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by Janet Zimmer.Alternative versionCustomers and potential customers are coming to businesses through more and different pathways than ever before, using mobile devices and social media sites instead of relying only on the telephone. As a result, many companies are turning to CRM systems that include social media integration. This new CRM is typically called social CRM, or SCRM. To keep pace with changing customer expectations, CRMs must be sensitive to the following issues and tasks in making sure the CRM system is effective and efficient.Increased customer expectations.Customers demand the capability to interact with a company beyond the traditional phone call.Keeping valuable staff.Proper CRM training, support, and state-of-the-art tools to recruit and retain CRM staff should be the focus. An agent needs to know how to handle the various means by which customers interact with the company personnel, and how to use the consumer's information appropriately to solve problems.Privacy.Companies need to foster a strong sense of trust in the relationship if they expect to continue to have customers share data freely.Mining the social media inputs.Social media analytics, the gathering of data from blogs and social media websites for analysis in order to make business decisions, is gaining importance in businesses. This process helps marketers, sales personnel, and contact center agents observe customers' social output and respond accordingly to any talk about their brand.
Cleaning up the data.Incorrect and duplicative data can add wasted time and efforts to the work of call center or sales employees. It also can lead to errors and missed opportunities.Databases and Security IssuesIt is the confidentiality, integrity, and availability (CIA) of the data in a database that need to be protected. Confidentiality can be lost if an unauthorized person gains entry or access to a database, or if a person who is authorized to view selected records in a database accesses other records he or she should not be able to view. If the data is altered by someone who is unauthorized to do so, the result is aloss of data integrity. And if those who need to have access to the database and its services are blocked from doing so, there is a resulting loss of availability.Security of any database is significantly impacted by any one or more of these basic components of CIA being violated. The following is a summary of the most common causes of database breaches.Threatsunauthorized access by insidersincorrect usageunprotected personal hardware collectionstolen laptopsweak authenticationexploiting weaknesses in an operating system or networktheft of database backup tapes or hard drivesVulnerabilitiesdata at rest (unencrypted information) that is passively residing in storagedata in motion, in the course of being electronically transmitted outside the company’s protected networkpoor architecture, in which security was not adequately factored into the design and