Gartner was to industry analysts what Microsoft is to desktop computing and WalMart to retail shopping: the giant you couldn’t afford to ignore. Especially during the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) boom they we riding high on their reputation as the definitive source of analysis, the gold standard as it were. The boom ended perhaps four years ago, so it is heartening to know that Gartner is still leading the best practice in this area. Leading by example and showing how not to do it.
For another company I have to figure out what a Gartner subscription is these days. So I log on to the web site and find the form for just this. I leave a detailed message, mentioning that it is a UK company and requesting that they call me on my mobile.
They call me on the office number. Hint: I’m a consultant. I told you I’m a consultant. Consultants are never in the office. That’s why I gave you my mobile. They leave a message and a number.
I called Gartner on the (US!) number they had left. “Your call is important to us….” Yeah, right. I used to build call centers. Waited some time, got a voice mail. I left my mobile number (again). Made some tea. Waited. Drank some tea. Waited. Forgot everything about Gartner. Nice tea.
Gartner called me back. Turned out to be some clueless guy in an Indian call center who didn’t have my details or any information from my request, and who barely spoke English. They have CRM down to a “T”. I’m excited.
Subscriptions are in the $18,000 - $35,000 range, but Mr. Clueless couldn’t tell me what you get for the money or what the differences are in the two ends of the range. I think this is a good use of my time.
I asked for somebody clue-full to call me back. He seemed reluctant, but after some persuasion took my details and promised to pass them on. “We will get back to you in 24-48 hours,” he said. That’s what they told me last time and it took them well over a week. I can’t wait. Will I be able to sleep tonight?
Predictions (this will only make sense to people who have read Gartner reports):
Gartner doesn’t know anything about customer management: 0.9 probability
Gartner will continue to struggle to win and retain new customers: 0.7 probability.
I will end up buying a subscription from Gartner: you tell me…