Some companies will spend as much as $10 million over the next three years on customer relationship management technology, but they won’t be getting their best return on investment unless they develop multi-channel selling systems, including better utilization of the Internet. "The ultimate goal of CRM investment is building a wall to retain customers," Stephen Diorio, president of IMT Strategies, told attendees during his session, "Building Multi-Channel Selling Systems to Deliver Superior Customer Service" Aug. 28 at DCI’s Customer Relationship Management Conference & Exposition in New York. Diorio says companies should follow these guidelines in building a multi- channel sales and CRM environment:

"Companies that build world class ‘e-care’ systems will have the opportunity to build competitive advantage by delivering customer care proactively and embedding customer care in products themselves," he says. "This will be accomplished by building electronic customer interaction systems that create loyalty, improve product margins and extend customer lifetime value."

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