Why Do We Always Debate Successful CRM?
CRM implementation is one of the most challenging types of project that companies deal as part of the business transformation. There are always questions how you can deliver successful CRM projects. Personally, none of the business transformation are easy. However I assume there is some characteristic to consider when it comes to CRM projects. CRM is about how to build a relationship with customers and to secure and maintain the information across organisations to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. CRM does require a steady process, but on the other hand, it does not need the same process to ensure the value chain of the business. For example, when you sell products, you need to take sales orders, pack and ship your product and send an invoice to your customer. Accounting also has to book journal entries to record the business transaction. CRM process does not relate to the core business activities you do every day.
CRM Refers to people
The another aspect of the difficulty is that CRM refers to people. If you do not secure appropriate resources to execute your CRM strategies, most likely you face the challenge. Once I had a client who advised me that the project I was supporting as an external consultant will not be successful because of the person who is trying to lead does not understand the business. Even though you have the person who has the authority as well as the budget to proceed to implement CRM process or system, it was difficult to succeed without a team with the relevant knowledge to improve the overall interaction with the customer.
Now Let’s Ask Experts About Successful CRM
Rather than just sharing my experience, I decided to ask the experts view on what it takes to achieve a successful CRM project. Where did I get experts opinion? Well, I posted a question on CRM Expert group on LinkedIn. There were over 15 specialists in this area to contribute to share their ideas about how to implement a successful CRM project. So today, I would like to summarise and share what the experts pointed out as what are the important factors to achieve the goals of your CRM strategies. I will also add some of my experience of best practices and challenges in CRM projects.
1.Organization and Management Support
One of the important factors that CRM experts pointed out for successful CRM project is that you need to have the buy-in from your organisation and management. How do we get the buy-in from them? First, you need to go to each section and understand their pain points. Then you need a solid CRM strategy and summarise that so you can communicate correctly with the relevant parties. This plan will keep everyone connected to the project and also after the process implementation this is important because CRM is the cross-functional process to integrate our behaviour toward customers. Without the strong buy-in from the management, you will not be able to achieve the goals of CRM strategies.
As CRM is to manage and integrate the information within the organisation, the key consideration point is to design firm process to maintain the information. Each team needs to understand the objective and usage of each information to achieve the goal of CRM strategy. Some organisation may focus more on entry and maintenance while another team will utilise the information to take a particular action. Understanding the objective will help the process designing, and it will motivate the team to stabilise the process to make the process work in the organisation. Process design is also important because many CRM projects focus on system implementation rather than the process. You need to be careful when your team is focused too much towards the technical aspect. Design your process to meet those requirements; then you will move toward to success.
3.Quality Data and Simple System
CRM is about how we integrate information and utilise the information for another purpose. Before we had technologies such as big data, structured data was important to keep the quality. Without quality data, users will not trust and rely on the information in your CRM process. Eventually, they will not utilise the system. You can imagine if you had issues to build a relationship with your customer based on the information that you tried to use in CRM system, will you rely on the information. Of course not. Then you will start blaming other organisations and complain to your boss that the information is not up to date and utilising the information ban cause business risk. To keep up the quality, you will also need simple user interface and flexibility to your CRM system. Straightforward and flexible CRM system allows users to maintain the quality of the data you need in your entire CRM process.
4.Small and Agile
Every business and customers are unique and also the trend of the market will dynamically change. CRM projects are challenging because what customer needs and wants will change during the project. Therefore, do not start with a huge scope. The more business models and organisation you involve, the higher the hurdle will be. Make sure you keep the project small and agile. Take the trail and error approach so that you know what worked and what did not work in your situation. Not all of the success stories will be successful in your case. Therefore make sure you can change directions immediately when things do go the way you intend to go. Also, do not focus only on issues, because there will always be feedbacks. Also, focus on what you have accomplished in your team. Then you can keep them motivated on the steps that you are taking as a whole. This process will continue to think of new ideas within your team.
The last point that the experts said was ROI of the project. CRM alone does not generate revenue. Some cases it is hard to track the relevancy between your CRM activity and business targets. Therefore some users might lose the objective of why CRM activities are important for your company. Give something that makes sense is critical as you grow the number of people involved in your CRM process. Alignment with your business goals and CRM project goal is the base of any CRM goals. You will need to set segmentations of your customer. Make sure that you understand what the users or clients want from your business activity. CRM activities should be transparent and also related to quantitative ROI.
CRM Is Corporate Measure To Lead Successful Customer Experience
CEOs demand CRM activity because they want to have efficient customer experience. Although you may not provide a service, there are so many cases that you have the interface directly with the client. Social media and online contents is a typical example of the interaction with users. CRM has become a vigorous activity in the organisation that now you may not realise you are involved in a CRM activity. Successful CRM is not an easy task for managements to achieve. I believe that as long as you have the correct mindset and to balance these factors in your CRM activity you will be successful.
Last but not least, I would like to appreciate all the CRM experts who contributed to creating this blog post.