How to Justify CRM Initiatives in a Changing Market
Why Develop a Business Case?
Do I need to create a business case for all projects? No, certainly not. If you spent all your time justifying project costs, it would be difficult to actually complete any of the projects!
Depending on the organization's culture, business cases can be developed only for projects over a certain budget figure, or they can be developed for multiple, shorter-term initiatives. In one financial services organization, every marketing campaign that was executed required a business case to justify the dollars spent toward that program. This structured approach, by default, required the marketing department to project response goals for each campaign, and then compare projected results to actual results once the campaign was completed.
Outline Your Business Case.
Now let's go through a proven six-step outline that can help you get started writing a business case that can be easily tailored to your organization.
1. Current Situation
2. Project Approach and Assumptions
3. Qualitative Projections
4. Quantitative Projections
First, start the business case by identifying the business problem that needs to be solved. How does this problem impact customer interaction with the organization on a daily basis? For an organization taking on a long-term CRM initiative, the most compelling information here may be actual customer experiences about how they were treated, and why they were not able to get their issue resolved in a timely manner. This can be especially powerful when the customer issue is a direct result of current system constraints, and can only be solved through investing in enhanced CRM systems or software.
For example, how many people have called an organization to ask a question, only to be required to enter their customer identification into the phone and then be asked to verbally repeat that same number when the customer service representative receives the call? This is a common problem across many organizations that directly impacts a customer's experience. Typically, this is a result of a system constraint that cannot pass customer information directly to the customer service representative, rather than an intentional process. After several hundred complaint letters about this issue, an organization soon realizes this minor system constraint can negatively impact the customer experience, which can send customers away.