Customer Relations Management feels like a very modern element of how to run a successful organisation, but it’s not a new invention.
When the legendary Biddy Baxter started at Blue Peter in 1962, she set up what she called a ‘Correspondence Unit’.
As she explained to Kirsty Young on Desert Island Discs, this unit came about as a result of an experience she had with Enid Blyton.
As a young child, she’d written to the Famous Five author and was hugely excited when she got a letter back in the post.
Naturally, Biddy Baxter replied to Enid Blyton continuing the conversation and was devastated to get an identical reply 3 weeks later.
When she started at Blue Peter, she was determined not to let that happen to any viewer, so they had a rigorous filing system to make sure that they could reference previous letters and/or achievements.
This was, of course, pre-digital so goodness knows what sort of scale this was on – anyone who works in CRM nowadays would probably shiver at the thought of filing and replying to the weekly postbag of 7,000 letters..
It would be unthinkable today not to pay attention to our customers/audience – Biddy Baxter shows how important they’ve always been.