CRM implementations have historically suffered high failure rates;
largely due to the lack of time spent on developing an overall CRM
strategy. Lack of an enterprise CRM strategy leads to a narrow focus
that fails to tap into the true value of CRM.
Whilst it is easier to blame the software, in most cases the failure
stemmed from poor project leadership rather than poor software implementation.
CRM must be considered from both a strategic and operational value.
There are many varying perspectives on CRM ; each of which tend
to make sense in their own right. For example:
In sales terms, CRM is about contact management – an operational
tool purely for internal purposes to manage a sales pipeline.
In marketing terms, CRM is about understanding customers and aligning
all customer facing messages and goals. If there is a lack of understanding
about ‘customer’ then a CRM strategy will also be lacking.
In support terms, CRM is about managing support cases, escalations
Whilst each are customer facing they vary significantly in the degree
of focus on the customer and the depth of customer understanding
needed or gained.
CRM must be considered a single capability that supports the customer
at all touch points with the business. Its core value is in acting
as a central repository for all transactions with the customer –
marketing, sales and support so that a total unique view of the
customer can be maintained right across the organisation.
Each iteration of CRM must demonstrate its value to the corporate
strategic objectives, which in turn contributes to the bottom line
through increasing customer loyalty and profitability. The CRM vision
must be closely aligned with the corporate vision and not just be
about adopting new software tools and business processes.
You have a choice – either succeed in your CRM strategy
or fail in your delivery.
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