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June 30, 2008

The Top Ten CRM Songs Of All Time



By David Sims
TMCnet Contributing Editor


Gooooood morning my friends, welcome to Radio KCRM 98.6, All Lightnin' Hopkins All The Time, and our special countdown today, the Ten Top CRM Songs of All Time! Feel free to point out that "all time" hasn't happened yet if you must, but before you do ponder that for approximately 100,000 people who are going to shuffle off this mortal coil before midnight hey, all time starts today!
 
Getting right underway, then, Number Ten is… John Prine's "Yes I Guess They Oughta Name A Drink After You," because, non-discriminatory friends and prejudiced neighbors, barflies are customers too, and frequently of the most loyal kind:
 
"Sometimes I feel like an awful fool
Spendin' my life on an old bar stool
And yes I guess they oughta name a drink after you."
 
Now what business wouldn't kill to have customers that loyal, so true blue they feel almost the fool?
 
Way to go, John, you made it by the skin of your teeth. Next up, number nine, the White Album Chair of Musicology sponsoring… "Tom's Diner," by Suzanne Vega. How many other first-person stream of consciousness songs written from the specific point of view of the customer do we have out there? Nothin' but crickets chirping in answer to that one as far as yr mst ob't sv't can tell. And such crucial customer insights:
 
"I am waiting at the counter
For the man to pour the coffee
And he fills it only halfway
And before I even argue
He is looking out the window
At somebody coming in."
 
Tom ain't winning the loyalty of his diner customers that way, where I come from we calls that short-sheeting the customer and they. Do. Not. Like. It. Man doesn't even let Ms. Vega register a customer complaint, ignoring her for the sake of a new customer acquisition. Come back this time next year and Tom's Diner will be Mac's Parking Lot sure as I'm not standing up right now.
 
The eight ball of this rack is "Only One To A Customer" by Ol' Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra. If they're only giving one to each customer make mine Sinatra, as the man sings:
 
"Only one to a customer, only one,
One crack at paradise, next to none,
You'll never know the feeling until you spent your life in line,
Only one to your customer, and this time, I got mine."
 
Can we all say "Customer wait time management?" I know I can, some of the lines I've stood in I've been able to learn it in Spanish and Urdu by the time I got up to checkout. And some of those phone wait times, well, let's just say it was a good thing I had my other hand free during all that time. Keep on tellin' it like it is, Frankie.
 
Up to number seven already, and it's Joe Jackson's "I'm The Man." A parenthetical apostrophe to Mr. Jackson, but what the heck ever happened to you, man? One day you're spittin' out prime power pop like this, the next you're thinkin' you're the reincarnation of Cab Calloway or Coleman Hawkins and then you just drop off radar, MIA, stumblin' down the smoke rings of your mind. Let us know when you and Nick Lowe are opening the nostalgia tour for Elvis Costello, huh?
 
But there ain't no denyin' you had us customers pegged, stuck with a pin wrigglin' on the wall all prufrocked out, we do like yo-yos, we do like hula hoops, and as you Mr. Fadmeister told us customers,  
 
"I'll speak to the masses throughout the media
And if you got anything to say to me you can say it with cash
'Cause I got the trash and you got the cash
So baby we should get along fine,
So give me all your money cause I know you think I'm funny
Can't you hear me laughing? Can't you see me smile?"
 
So righteous, man, we love trash, we love throwing away our cash, truly we do, we're customers! Defined by what we buy! Too bad your shelf life's shorter than raw milk's, but hey, that's what the business cycle's for. See you around dude, it's time for Sweet Six…
 
… the newest song on the list, released this January, Raheem DeVaughn's shortly and sweetly titled "Customer." From what dim memories me the DJ can pull up from high school I believe they called this sort of this Al E. Gore:

"Good morning, Good afternoon, Good evening,
Welcome to Love's can I take your order?
You can have it your way…
I'm the catch of the day, your dessert, your meal, your drink
You can find it all in me… you're the customer
If you want me supersized with some loving on the side
Just ask for what you want cause your the customer."
 
Such depth, one needeth a Ph. D. in Piled Higher and Deeper Studies of Pop Culture to discern the intent… dunno, it's escapin' me, but I merely find it noteworthy that the text conflates the advertising campaigns of Burger King and McDonald's in one lyric… my tweed jacket and snifter of cognac, Bentley, there's a good chap…
 
But away from Breakfast At Wimbledon we have The Top Five, the Count 'Em On One Hand, the Best of the Rest, kicking off with The Rolling Stones singing about what every customer wants -- "Satisfaction!"
 
"I can't get no satisfaction
I can't get no satisfaction
'Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can't get no, I can't get no."
 
Whoa, that doesn't sound like a satisfied customer. Lemme check that song title again… oh wouldja lookit that, the full title would appear to be "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction." Somebody tell 'em before they use it for the marketing theme song… four more, and the one on the floor is… The Replacements, with Raheem Redux (News - Alert) Retitled song "Customer."
 
"(I'm in love with the girl who works
at the store where I'm nothing but a ...)
Customer, I'm a customer.

Yeah, can I get change? Where're the Twinkies?
What's on sale? I'm a customer,
I love you."

Now that's what we call employee loyalty contributing to customer loyalty, here's my best Hillary Soul accent: "An' you know what Ah'm talkin' 'bout!" Lose the girl, lose the customer and there goes your steady sales of Twinkies. Keep the employee satisfied, Mr. Convenience Store Owner, and watch that Twinkie revenue trickle down.

Down to the Big Three, the songs that most totally scream "CRM," and this one screams CRM, you scream, I scream, we all scream for Tom Waits's "Ice Cream Man:"
 
"I'll be clickin' by your house about two forty-five
'Cause I'm the ice cream man, I'm a one-man band (yeah)
I'm the ice cream man, honey, I'll be good to you.

See me coming, you ain't got no change
Don't worry baby, it can be arranged:
Show me you can smile, baby just for me

Good to you yeah, good to you yeah, good to you yeah, good to you yeah,
Good to you yeah, good to you, I'll be good to you, I'll be good to you..."
 
Would that all businesses had the same attitude towards fully satisfaction guaranteed or your fifteen minutes back the vendor displays here. Such a better world this would be.
 
The world is a better place already, thanks to the demise of companies into hatin' on the customer, like Republic Airlines. We're not sure if this double-barreled shotgun of a song is what blasted Republic Airlines out of the sky, but I bet if you checked the flaming carcass you'd see a little TomShot in the wing.
 
The way we heard the story, in the 1960s Tom Paxton flew Republic Airlines to a gig and arrived safe and sound, but his guitar didn't, and Republic did not practice appropriate CRM, leaving Tom undelighted, a bad state of affairs for a songwriter of his acidity:
 
"Thank you Republic Airlines for breaking the neck on my guitar…

When you come across an instrument, it's dropped like a stone
May you waken every morning with a new broken bone
Like you broke the neck on my guitar…

May a team of mad flamingo dancers do to your face
What you did to the neck on my guitar.
There could no satisfaction greater than if
you should be the next to go the way of Braniff."
 
And they did, they did. Folks, sometimes you should just settle with the customer, y'know? Especially one with recording tape and audiences at his disposal.
 
And number one, the greatest CRM song of all time, is and could always ever only be…
"Keep The Customer Satisfied," by Simon & Garfunkel. Take it away, boys, all together:
 
"And I'm one step ahead of the shoe shine
Two steps away from the county line
Just trying to keep my customers satisfied,
Satisfied."
 
Because isn't that what we're all about here? Keeping the customer satisfied? Indeed, and it warms the cockles and muscles of my heart just thinkin' about it.
 
So I'm off for a cool one to chill 'em out. This is Radio KCRM, the Pride of Wessex and Yoknapatawpha County over and out, makin' way for Don Imus up next.
 

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