Successful CRM - do you think the industry gets a 'pass' or 'fail'?

Talking about Customers

Read about the world of customer experiences and the enablement of Sage CRM within organisations from David Beard, CRM Principal at Sage CRM.

Successful CRM - do you think the industry gets a 'pass' or 'fail'?

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I think we, as consumers in our own right & employees working in business, would agree that managing customer relationships over a period of time, creates mutually beneficial relationships for all parties.

Building longer relationships enables companies to deepen their understanding about customers - what they want - through on-going interactions, deeper knowledge & buying history. Once you deepen understanding, you can help "add value" to a customer's business - being a supplier that "gets them" - knowing what is important, when it's important, and becoming a part of their ecosystem. Essentially moving beyond the basics of supply & payment.

What about when it doesn't work so well? 

Perhaps when the value isn't additive? Or, worse still, is subtractive to a relationship?

We have all seen, heard or (in some cases) been part of a transaction where the relationships have soured. Perhaps goods were incorrectly supplied & the issue is not really dealt with. Perhaps deals for new customers are actually better than deals in place for long standing customers.  And, at their very worst, situations may get so out of hand that it contributes to "reversals in relationship" for both parties.

Is this reversal the result of a one-off transactional failure or a larger, more ominous, failure in CRM strategy? Some people talk of CRM projects failing inside a business - can these be attributed to a lack of clarity as to what a CRM initiative SHOULD and SHOULD NOT be, a failure by the business to adapt to the initiative's scope or, more prosaically, people just "getting stuff wrong", one transaction at a time?

I'd welcome your thoughts and, I hope, an on-going debate for the betterment of everyone's CRM thinking.

  • In regards to CRM failure to gain traction within a business, I believe that success requires CRM to be seen as a strategy that extends beyond a piece of software.  The difficulty arises when you try to determine the area of a company that should be the "owner" of the CRM strategy.  I've seen companies struggle with this, as the debate around the "best" person or department drags on.  In truth, the CRM strategy must sit above departments, above compartmentalization.  If management does not embrace this concept from the start, it can be very difficult to determine project "ownership" and spread the concepts throughout the organization, leading to a less-than-successful endeavor.

  • Thanks, Matthew, for the comment - you might also want to follow another discussion unfolding on our LinkedIn Group -