Potential Problems When Implementing a CRM Strategy

Customer Relationship Management is more than a simple implementation of new technological solutions for a company. It is an entire strategy to understand better and in more depth a customer’s behaviors and needs, so that the firm is able to improve its existing relationships with the customer. This means that it proves to be more of a business philosophy than a technical solution for helping to deal more efficiently with customers. Still, a successful implementation of customer relationship management programs leans heavily on the utilization of technology. It is easy to see why things can go wrong in putting such a new program into place. There are a few different reasons why implementing this type of customer relationship management protocol could lead to results which are different than those anticipated.

For starters, a great amount of sincere commitment is necessary in order for a CRM solution to work out properly. It might turn out that a number of individuals within the company that is implementing this customer relationship management package are simply not so committed. There are a variety of reasons for this lack of enthusiasm. Adopting an approach that is customer focused could need a great amount of corporate culture change. As a result of the sometimes painful changes, there is always the possibility that customer relationships will simply break down in the process, if everyone engaged is not fully committed to this new viewpoint of business operations from the customer’s point of view. This would then result in unhappy customers and finally a decrease in revenue.

Poor communications within the organization is another reason that customer relationship management might not take effect as hoped. For it to work out right, everyone in the business has to be aware of what information is necessary. On top of this, they have to be aware of how it is used in the new system.

Less than ideal leadership might lead to problems for any form of customer relationship management implementation strategy. Management has the burden of leading by example, as well as pushing to ensure that customer focus comes first on all projects. When suggested plans do not appear that they will work out for the business’ customers, then they must be discarded in favor of newer ones that will work out better.

Another potential drawback in effectively implementing a customer relationship management program is the inclination of many companies to attempt to do the entire process in a single attempt. While this is particularly tempting, it is a potentially dangerous strategy. CRM packages go better when they are broken down into more manageable portions. Shorter time frame goals, along with pilot programs, are the best ways to affect this. Such a pilot program will work in every relevant group and department and yet still be versatile and small enough in order to permit tweaks and changes necessary in the process.

The amount of information that will be necessary to effectively make a CRM implementation happen can cause problems also. Existing computer systems and terminals may have to be expanded as a part of it. The business will have to cautiously contemplate what types of information will be gathered, as well as stored, in order to be certain that only helpful and necessary information is kept in the transition.

A final possible downside when implementing the customer relationship management strategy revolves around a company’s zealous enthusiasm to get it done quickly. Many firms overlook altogether the basic requirements necessary to make the initiative a true success. It is easy for them to look at the significant information technology portion of the program and simply hand the entire program over to the IT department. This often dooms the program to disaster, since an operating tool is created within the company that offers limited usability in achieving the desired results. These CRM tools only prove to be especially effective when the front line customer service people are well versed in the methods of using the new technology to which they have gained access. Personnel attempting to train themselves might discover that their valiant efforts blow up in their faces, causing undesirable declines in customer relations.

1 Comment for this entry

September 20th, 2010 on 7:54 pm

Your absolutely right, implementing a CRM is more than simply a new technology, it is an entire strategy that will help you to better understand your customer. Companies are focusing more on retaining existing customers and increasing their loyalty via their CRM strategies. A CRM software streamlines the sales process, allowing the flow of business to run smoother and faster. It is necessary to have good leadership, planning, training, and a careful analysis of the internal business processes. The system needs to be tailored to best serve the business flow and the end client. Check out our recently published whitepaper at Intelestream’s web page.