The Quest for ROI A Case for Mandatory Customer 'Return' Manag
By Richard Hochhauser
Customer relationship management (CRM) is relevant and sticking. What's more, it's big.
All the same, the CRM star is not shining brightly. The industry has disappointing revenue, disappointing earnings and a disappearance of funding that was a research and development engine.
So what's the prognosis for CRM? I believe we're undergoing a temporary blip. After all, the fundamentals are there, and we have a chance to learn from mistakes made by others.
Following are what I deem the top 10 CRM myths, and the lessons we all can learn from them.
Myth #1. CRM is about technology. Technology is not the driver—it's an enabler, and the sooner it becomes invisible the better. Ideas drive, and the presence of customer needs is the idea that must drive CRM. This doesn't mean, however, that we should be too afraid to ask technology questions. Ask them often.
Myth #2. There isn't enough emphasis on behavior-driven marketing. Many are mired in traditional database approaches that may be too slow, or that don't reveal the whole customer view. There's a tremendous need for real-time analytics, and transaction-driven communication. An example of transaction-driven communication is prompt acknowledgement of a shopper's first-time purchase. Other industries have similar trigger events.
Myth #3. CRM must be comprehensive, and it needs to be expensive. You can spend $500,000—and not $5 million—to get a less than complete system, and have it running for a year. Then, you can throw away the system. Why do that? Well, in one year, you'll have performed much of the up-front work necessary for a higher-end solution. You'll also have taken care of a good deal of the learning and testing needed to make the eventual expensive system better meet your needs.
Starting with a temporary solution forces you to focus on what your organization needs, and that will pay dividends more quickly when a complete solution is developed and implemented. And all of this doesn't even include the monetary value of time.