Here are several excerpts from an article from Baseline Consulting’s Jill Dyche, CRM’s Hard Lessons. Be sure to check out @jilldyche ‘s complete source article for more on each of five best practice habits of savvy business owners of customer-focused programs:
When I wrote The CRM Handbook: A Business Guide to CRM in 2002, companies were spending tens of millions of dollars on CRM software, but industry analysts were predicting that 80 percent of CRM projects would fail.
The mistakes and pitfalls of CRM’s early days are now legendary. Companies rushed to embrace CRM technologies, only to discover that automation couldn’t fix broken business processes, absent strategies or bad data.
Consultants keen on helping beleaguered companies get back on track proselytized the importance of change management to CRM initiatives, but that didn’t stick. As executives continued to aim their silver-bullet technologies toward the customer experience, they remained mired in incumbent business processes and traditional success metrics.
Everyone wanted to participate in vendor evaluation, but no one wanted to own the streamlining of order-to-cash processes or new measurements for customer satisfaction. Despite millions of dollars spent on CRM technologies, it really was business as usual.
Most executives now admit that they were ill-equipped to launch their CRM efforts. Hopes for automating customer-facing business processes and achieving the celebrated “single view of the customer” were dashed as sales, marketing and customer service executives came to terms with the fact that CRM was more than just a technology solution.
New Best Practices
Today, however, new corporate strategies are resuscitating the need for deliberate and sustained customer management. Is your company ready for the next wave of CRM?
Smart executives are heeding the lessons of firms that have gone before them. They’re aligning CRM efforts to corporate strategies and forgoing technology investments until their road maps are in place. They’re forging partnerships with consulting firms that have structured delivery approaches. They’re being deliberate about incremental deployment, and are keeping the customer top-of-mind every step of the way.
Here are five habits followed by savvy business owners of customer-focused programs:
1. Don’t call it “CRM.” The term is fraught with baggage. Customer initiatives are now business-owned and branded.
2. Remember your business model.
3. Keep social media in perspective.
4. Consider the cloud.
5. Don’t forget about the data.