CRM - Beyond the Hooplah (1,414 words)
Companies that buy high dollar/investment CRM systems and hope to "cure cancer" with them, often find themselves questioning and possibly abandoning their approach after seeing outright failure or no immediate ROI. This only perpetuates the general feeling that these systems are over-priced expenditures of much-needed resources that do little to affect day-to-day objectives.
Q: Where should CRM be going?
Mandati: Systems and technology purchases need to focus on the quick wins that CRM can achieve for an organization. CRM must be able to prove its worth by quickly focusing on a problem and then delivering results through implementation. A CRM system must be able to do this quickly, cheaply and efficiently.
Once a few quick wins are realized, aligning your organization behind additional investments becomes easier to sell. Slowly, with CRM, you're able to address managing the consumer relationship, handling different issues step by step rather than all at once.
Joe Rapolla, CRM czar for Venvidi Universal Music Group
This group of eight business units focuses exclusively on uniting its multiple databases under one roof. It's taken more than a year to build consensus and define the business opportunities for its music group.
Q: What is consumer relationship management?
Rapolla: CRM isn't a tool or a technology; it's a business practice that uses technology and requires organizational evolution. It's refining marketing strategies, offerings and interactions based on the consistent consideration and application of intelligence about the consumer and marketplace. CRM means offering consumers products and services with an enlightened degree of confidence, because we know they have an interest in them. It's delivering messages in formats and channels that the customers prefer and are the most efficient ways to reach them. It's getting smarter each time we communicate.
Arthur Hughes, consultant and author of books on CRM