CRM Voyage- In today’s ever-changing, interconnected global economy, CRM is often a hot topic on the corporate agenda. CEOs are demanding more sound, practical approaches to building customer loyalty and lifetime value to maximize company growth, revenues, and profits and to stand apart from the competition. Striving to become a more customer-focused company, many businesses invest in a new CRM system.
As Jack Welch, the former CEO of GE, said,
There are only two sources of Competitive Advantage:
1) The ability to learn more about our customers faster than the competition and
2) The ability to turn that learning into action faster than the competition.
While short-term results and enhancements with CRM are certainly attainable, it is important to keep in mind that investments in CRM systems are strategic and for the long-term. Implementing CRM will directly impact employees, operational processes, and technology now and ongoing.
In other words, CRM is a voyage and a continuous journey.
Roadtrip!…Who’s coming with me?… Shotgun!
I couldn’t resist. It was too easy. Sorry about that. Back to reality…
Prior to implementing a new CRM platform, firms must recognize that the success of CRM does not rest solely on the technology, the core features and functionality, or the bells and whistles. CRM is a business strategy enabled by an underlying technology platform.
A successful CRM strategy starts first with Senior Leadership creating a client-centric organizational culture. Missing, half-hearted, or inconsistent executive sponsorship of this renewed client focus will lead to a breakdown and ultimately a failure in CRM strategic initiatives.
All employees must be motivated to dedicate themselves to client loyalty and satisfaction and be encouraged to develop a more analytical attitude towards examining client behaviors, interests, preferences, and moods. Such a mindset transformation and new-found commitment will result in enhanced client service levels and better use of R&D funding for products and services that are more suitable to meet client needs. Executives must also ensure that the right people with the necessary skill sets are in the right roles with the proper incentives to make employees, the company, and the CRM strategic initiatives successful.