Needed A Cultural Change
The "Truth" About Becoming a Customer-driven Company
By Steve Horne
Creating a customer-driven organization starts with believing your customers. To believe them, you have to know who they are. If the data about your customers is bad, your organization won't have an accurate picture of its customers. However, if you know your customer data is good, but it's still not driving change and getting you closer to your customers, it may be because the people in your organization don't believe the data. This is a corporate culture issue.
Approximately 72 percent of all Customer Relationship Management (CRM) programs fail because of the inability to make them work within the minds of the people who use them. Sometimes, systems and technology fail us, but more often it's the inability of people and organizations to change and adapt. Changing corporate culture can be like steering a battleship with an oar. The success or failure of any initiative could depend on an organization's ability to think differently and change based upon believing in the "truth."
Agree on the Facts
If an organization cannot or will not believe in the data, the entire foundation of CRM—which is an information-driven process—is at risk.
To change a company's culture, you need to build a foundation for truth in which everyone agrees the information used to make decisions is good. To reach this truth, there must be a single view of the customer in a comprehensive database, or "reference file," throughout the organization that meets a minimum set of data quality standards and is maintained on a regular basis.
Changing corporate culture requires instilling faith in the philosophy and the systems that are creating the change. This means the database must be as close to reality as physically possible. Data is never 100-percent correct, and can decay as much as 2 percent to 4 percent per month compounded. It's virtually impossible to have every bit of data absolutely correct all the time, but you can agree on a standard that the corporation can accept and work with.