Monday, March 1, 2010

CRM: it still is not a package or cloud Solution!

Effective CRM initiatives have yielded a gold-mine of profits, customer information, and competitive advantage. Yet, even a decade and 1/2 after CRM entered our business vocabulary, fewer companies succeed than fail. The artistry, the magic in successful CRM and Customer Experience Management comes from your company's ability to transform the data into relevant and valuable information, and then to again turn that information into actionable knowledge - again relevant, timely, and of value at each point across the customer corridor - a value that changes with each transaction or touch.

Sadly, many CRM & CEM initiatives have failed to achieve the "results" or the ROI that the sponsoring executives were told to expect. More alarming to me, however, is the fact that Customer Relationship and Customer Experience Management initiatives are believed to be technology plays: technology or package or cloud-computing solutions.

The failure to achieve ROI or to have "expectations" met could in fact be a result of failing to realize that CRM is not a package solution!

Loyalty-based, Customer Relationship Management is a strategy based on customer focus, on customer knowledge, and on delighting the customer. CRM is real-time, actionable, customer knowledge management. The best CRM approaches are holistic, involving all facets of your business and demonstrating accountability for results.
CRM becomes a guiding philosophy and framework for doing business.

Successful CRM practitioners anchor the initiative in their strategy, as well as in their mission, vision and values not in the package, or point-, solution they choose.