CRM, as many have noted, is moving on. The first flush of excitement is passing, and most organisations are seriously into implementation and trying to deliver the benefits of their CRM systems.
In many cases, the reality doesn't seem to be living up to the promise. Most organisations claim to be adopting CRM so as to improve the quality of their relationships with their customers in order, of course, to improve profitability. Speak to many customers, and their view is different. Their disillusionment with poor quality service and communication through call centers and the web is growing.
Why this disillusionment? Many reasons and we intend to cover them in detail in the coming weeks. They include:
- Misunderstanding of the fundamental changes CRM introduces
- A focus on ...view middle of the document...
They sometimes become victims of their own success. In the UK this week, IKEA, the Swedish-origin, retail furniture store, which has a fascinating, customer-focused business model, admitted that customers were finding the queues in its stores unacceptably long. It is trying to solve the problem by opening more stores, and keeping existing stores open long. The problems of success!! IKEA make a fascinating case study for CRM, outside the norm. More on IKEA later.
CRM systems are made up of a number of core components, which can be summarised as:
- Customer Knowledge:
- Customer Profitability, Trend Analyses
- Data Mining (segmentation, profiling, propensity modelling, etc)
- Customer Contact: (Marketing, Sales, and Service communications)
- Communication management and coordination
- Communication delivery by delivery
Frequently, there is an imbalance in the effort spent in these different areas, with a significant under-spend in the areas of customer knowledge and communication management. Understanding the customer's needs and potential value is fundamental to delivering the benefits from CRM. Does your project spend much effort in this area?? Again, more later.
As well as the business and systems issues, we think there's a moral (yes, moral!) dimension to the use of CRM techniques. So we're launching a bulletin board this week to let you and your colleagues explore such issues. Make sure you're logged on, and then take the Webboard option of 'Talkshop' option, and take a look at 'The Moral Maze' conference. If there's not much there, then why not contribute yourself.
Enough of our views? What's the experience out in the field? We'd like to hear from you how your project is going. You can use the feedback link from above, or email your comments direct to me, firstname.lastname@example.org