One of the biggest mistakes of many CRM Projects is implementing a Software Technology often without clear goals or well defined business processes. Although CRM Software provides many tools to help you execute your CRM Strategy, implementing a software technology could also result in failure of your CRM Strategy.
The following CRM Consultant Manifesto provides essential truths about CRM which need to be acknowledged and accepted when embarking on our CRM journey for it to be a successful one. We often come across popular statistics of how often CRM projects fail, there are far too many cases of poorly implemented CRM Solutions or CRM Projects requiring to be rescued. As a voice to advocate and increase awareness among CRM Consultants and Organizations to clearly abide to a CRM Manifesto, to put the objectives of CRM before Software & Vendor. Its never too late to do so, and often many organisations adopt the CRM Manifesto after learning the hard way, dont be one of them and enjoy CRM Success early on by adhering to the following CRM Manifesto principles;
- Customer Relationship Management is not a technology or software but a combination of customer facing strategies, business policies and processes to improve relationships with current and prospective customers. CRM is a strategy to help you build genuine relationships with customers and the people who help them feel rewarded for doing business with including employees, partners, suppliers etc
- CRM must manage all the dimensions of the customer relationship, engagement, centricity, service, support, transparency and experience. While contact management may be a function, CRM should consists of at least the three integrated functions of marketing, sales force automation and customer support to support the customer facing life cycle process of marketing to the customer, selling the customer and supporting the customer. CRM that is implemented without considering all organisation departments can result is Silos and Failure of CRM Strategy.
- CRM is a collaborative effort. It requires you to eliminate silos across all your business functions which requires stakeholder management more that it does technology.
- CRM presents an opportunity to streamline your business processes, however CRM requires transparency and willingness for change. Some of the challenges CRM unveils can only be solved through honest communication.
- CRM requires you to understand how relationships work, its patterns of establishment, growth and deterioration. Providing customers the ability to communicate and from channels & devices of their choice gives you a competitive advantage.
- CRM helps to manage the customer and employee interactions consistently adding value to new and existing relationships, managing genuine interactions presents an opportunity.
- CRM is about customers. They should determine if your CRM efforts are successful, not you. Customers do not care about the intricacies of our internal processes, but these back-office processes may impact on our customers’ experience.
- CRM tools are enablers, they help you manage customer relationships with greater efficiency. They do not manage customer relationships for you.
- Automating your business processes will allow to focus on adding value to our customer interactions so customer-facing staff can focus on the customer and not the system.
- CRM adoption and user acceptance plays a crucial role in the Success of your project. Investing in user training as well as keeping users involved in the design & implementation can significant increase user adoption.
- CRM is not always out of the box, and your CRM Consultant should help you understand the investments that make CRM tools work for you.
- CRM is a continuous journey, as customer needs and interactions evolve will require commitment and dedication.
Thanks to JC Quintana for helping put together the CRM Manifesto