. The two met during a joint stint at CRC Information Systems when they became aware of the growing interest among their clients in the possibilities of the Internet as a marketing force. To provide added industry credibility, the new partners entered into a joint venture with Teleprofessional magazine, then a leading print publication before launching their new site.
As online technology evolved and the founders’ knowledge of the needs of their audience continued to grow, the site became the first the first to offer such now commonplace programs as webcasts, roundtables and virtual conferences. “We helped to guide the transition of our industry from its initial emphasis on outbound telemarketing to its far more universal focus on delivering a consistently superior customer experience,” said Greenhaus. “When we started there were rudimentary call centers but no true contact centers nor did organizations have the sophisticated CRM options that are their command today.”
Not everything they tried was an immediate success. In an effort to make the site more ‘sticky’ to readers, Greenhaus and Matte remember implementing an online dramatic device they called ‘As the Telemarket Turns.’ “We created characters and set the stage in a call center,” said Matte. “We then asked our readers to contribute to the story. We got lot of colorful responses from writers but little of the participation from the contact center professionals we hoped to generate.”
Even the inception of Virtual Conferences…online events that now deliver the in-depth education, industry excitement and new product information of a live conference without the conference fees, travel costs and time away from the office… proved to be a learning experience. “Our first virtual conference was in 2005. It was IP (Internet Protocol) for the Contact Center and we charged end users, said Greenhaus. “We realized two things – at the time, nobody in the contact center really knew what IP was. And while we had over 300 paid registrants, we immediately recognized that the event would provide a much greater service to companies in the industry if the education program was presented at no cost.
CRMXchange now offers three Virtual Conferences each year: “Shaping the Journey of the Connected Customer” in March, “Best Practices in Quality Assurance and Analytics” in June in conjunction with the Quality Assurance and Training Connection (QATC) and “Best Practices in Workforce Management and Performance Optimization in November in conjunction with the Society of Workforce Planning Professionals (SWPP). Each virtual conference consistently draws between 900 and 1400 participants from all over the globe and generates substantial quantities of qualified leads to sponsors.
“Customer experience is constantly evolving marketplace where it’s not enough to simply be first, you also have to consistently be the best. While we’re proud of our record of accomplishment, we’re always looking ahead to what’s next,” said Greenhaus. “Over the past few years, we’ve introduced successful new webcast formats, such as information roundtables and Tech Tank demo sessions. We also give solution providers the opportunity to demonstrate their most exciting applications in our Technology Innovation Showcase webcasts. We’ll continue to keep an ear to the ground and make the needs our subscribers and sponsors our first priority.”
For more information, visit CRMXchange.com or call 941-702-8389