Nuts & Bolts - CRM: Retrofit CRM for Customer Centricity
Many companies think they already have a customer relationship management system. But what they may have is a product-centric, rather than a customer-centric, system. Meanwhile, what they already have can be retrofitted to perform to today's integrated marketing standards.
"There's lots of add-on technologies around in the market that you can connect in and get those systems to do a better job for you," says Mark Smith, executive vice president of global sales for Britain-based integrated marketing solutions provider Portrait Software.
Even 10-year-old technology, which is what Smith says most companies have, can be adapted through add-ons. But some new technology might need that adaptation, too, he says.
If a company notices that its CRM system is more of a "Rolodex of information" than an insight to its customers, it may be time for change, Smith says.
Smith provides a guide for businesses to determine if they need to add in technology to put the customer in CRM:
1. Diagnose the basics. What sort of data is available about the customers? At the minimum, the system needs to include a customer history.
2. Move on to analytics. Does the system understand customer behavior? Can the system predict customer behavior?
3. Define the experience for the consumer. At the point of contact with the customer, does the CRM system provide guidance for the business? Can analytics be used? Are step-by-step guides available, for instance, to help call-center agents know what to ask "Mark Smith" so customers truly have a one-to-one experience? Often, Smith says, companies without this level of CRM have to rely on their employees to remember hundreds of scenarios and execute their training perfectly—which only somewhere around the top 10 percent of employees do well.