Merrell Ligons lists 10 Tips For CRM Success. Anyone contemplating introducing Customer Relationship Management aka CRM to their organization would do well to read his tips.
But he doesn’t go far enough.
If you want to ensure CRM success there’s one thing you must understand and one thing you must do before you take any action.
You must understand that Customer Relationship Management is a philosophy that uses technology to aid you in building more effective relationships with customers in order to better meet their needs.
CRM is not, I repeat NOT, software.
Sure you’ll have challenges with the software, but it’s the “humanware” e.g. your employees, that will make or break your initiative.
Before you begin purchasing the software, you must gain the buy-in of your employees. You should involve them in realigning and creating the policies and procedures you’ll need. You will also need their input on how the software is to be customized and what data needs to be collected. (Merrill mentions this but I believe it needs to be singled out due to its importance.)
Remember, the acronym “CRM” in not synonymous with software. The software is only a tool. It’s the relationships that you build with your customers which are most important. Those relationships are built by your employees who are human beings. Focus your energies there, on your employees, first.
Then take on the software.