ZIFFPAGE TITLEWho Ordered the Special

By John Moore  |  Posted 2005-05-23 Print this article Print

Call 2005 the year of the add-on for customer relationship management.


Who Ordered the Special?

IHOP now plans to provide its restaurant operators with a similar view—a sharp departure from current practice. Today, IHOP runs a slew of manual reports and provides very little analysis to its franchisees, Piccininno says.

IHOP will test its portal, now under construction, with a group of franchisees in October, with a systemwide launch slated for early 2006. Piccininno says franchisees will be able to view guest information gathered via the call center, including analysis of customer trends such as which new entrees are selling well on the weekend.

That will let restaurant managers obtain "direct and timely feedback on how operational changes and marketing campaigns are affecting sales performance and customer satisfaction," notes Jeff Valine, IHOP's manager of information technology applications and business analysis.

The add-on trend also rings true for companies running outsourced customer relationship management applications. Musical instrument maker Yamaha Corp. of America has entered its second year using Salesforce.com's hosted offering, and is providing new features branching off the core application. For example, Yamaha salespeople can now schedule online meetings hosted by WebEx Communications directly from Salesforce.com's calendar, says David Bergstrom, corporate planning manager at the Buena Park, Calif., company.

Yamaha also plans to deploy Salesforce.com's asset management feature this year. Warranties on items such as grand pianos transfer with ownership, so the company must track assets as well as customer contacts, Bergstrom explains. And, in another extension, Yamaha plans to introduce a portal this year that will let dealers check inventory, place orders and track delivery schedules electronically, in addition to receiving paper copies in the mail.

John writes the Contract Watch column and his own column for the Channel Insider.

John has covered the information-technology industry for 15 years, focusing on government issues, systems integrators, resellers and channel activities. Prior to working with Channel Insider, he was an editor at Smart Partner, and a department editor at Federal Computer Week, a newspaper covering federal information technology. At Federal Computer Week, John covered federal contractors and compiled the publication's annual ranking of the market's top 25 integrators. John also was a senior editor in the Washington, D.C., bureau of Computer Systems News.


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