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CRM pros can learn from the Obama birth certificate debate

by Scott Wallask

April 27, 2011

By Scott Wallask, SAP Experts

Perhaps you’ve been following the back-and-forth debate about where President Obama was born. Today the White House released a long-form birth certificate showing Obama indeed came into the world in Hawaii, as he’s long said.

My point in even mentioning this to the SAP CRM audience is that in questioning Obama’s birthplace, you had politicians, would-be candidates, the media, and some members of the general public clamoring for information. It’s not all that different than when customers come forth with unusual requests or complaints through your call center, social sites, or corporate e-mail.

It’s hard to ignore complaints, especially if there is a rising tide of unsettlement. And it doesn’t matter if a customer gripe is legitimate. What matters more is that customer service reps react quickly in a way that portrays a company as thoughtfu l, concerned, and proactive.

The debate over Obama’s birthplace seems silly, as surely someone in an official capacity checked on this information prior to certifying him as a presidential candidate in 2008. But the president probably should have acted quicker rather than let his customers, i.e., every American he represents, grow restless.

Companies should heed this real-life example and nip even strange customer problems rapidly before the resulting weeds grow out of control.

Follow Scott on Twitter @crmpexpert1

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