Claudia Imhoff wishes to thank Lisa Loftis for her contributions to this month's column.

The popularity of customer relationship management (CRM) is forcing many organizations to jump on the CRM bandwagon whether they want to or not. As more organizations execute customer-focused business strategies, customers themselves become more demanding about the treatment they receive when interacting with these organizations. Sophisticated customers now require consistency of knowledge and treatment across all the points of contact within an organization. Therefore, why is it that many organizations have not managed to develop the 360-degree view of the customer vital to CRM success? The difficulty lies in the combination of several factors: diverse customer information requirements across the business community, past (sometimes substantial) investments in technology and a lack of understanding of how to migrate existing customer systems to quickly and effectively meet business need.

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