This month's column was contributed by Kim Martin, senior consultant.

Usually, customer relationship management (CRM) equals big money ­ large investments in sophisticated computer systems, consultant fees, analysis and training. However, one of the most important and effective investments does not have to carry a hefty price tag. That investment is the time, effort and commitment to protecting your customers' privacy. While not requiring a significant financial investment, protecting privacy can produce a very high return on investment.

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