While customer relationship management (CRM) is a popular topic in marketing and data warehousing, within the CRM value set there lies the seeds of a consumer backlash.1 Consumers will eventually figure out what is happening and rebel against the institutions which employ CRM in the wrong way.

Don't get me wrong, some aspects of CRM are just great! When I call my favorite hotel chain, I like that they remember I want a nonsmoking room. I like the fact that I don't have to repeat all my contact information. When I call my preferred airline, I like them to have my seating preferences on the screen as I talk to the CSR. What I don't like is unsolicited phone calls (at any time) because my bank, or some other company they gave my personal information to, is trying to milk me for more revenue. More on that later.

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