With the exploding number of modes of communication channels, do you understand how and how often your customers are being contacted? Marketing departments do a pretty good job of tracking prospects via website hits, webinars, & conferences...and CRM systems track communications that employees choose to synch with them, but that has pretty high overhead so it is likely that only formal correspondence gets tracked. But what about IM, what about Facebook, what about blogs & comments, what about Twitter, what about LinkedIn? What about all those short calls and emails that collectively demonstrate a close relationship but individually are not worth registering?
Increasingly the customers that your employees have the closest relationship with are 'unseen' by the company because they cross-over between business and personal and the communications happen outside of the formal channels... and that should be encouraged, but you should also know about it as it represents both opportunity and risk to your business.
The other issue is that people are increasingly overwhelmed with all the channels of communications available and it is left largely to individuals to decide for themselves how to interact with business partners. But how people choose to interact may have significant implications for how the relationship develops and then is maintained. And what if your marketing, sales, and support organizations are all choosing different methods? That then makes customers have dramatically different experiences across their lifetime with your company...which is a huge risk because if they are given communications (and therefore relationship) expectations by marketing that are not played out once they are customers, they will likely be unhappy.
The question I have for companies is: Do your communications with various constituent bases align with your business strategy? Do you formally train or encourage employees to interact is specific ways with specific audiences...or are you just scrambling to try to use everything available without much thought as to whether that really supports your strategy? Twitter is not for everyone...but neither is email. It all depends what kind of relationship you need to achieve your business goals.
Think about it...and then figure out whether the communications that are happening really supports your strategy. Social network analysis and other tools can help figure out what is happening in your company today - and give you a good idea of what might need to be better aligned. This is particularly critical if you are restructuring and reorganizing as customers often are often the unintended victims of upheaval.