Sviokla’s Context delivers a very insightful article about CRM systems from a vendor-independent viewpoint. Basically, the essence of the argument is that CRM systems should begin by adopting a forward looking approach to customer management that focuses on the potential of customer to deliver new business rather than looking at past performance to provide rewards.
One of the few companies I know that treats customers based on potential is Harrahâ€™s Entertainment. If Harrahâ€™s sees you game at the â€œDiamond Levelâ€ — their highest level of status, they begin to treat you like a Diamond customer right away. They then track your actual behavior to decide whether or not you deserve this high level of status. (I think the time period is six months).