The goal of customer relationship management is to take the most appropriate action in a given situation. Often this involves selecting the best marketing message, but such a selection involves a prior choice of whether to deliver a marketing message at all. The choice is explicit in outbound situations such as e-mail or telemarketing, where there is a decision whether or not to contact a customer. A similar decision is made during inbound activities such as a customer service call or even a Web site visit, where there is a choice whether to try to sell something during the course of the interaction. In both outbound and inbound situations, companies may wish to limit the number of marketing messages they send to their customers in order to preserve good will.

The easiest way to implement contact limits is by building them into decision rule inclusion or exclusion conditions. This approach is available in nearly any customer management system, provided the contact limit itself can be expressed in a standard query and the past contact history is available. However, it is problematic in systems where queries cannot be shared since the contact limit would have to be recreated each time a new decision rule is set up. This yields considerable danger that different users would implement the limit in different ways and gives no simple way to check for consistency. It also means that any global change requires modifying each existing rule separately to conform to the new policy.

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